ExxonMobil costs Stanford a big donor

Millionaire movie producer Steve Bing has withdrawn his donation to Stanford (his alma mater; and a school with numerous "Bing" buildings), due to its partnership with ExxonMobil commenting, through a spokesman, that: "Exxon Mobil is trying to greenwash itself, and it's using Stanford as its brush."

DUH. ExxonMobil is giving $100 million over 10 years (while other big oil interests are throwing in another $125 million over the same period) and is doing so to either rehabilitate their tarnished brand or to affect the research of one of the world's leading institutions -- or both.

According to Jennifer Washburne, an expert in the relationship between Universities and Corporations, an ad on the NY Times' oped page, signed by the Stanford Prof Lynn Orr, "suggested that the scientific debate about global warming is ongoing: 'Although climate has varied throughout Earth’s history from natural causes, today there is a lively debate about . . . the climate’s response to the presence of more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.'"

This, despite the fact that, as the Mercury article notes, there's a virtual consensus on the fact that human activity is the cause of global warming.

It comes as no surprise, of course, that ExxonMobil was still ...

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