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Exxon’s CEO “Climate, energy fears are overblown”

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. Credit: Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson says fears about climate change, drilling, and energy dependence are overblown.

Overblown? Are you serious?

In a speech Wednesday, Tillerson acknowledged that burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet, but said society will be able to adapt.

Yes, we will be able to adapt. However, many people’s version of adapting is on the other end of the spectrum from Tillerson’s idea of adapting. Tillerson, in a break with predecessor Lee Raymond, has acknowledged that global temperatures are rising. “Clearly there is going to be an impact,” he said Wednesday. “We have spent our entire existence adapting. We’ll adapt,” he said. “It’s an engineering problem and there will be an engineering solution.”

And I just wonder what his idea is… keep drilling, keep using fossil fuels, keep adding to the global climate changes. We’ll make better air conditioners… move cities back from the shores as the oceans rise.

Steve Coll, author of the recent book “Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power,” said he was surprised Exxon would already be talking about ways society could adapt to climate change when there is still time to try to avoid its worst effects. Also, he said, research suggests that adapting to climate change could be far more expensive than reducing emissions now. “Moving entire cities would be very expensive,” he said.

Tillerson also expressed frustration at the level of public concern over new drilling techniques that tap natural gas and oil in shale formations under several states. He said environmental advocacy groups that “manufacture fear” have alarmed a public that doesn’t understand drilling practices — or math, science or engineering in general. He blamed “lazy” journalists for producing stories that scare the public but don’t investigate the claims of advocacy groups.

He continued on about how drilling will always involve risks of spills, to those living nearby, etc. The industry’s biggest challenge, he said, is “taking an illiterate public and try to help them understand why we can manage these risks.”

Well, Mr. Tillerson, I am quite offended by you. I am a member of Mensa Society and have a Masters Degree from Purdue University in Earth Sciences. So, with my illiterate mind that you think I must have, I will state that our addiction to fossils fuels is killing our environment which will eventually kill us. The risks we see published by the media are, in general, factual. Some are exaggerated, some to conjure fear, some are not truthful enough, but overall, our what we read and hear in the media about climate change occurring is, for the most part, truthful.

Therefore, the best way to “adapt” is to rid our dependence of oil and fossil fuels. We have a powerful sun which will provide more than enough solar energy for the world. We have areas around the world which have constant winds throughout the year. We have geo-thermal active areas which will provide the power and energy from the earth itself! The magnitude of energy below our crust is mind-boggling for most – and must be for Tillerson, too. We have the technology to tap into all these sources – and do so economically. If we can put man on the moon; fly an aircraft into space to return and land then fly again; everyone is connected worldwide via the internet; anyone can carry a phone in their pocket, just to name a few; we have the ability in technology and engineering to create renewable energy which is affordable! Sadly, we also have too many people with power and money who will lose trillions if the world starts converting to renewable energy in a more timely manner, therefore they are the ones who are in control of our ecological form of adaption.

Tillerson, please… stop insulting my intelligence as well as millions of others. Your ignorance is frightening considering you are CEO of Exxon.


MSNBC: Exxon’s CEO: Climate, energy fears overblown
MSNBC: ExxonMobil CEO assailed for claims on climate change


  1. We better wake up…climate change is happening now …we had better do something before it is to late!

      • I’ve sold one of the family cars we only have one and my guy, man, partner picks me up and takes me to work when I can’t ride my bike or don’t want to take the bus. I am thinking about getting a scooter.

        • 🙂 I’ve thought about a scooter many times! I think it’d be fun. Plus here in NM, I’d be able to use it pretty much year round. Perhaps not in the hottest months and the coldest, but I’d say a good 8 months of the year anyway.

  2. Yeah? Where’s his engineering solution to the fires in Colorado? Which engineering solution would end the western droughts and heat waves?

  3. Excellent post Michelle, and thanks for getting the truth out there and right in the face of corporate speak “blah blah blah bullshit”.

    I think that not enough people realize just how bad things are going to get, once we destabilize the climate of planet Earth; our only home. It’s not just about rising temperatures and rising sea levels, which are bad enough alone, but a far more massive process that will change world weather patterns to the extent that extreme weather conditions around the world become increasingly common.

    We’ve already seen lots of extreme weather in many places recently, and we are experiencing extreme weather right now. But we are also seeing only just the beginning of the full extent of what is going to happen, when the balance of weather systems that makes our planet habitable is no longer in balance.

    Severe droughts, raging floods, an increasing number of increasingly violent storms, along with blast furnace heat, rising ocean temperatures, polar ice cap melting and the resulting rising sea levels that will inundate coastal cities and populations, will eventually result in world economic disaster, massive worldwide crop failure and mass starvation.

    Soon to follow will be the destabilization of human civilization, from societal chaos and the outbreak violent revolutions as billions of people become so desperate that they have nothing left to lose, and choose to take by force what they are dying from the lack of – like enough food to not starve, and enough fresh drinkable water to not die of thirst.

    But the worst case scenario, is a planet earth with such extreme conditions that human life can no longer survive, and human beings become extinct.

    And here’s what I personally believe: We won’t be missed… In fact, after we are all gone, the earth will do what it has done after the five previous mass extinctions, and heal itself to the point that new life forms will flourish and thrive, and a new dominant family of species will arise.

    Dinosaurs dominated this earth for over 350 million years and were a huge evolutionary success, until one asteroid changed everything.

    Humans, from their most primitive ancestors to the present day, have existed for only 3 million years, and with all our “intelligence” we have succeeded in creating our own oncoming asteroid in the form of climate change that we refuse to do anything about, because of collective short sightedness and greed.

    Unless that changes very soon, and changes radically, humans will become just a relatively brief flash in the pan of brilliance, followed by extinction and evolutionary failure as a species.

    • It will be hundreds if not thousands of years before we destroy the planet (if we continue as we are). So those in charge of the destroying don’t give a rat’s ass because if it is not their kids, or their grandkids, or any lineage they can comprehend – since it’s hard to imagine your family line 1,000 years from now – they they just don’t care.

      But I don’t think it will take much more than 100 years to really start seeing some serious effects. But, hey, Exxonmobil CEO will be long gone so what does he care….

      • I’m sure that with your Masters Degree in Earth Sciences, that you know much more than I do about this, but do you really think that we have that much time?

        I know that we had an almost snowless winter here in the Boston area, and the warmest winter temperatures on record. This past winter, it was like instead of New England, we became North Carolina.

        The same trend continued here with a full month of March that was more like late April, with many flowering plants in bloom earlier than I’ve ever seen them before, in all the 50 years I’ve lived here. All the trees were fully leafed out before May 1st, and that also has never happened here before.

        There was unusually warm winter and spring weather all over the country to the point that weather records were broken by the thousands. There was a massive outbreak of tornadoes in the Mid West and the Southeast in February, which is much earlier than normal.

        And right now we are breaking weather records by the thousands in 2/3rds of the lower 48 states with blast furnace heat, only 10 days into summer.

        The West burns in multiple wild fires from high heat, drought and high winds, while the South is flooded with torrential rains.

        Violent thunderstorms just tore through DC and Virginia with 90 mph gusts of wind knocking down trees and knocking out power for thousands of people.

        Some may say this kind of weather is just a temporary aberration, but I’ve been watching what seems like an increasing acceleration of extreme weather conditions and events for over three years now, in the US, in Europe and in other parts of the world.

        I would much rather be wrong and have you be right, but do you really think that without significant change in our lack of action, that we really have that much time? 100 years before we see serious effects? Thousands of years before the planet becomes inhabitable for people?

        Help me out here and please explain, because I want to believe you, Michelle.

        • In my opinion, and we all have them, we are experiencing a spike. Through geologic history, this is quite normal. A year, or several in a row, of either extreme hot or cool temp’s, drought or flooding. We won’t stay like this. Our recorded weather is just a hundred or so years old, which is NOTHING compared to the age of the earth, but the overall pattern is showing a slight increase in temperature. Next year we could be below average all year. LOL… then you’ll hear the Republicans scoff, “see, no climate change going on.” What we see in human life is nothing. I mere blink of your eye compared to a life time of blinks.

          Thing is, we have created a “hole” in our ozone layer and are continually eating further away at it. The carbon emissions, the chemicals in our ground slowly working their way down to all water tables… we’re polluting ourselves to death and destroying the one thing that keeps our climate stable – the ozone.

          We won’t see this happen in our lifetime. Our grandkids won’t. But it will not get easier. Our grandkids could very well come upon a time where we can no longer drink tap water, or swim in any natural waters.

          It till billions of years for our earth to evolve to it’s current state which is a very delicate balance. Then we start throwing in pollutants at an abnormal rate in geologic time. We are throwing off the ability of the earth to adapt, so it will not be able to filter our pollutants and take care of our damage in the amount of time humans want it to. Human time and geologic time are two completely different things. We’re nothing compared to the earth from the beginning. Nothing. Just another bunch of dinosaurs and we’ll eventually die off. But this time we did it to ourselves.

        • Thanks Michelle for your explanation. Ultimately I’m not worried about it personally, because in my 55 years I’ve already had a fun and adventurous life full of excitement, and if it all ended tomorrow (not expecting it to, but anything is possible.) I’d still be able to say “Wow! That was GREAT!!!”

          But I do worry about the future of my daughter and her unborn child, so I really hope that your predictions are what will really happen, and not mine.

          And in any case, I still share your outrage at assholes like the CEO of Exxon/Mobil, and for all the same reasons.

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