Science correspondent Ian Sample in a Guardian Unlimited article described the situation in these terms:
The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees.
The letters, sent to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere, attack the UN's panel as "resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work" and ask for essays that "thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs".
When all else fails, the oil industry knows the value of deep pockets and how to use them.
Tags: global warming, lobbying, climate change, IPCC report