Burn­ing Rex

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

More re­ac­tion to the sharply crit­i­cal­let­terthatRepub­li­canSen.Olympia J. Snowe of Maine and Demo­cratic Sen.JohnD.Rock­e­fellerIVofWestVir­gini­asen­tre­cent­ly­toRexW.Tiller­son, oth­er­wise wel­com­ing him to his new post as chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Exxon Mo­bil Corp.

The re­main­der of the three-page let­ter, shall we say, blasted a so­called “cli­mate-change de­nial strat- egy car­ried out by and for Exxon Mo­bil” against global warm­ing — the sen­a­tors ac­cus­ing the oil gi­ant of be­ing “the pri­mary fun­der of no few­erthan29­cli­mate-change­de­nial front groups in 2004 alone.”

The bi­par­ti­san pair went so far as to re­quest that Mr. Tiller­son “pub­licly ac­knowl­edge both the re­al­ity of the cli­mate change and the role of hu­mans in caus­ing or ex­ac­er­bat­ing it,” even ab­sent sci­en­tific proof of such a cause.

Now, one prom­i­nent Wash­ing­ton group is step­ping for­ward to ac­knowl­edge re­ceiv­ing “mod­est fund­ing from the en­ergy sec­tor, in­clud­ing from Exxon Mo­bil,” al­though the Na­tional Cen­ter for Pub­lic Pol­icy Re­search says such fund­ing has never ex­ceeded 1 per­cent of an­nual ex­pen­di­tures.

And­whileit“rec­og­nizes­both­that glob­al­tem­per­a­ture­shaverisen­over the past 150 years and that an­thro­pogenic green­house-gas emis­sions con­tribute­tothe­green­house­ef­fect,” the cen­ter calls at­ten­tion to com­pet­ing­sci­en­tific­dataofthe­caus­esof global warm­ing, and there­fore be­lieves that any an­thro­pogenic sig­na­ture is “likely to be mod­est.”

And who can say they aren’t right?

Ni­co­las Coper­ni­cus, as the cen­ter points out, was con­demned for sug­gest­ing that the sun, rather than the earth, was the cen­ter of our uni­verse. Gior­dano Bruno, mean­while, was per­se­cuted and ul­ti­mately burned at the stake for ar­gu­ing that space ex­tended be­yond our so­lar sys­tem. And William Har­vey was ridiculed by lead­ing med­i­cal au­thor­i­ties of his day for sug­gest­ing that the heart was the cen­ter of the body’s cir­cu­la­tory sys­tem.

“Coper­ni­cus, Bruno and Har­vey were per­se­cuted out of fear,” it notes. “Each ul­ti­mately was proven to be cor­rect.”

As for Sens. Snowe and Rock­e­feller,the­cen­ter­charges­they“areen­gaging­in­per­se­cu­tionoftheirown,at­tempt­ing to si­lence dis­sent­ing voices [. . .] and, as such, should be con­demned­byAmer­i­can­so­fallpo­lit­i­cal per­sua­sions — both left and right.”

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