Right Hooks

New IPCC Chairman Has Ties to Big Oil

So when is he resigning? Oh, he won't.

Jordan Candler · Oct. 13, 2015
IPCC Chairman Hoesung Lee

Earlier this year, Rajendra Pachauri resigned as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change after allegedly pestering at least one female colleague with unsolicited sexual innuendo. The IPCC announced his replacement last week — Korean economist Hoesung Lee, who has represented the vice-chair since 2008. According to his bio, Lee has “[r]eal world high level experiences in public policy development for energy, environment and climate change through responsibilities in government and business.” The most interesting part of his résumé, however, concerns his first postgraduate job. Lee initially worked for — no joke — Exxon from 1975-1978. That would be the same evil oil company that Slate’s Eric Holthaus claimed just last Friday is “materially responsible for Earth’s declining capability to support life.” Holthaus then linked to a petition demanding Exxon be criminally charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (the same strategy recently advocated by 20 professors and scientists in calling for climate dissenters to be imprisoned). The petition claims, “Newly revealed documents show that Exxon’s own scientists were aware of and studying the dangerous impacts of greenhouse gases in the 1970s and 1980s — until Exxon’s leadership decided to shut down the research and promote climate denial instead, in order to protect the company’s unfathomably large profits.” The irony here is two-fold: That Lee was employed by Big Oil is hypocrisy we’ve come to expect from ecofascists. But working for Exxon when, it’s now being claimed, it allegedly hid its own environmental findings “in order to protect the company’s unfathomably large profits”? Now that’s rich. That’s not to say there’s any truth to these claims — it’s difficult to argue that greenhouse gases are “dangerous” when our very existence would be impossible without them. But the timing is impeccable. How will the alarmist crowd spin the fact Lee’s tenure at Exxon coincides with their new “bombshell” revelation?

Meteorologist Anthony Watts offers this rebuttal:

So, he worked for Exxon and wants to push adaptation rather than shutting down whole economies to prevent any further CO2 emissions? I’m sure the usual suspects will be calling for his removal any minute now with impassioned scream of the “d-word” and “fossil fuel shill” and all the other hoary labels applied to climate skeptics (or as the AP call us, doubters) who might at one time gotten a job, research grant, or a free car wash at their local Exxon station.

Meanwhile, my “big oil check” that I’m supposedly getting is still long overdue.

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