WHAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR….Compare and contrast. First this:

After ringing up the biggest annual profit figure in U.S. corporate history in 2005, Exxon Mobil yesterday announced that it topped that number in 2006. Riding the wave of high crude oil and gasoline prices, the company reported a profit of $39.5 billion, up 9 percent from the year before. Its revenue of $377.6 billion exceeded the gross domestic product of all but 25 countries.

Then this:

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world’s largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.

Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Seriously? These guys made $39.5 billion but were willing to pay scientists only ten grand each to whore themselves out writing reports and op-eds pretending there’s some kind of serious doubt about the reality of human-induced global warming? Even though these scientists have kids to feed?

That’s insulting. For this level of simpering I recommend holding out for at least $50,000. That’s the minimum it would take to buy a congressman, after all.