“This is a Serious Risk”: Rex Tillerson on Climate Change
January 9, 2017
In his own words, from December 2016.
While Mr. Tillerson’s Exxon has stopped funding several groups that loudly denied climate science, it still funds organizations that pursue a broader agenda of fighting measures to address climate change, including carbon taxes.
Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard historian, said the positions held by the company and Mr. Tillerson still constitute climate denial, but in a “clever and sophisticated” form. “It is, in my view, what makes it more concerning,” she said, “because many people don’t scratch the surface to see what lies beneath.”
Peter C. Frumhoff, the director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, characterized Exxon’s stance as, “We agree with the I.P.C.C. on climate science — except where it’s inconvenient.” The Senate hearings on Mr. Tillerson, he said, should be a public trial on Exxon’s history of studying climate science while spreading doubt about the underlying science and the company’s actions.
Some hard-line deniers of the overwhelming scientific evidence for climate change have said they, too, were uncomfortable with Mr. Tillerson’s positions on climate change, fearing he may be too soft.
Marc Morano, publisher of the site Climate Depot, said that at first he had reservations, but that he was now confident Mr. Tillerson would act in accord with Mr. Trump’s stated views on climate change.
“A deeper examination of Tillerson,” he said, “reveals a man who is not going to be a friend of the climate-change movement.”
Below, Tillerson answers a climate question in 2012.