by Renie Sams "DON'T buy Esso!" was the message of environmental campaigners picketing the Exxon Mobil HQ in Aldwych, central London last week. They are calling on people not to buy Esso petrol from the company that is doing all it can to sabotage the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. The picket, organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change, gave reasons for not buying Esso products because firstly the oil giant denies that burning fossil fuels like oil and gas causes global warming. Secondly, Esso refuses to spend even one dollar of its US$15 billion-a-year profits on research into renewable energy. And thirdly, Exxon Mobil has done more than any other company to undermine the Kyoto Protocol and is now working harder and putting in more dollars than any other company to sabotage the Earth Summit. The United States is responsible for a staggering 25 per cent of all the pollution that causes global warming. A leaked letter from "31 organisations and individuals" (with vested interests in the oil industry) to the Toxic Texan said: "We applauded your decision not to attend the Summit in person" and "we strongly support your opposition to signing new environmental treaties". The letter says: "Even more than the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, the Johannesburg Summit will provide a global media stage for many of the most irresponsible and destructive elements involved in critical international economic and environmental issues." The President's friends show their contempt of the environmental movement calling their agendas "anti-freedom, anti-people, anti-globalisation, and anti-western". And it goes on to say ".the least important global environment issue is potential global warming, and we hope that your negotiators at Johannesburg can keep it off the table and out of the spotlight." Among the organisations that sent the letter are many involved in anti- Kyoto activities, and seven of them are known to be funded by Exxon Mobil, a company which has millions of dollars to spare for their devious campaign tactics. Exxon is generous to supporters of President Bush. Last year alone it gave US$280,000 to Fred L Smith and Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Craig Rucker of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow received US$35,000, and Steven Hayward from the American Enterprise Institute got US$230,000. Many other supporters were also helped in their reactionary activities.
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