Is Monbiot Now A Supporter Of Big Oil?

a guest blog by Geoff Chambers

George Monbiot has just published a new blog on Guardian Environment in his long-running series: “Scientists Say It’s Even Worse Than We Thought”, quoting “the world’s most sophisticated models” devised by “the world’s finest minds” as saying that global temperatures will rise 5.2C by 2100.

What makes this particular rant interesting is his source – the MIT Integrated Global Systems Model. The final paragraph of the MIT News article which Monbiot cites reads:

This work was supported in part by grants from the Office of Science of the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and by the industrial and foundation sponsors of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

And if you go to the website of the latter organisation, you discover that their industrial sponsors include Exxon, Shell, BP, and Total. So Monbiot no longer believes that being financed by Big Oil automatically taints your research results. Which is fine.

Monbiot is an intelligent man who has been known to admit in public to changing his mind before (on nuclear power and bio-fuels, for example). But it does mean that twenty years of trashing climate scepticism – on the grounds that its funding sources make it suspect – has to be thown in the bin.

I’ve made this point in the comments to the article, but I’m being heavily moderated on Comment is Free and most of my comments are refused without explanation. I invite your readers to go to Comment is Free and join in what should be an epic battle (or pub brawl, knowing Guardian Climate Change discussions).