As repeatedly reported, Exxon deceived the public about climate science while funding a number of organizations to foment doubt about fossil fuel’s central role in the globe’s expanding climate crisis. The Rockefeller Family Fund funded both the investigative journalists at Columbia Journalism School and history of science professors at Harvard University who waded through the decades of deceptive conduct. This situation was not lost on a federal judge considering Exxon’s pending case against the New York and Massachusetts Attorneys General. As reported in a recent New York Magazine article on the Rockefeller family and Exxon, the judge had the following exchange with Exxon’s attorney:
“Didn’t Standard Oil grow up to be Exxon?” Caproni asked Justin Anderson, one of Exxon’s lawyers, after Anderson repeated Exxon’s conspiracy claim against the Rockefellers. “That’s ironic, don’t you think?”
“It’s disturbing, Judge,” Anderson said.
“No, it’s ironic — come on,” Caproni said.
“It could be both,” Anderson said. “Ironic and disturbing at the same time.”
“Fascinating,” Caproni said. “What happened to those Rockefellers?”
“Your Honor, what happened was they got on this bandwagon — ” Anderson said, before Caproni cut him off to interject: “They care whether subsequent Rockefellers can breathe.”