By Rebecca Leber and Joe Romm on Jun 27, 2012 at 6:50 pm
Fueled by a warming climate, Colorado is experiencing its worst fire season in its history.
As researchers at Boulder’s National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) joined 32,000 other Coloradans in fleeing the fires, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson spoke to the Council on Foreign Relations about the “manageable” risks of climate change:
Rex Tillerson said at a meeting at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that climate change was a “great challenge,” but it could be solved by adapting to risks such as higher sea levels and changing conditions for agriculture.
“As a species that’s why we’re all still here: we have spent our entire existence adapting. So we will adapt to this,” he said. “It’s an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions.”
Tillerson’s flippant remarks about “adapting” to the “manageable” consequences of climate change come at a time that Exxon is making record profits. In 2011, the company made $41.1 billion in profits, and Tillerson pulled in $34.9 million total compensation — a 20 percent raise from 2010.
A 2011 study found that “9 out of 10 top climate change deniers [were] linked with Exxon Mobil.” So it’s no surprise that Exxon’s CEO would spread misinformation on global warming.
Climate Progress is unaware of any serious climate scientists who think that global warming is “manageable” simply through adaptation if we listen to the do-nothing Exxon crowd and stay anywhere near our current emissions path. We know a great many who have written that the reverse is true (see below).
It’s also worth nothing that by mid-century, wildfires in the West our projected to be far, far worse. Here’s the grim projection from a presentation made by the President’s science adviser Dr. John Holdren in Oslo in 2010:
Science stunner — On our current emissions path, CO2 levels in 2100 will hit levels last seen when the Earth was 29°F (16°C) hotter: Paleoclimate data suggests CO2 “may have at least twice the effect on global temperatures than currently projected by computer models”