Exxon has been aware of the impact of their industry on climate change but funded and publicized studies that contradicted their own research to mislead the public.
Exxon was aware of climate change, as early as 1977, 11 years before it became a public issue, according to a recent investigation from InsideClimate News. This knowledge did not prevent the company (now ExxonMobil and the world’s largest oil and gas company) from spending decades refusing to publicly acknowledge climate change and even promoting climate misinformation—…
Like the tobacco industry Exxon has choreographed deception, traded lives – if not an entire planet – for profit. Exxon has long been aware of the catastrophic environmental consequences of their industry but funded and perpetrated what can be labeled as scientific propaganda to publicly contradict their own research. Unlike tobacco, the scale of the impact reaches far beyond the self-destructive, personal choices, of an individual. We now face the potential global victimization of 100s of millions of innocent people to the ravages of economic and hypernatural disasters.
In their eight-month-long investigation, reporters at InsideClimate News interviewed former Exxon employees, scientists and federal officials and analyzed hundreds of pages of internal documents. They found that the company’s knowledge of climate change dates back to July 1977, when its senior scientist James Black delivered a sobering message on the topic. “In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels,” Black told Exxon’s management committee. A year later he warned Exxon that doubling CO2 gases in the atmosphere would increase average global temperatures by two or three degrees—a number that is consistent with the scientific consensus today. He continued to warn that “present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to 10 years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.” In other words, Exxon needed to act.
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Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago
A new investigation shows the oil company understood the science before it became a public issue and spent millions to promote misinformation