A funny thing happened on the way to the thinktank. All that money ExxonMobil pours into generating global warming doubts is backfiring like an old exhaust according to graphs I generated on IceRocket's search term trends tool. The correlations between the terms "global warming", "climate change", "emissions" and "Exxon" are extraordinary. Here is a graph showing three of the terms over the last month. You are going to have to click on the graph for a much clearer image.
I have omitted "global warming" as a search term here because it has about twice the incidence of climate change and such a scale renders the graph less useful when looking at terms of lower incidence, such as "Exxon". But the correlation is extremely high, as one would expect (see yesterday's post). People think "global warming" and they think "climate change", simple as that. The graph also shows that when bloggers write about climate change, and they write about emissions - not too much of a surprise. But they also seem to associate ExxonMobil with those emissions and that climate change. Coincidence? Let's look at longer periods to see how the correlations hold up. The next three graphs are for the last three, four and nine months of search terms.
They hold up.
Why does ExxonMobil have this association in peoples minds? (I also tested the term "Shell Oil" for similar correlation and there was none apparent).
My theory is that all the millions and millions of dollars that ExxonMobil pours into confusing the public has resulted in an enormous miscalculation. While it is financially good for their shareholders (Exxon made $36.2 billion profit last year) to deny any connection between fossil-fuels and global warming the public are not being gulled. As I reported yesterday 71% of Australians, a non-Kyoto Protocol country, believe that it is time to start fighting global warming. This is a similar percentage to those in the US (76%) and in India (71%) who believe that steps must be taken even if there is an economic cost. The public knows there is global warming, and it seems bloggers know who to blame. When governments finally come around to reflecting the common will, there will be one record profit posting oil company on the nose for destroying the climate while lying about not destroying it.
ExxonMobil is winning the war, but losing the battle.
Global Warning Climate Change ExxonMobil global warming skeptic Australia Kyoto