First off, thanks for calling me a "skeptic" as opposed to a "denier" (that word has acquired some ugly connotations).
If memory serves, ExxonMobil has given about $16 Million US in the last 10 years to various groups/individuals. In that time, the US government has spent something like $15 BILLION US on climate research -- most all of those funds going to people who have a lot more in common with Hansen & Mann than they do with Carter & Gray (please correct those numbers if I'm in error). Then there is the enormous amount in contributions from/to groups such as Pew, Sierra Club, WorldWatch, Greenpeace, etc, all of which goes to promote the concept of AGW.
Is ExxonMobil simply getting more bang for their buck, or is their argument more compelling?
It may surprise you to know that I agree that mitgation strategies need to be developed. People should not build in flood zones, for example. Nor should they build along coastlines subject to erosion -- erosion caused by sea levels which have been rising since the end of the last Ice Age. Nor should people live in cities located below sea level (it is a true "environmental tragedy" that the effects of Katrina could have been negligible had environmental groups not prevented the Corps from improving flood control projects 10 years ago).
But, ethanol subsidies? Cap and Trade? These are enormous wealth transfers which would do little -- if anything positive. It's no surprise that Enron was in favor of Cap & Trade, for they saw the profit potential -- as have several other energy companies, ExxonMobil included.
How about mandating the use of CFL's? Well, lights are used during off-peak times, which means that there would be little reduction in CO2 production -- those generators have to keep running, after all. Further, who is making the CFL's? The Chinese. And they'll keep burning low-grade coal in unscrubbed power plants to make the CFL's.
You don't say where you live, so I won't be able to follow your weather to see if the "Early Warning" bears out. I've noticed that a lot of these are more hyperbole that hypothesis (Remember the record hurricane season from last year?). Two years ago, we in the Pacific Northwest were warned of possible summer brownouts because the snowpack in the Cascades was below normal. This was in spite of the fact that the dams which supply most of the power here are on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, which get their water from the Rockies -- which had almost record snowpack. There were no brownouts.
By the way, I earlier alluded to the difficulty in determining "Global Temperature". An interesting related thread has opened on ClimateAudit:
This may be my last post. I don't know how much longer el Reg will keep it open, and the coming week appears to be full. I'm taking early retirement on June 1, and my boss left last week to take another job -- leaving me with a pile of projects to complete.
I hope the above has softened some of your disappointment in me.