Oprah touts Exxon/Ford lobbyist as climate change "expert"

Wed, 2006-12-06 11:03Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Oprah touts Exxon/Ford lobbyist as climate change "expert"

While Oprah is to be congratulated for her “Global Warming 101” special yesterday, it is discouraging to see Competititve Enterprise Institute's Marlo Lewis being touted as an “expert” in the science of climate change. As regular readers of DeSmog know, the CEI has been one of the leaders of the industry-backed war on climate change science. Further, Marlo Lewis is NOT a climate change expert, he is a lobbyist/PR pro with no scientific credentials. To be fair, Oprah also includes other non-scientists like Leonardo DiCaprio as a source on climate change, but last time we checked Leo is not part of an industry-funded campaign, he is speaking for himself. 

Oprah's millions of viewers would have taken away an entirely different opinion of Lewis's “science” if it was pointed out that the organization he represents has received millions from the companies, like Ford Motor and ExxonMobil, that stand to lose financially if the US tackles climate change and reduces C02 emissions.

Not to mentions the CEI's laughable “C02, we call it life” ad campaign.

It is this type of “false balance” in the media that drives the DeSmogBlog. When there is a broad sweeping scientific consensus that climate change is happening and that humans are the cause, it is the media's role to reflect that consensus and not contribute to the efforts of fringe scientists and their vocal think tanks efforts to sow doubt and confuse the public.

Here's a video of Marlo Lewis spinning the Exxon-friendly message that “Co2 is a good thing.” While your watching the video, keep in the back of mind “lobbyist group funded by Exxon” and you'll get the idea of why it's important for people like Oprah to provide appropriate context if she and the media insist on using individuals like Lewis as “expert” sources on climate change.