it's possible i'm being to cynical here.  but....has anyone else noticed all the ads that Exxon/Mobile has been running about education lately? 

i noticed them last week, then saw a bunch of them during the Masters coverage this weekend.  my first thought was:  "why is an oil company advertising about Science and Education?"  my second thought was about the Heartland Institute. 

am i being paranoid?  i have no idea.  perhaps Exxon truly cares about the US educational system and would like to see scientific studies emphasized.  however, the skeptic in me keeps thinking that they have a more nefarious agenda.  make the public think that Big Oil is on the side of education and science, when in reality they use the Koch Bros. and Heartland Institute to deny Global Warming and Evolution, and teach "the controversy". 

it just seems like an odd coupling.  anyone know anything about this?  where does Exxon/Mobile stand on Global Warming? 

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I don't why they wouldn't be interested in smartening up the US. They need geologists, chemists, physicists etc. working with them to continue to probe for oil, improve refining etc.

As for Exxon and oil -- I can't speak about them specifically, but I know that Chevron loses money on gasoline. I imagine the conditions can't be too different at Exxon. Gasoline is expensive to find, expensive to refine, expensive to transport. The bulk of Chevron's income comes from oil speculation (everything short of actually drilling).

Yeah I suppose there's a degree of cynicism that you can have, but hell who else is going to spend money on improving education?

This is an unfortunate kind of reflexive thinking. Corporations NEED educated people for the exact same reason that society needs educated people. There is nothing pernicious about that (and I can guarantee you that Exxon, who is active in biological sciences, is not in any way anti evolution).

If you look at the 'monkey bills' being passed by GOVERNMENT bodies (often consisting of religious fundies) in the past couple of years, I don't know why one would think that government run schools would better at science.

From British new source, The Independent, in March of 2008.  Exxon and Phillip Morris have both funded the Heartland Institute, which denies global warming and denies passive tobacco smoke is dangerous.

No cynicism needed. To add to Pat's findings: 

But as the company attacked global warming publicly, Coll says, geologists working within ExxonMobil were examining how a warmer Earth — resulting from global warming — could create new business opportunities for ExxonMobil.

....

Coll says ExxonMobil executives "see themselves — ExxonMobil — as an independent sovereign with their own foreign policy......"

ExxonMobil And Climate Change

Until 2005, ExxonMobil was run by Lee "Iron Ass" Raymond, a close friend of Vice President Dick Cheney and a skeptic of climate change. During Raymond's tenure, Exxon funded campaigns to challenge the validity of emerging science about climate change — specifically the findings that a global warming trend existed.

http://www.npr.org/2012/05/02/151842205/exxonmobil-a-private-empire...

This is, however an economic and political issue (with a a variety of ramifications), not a religious one like evolution. Not the same thing at all.

True Jay, the origin is very different. What is worrisome though in that regard is that economic interests often use religious people to fight science by targeting and "arming" them with misinformation.  

thanks for the info everyone.  it sounds like my suspisions were well founded. 

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