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Documentary lays global warming blame at ExxonMobil's feet

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In March of 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker hit a reef, spilling over 11 million gallons of the oil it was carrying into the Prince William Sound. For months afterward, television viewers were continuously confronted with images of dead and dying fish, sea mammals and birds. Now, 18 years later, one filmmaker is trying to show that the corporate giant just didn't learn the right lesson.

Out of Balance: ExxonMobil's Impact on Climate Change is a documentary film that, according to its Web site (www.worldoutofbalance.org), "shows the influence that the largest company in the world has on governments, the media and citizens and what can be done about global warming. While the Earth's climate is pushed further out of balance by increasing use of fossil fuels, ExxonMobil continues to assert undue influence around the world--making record profits while ignoring climate science for which there has been overwhelming consenus for over 10 years."

Writer and director Tom Jackson wants the debate on global warming at the forefront of any discussion on climate control and renewable resources. Jackson is quoted as saying, "In spring 2006, mainstream media announced the debate about the human impact on climate was over. Out of Balance looks at how ExxonMobil spearheaded the misinformation campaign while making record profits." In a 2006 interview (www.wirenh.com), Jackson said, "I had read that [author Bill McKibben] stated that in 1995 an overwhelming amount of scientists had concluded humans were having an impact on global warming. He's been watching this issue since the late 1980s. This film is about how understanding has progressed and hasn't progressed with the public. If scientists agreed this was a key problem 10 years ago, why haven't we done something about it? A big part of it is ExxonMobil leading the way on confusion around the issue."

Jackson is touring with the film in an alternative-fuel vehicle. The documentary has been screened at a number of cities across the country and across the world, including the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Prague. The Boise screening of Out of Balance is sponsored by the Sierra Club's Cool Cities initiative, and Jackson will be on hand for a Q&A after the film and to offer ideas and solutions to the problem of human impact on our climate. :

April 5, 7 p.m., FREE, Fish and Game building, 600 S. Walnut, Boise. For more information, visit www.worldoutofbalance.org or call Scott Points, volunteer outreach coordinator for the Sierra Club, at 208-384-1023.