By JOHN SCHWARTZ MAY 23, 2016
Naomi Oreskes, a science historian and professor, in the Science Center at Harvard University. Credit Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times
The activists who have painted a bright target on the back of Exxon Mobil have “colluded to push politically motivated investigations of climate dissent,” and conducted a “real-life RICO-type conspiracy.”
So say defenders of the energy company, who in recent weeks have tried to flip the script on the activists whose work helped set the stage for the current investigations of possible conflicts between Exxon Mobil’s public and private statements on climate change.
They say the environmentalists have been holding a series of meetings and discussions to plot their strategy, dating back to a gathering in La Jolla, a San Diego community, in 2012. That meeting was conceived of by Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science at Harvard whose work has drawn parallels between the public affairs strategies of the tobacco industry and fossil fuel companies.
Critics refer to that founding group as the La Jolla Junta. The discussions would grow over time to include groups like the climate campaigners 350.org and the Rockefeller family philanthropies.