Exxon Knew About Global Warming in 1981 – And Denied It For 27 Years

“Oil well” by Flcelloguy at the English language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.”

“[Despite this knowledge] Exxon’s public position was marked by continued refusal to acknowledge the dangers of climate change, even in response to appeals from the Rockefellers, its founding family, and its continued financial support for climate denial. Over the years, Exxon spent more than $30m on thinktanks and researchers that promoted climate denial, according to Greenpeace.”

“Exxon said on Wednesday [July 8, 2015] that it now acknowledges the risk of climate change and does not fund climate change denial groups.”

– TheGuardian.com

It’s absolutely shameful that any group of powerful people would use their money and influence in this way. Not only have they actively contributed to global warming by digging up and releasing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide for profit, but they’ve lied to the public about the harm these activities cause! In doing so, they have caused irreparable damage to the environment, animal life, and humanity.

Exxon has potentially caused irreparable damage to the environmental movement, as well. According to TheGuardian.com, Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard University professor who researches the history of climate science, says that “the White House and the National Academy of Sciences came out with reports on climate change in the 1970s, and government scientific agencies were studying climate change in the 1960s. There were also a number of major scientific meetings on climate change in the 1970s.”

This is enormously significant – here we are in 2015, and there is still debate about whether or not global warming is real, and whether or not it is caused by human activity! If it hadn’t been for Exxon and the people it payed to lie to the public, humanity may have already embarked on efforts to control and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is also likely that without these early climate change deniers, later deniers, such as the Koch Brothers and the conservative think tanks they fund, would not be taken as seriously now. Current deniers need only build on the false science Exxon put forth in order to discredit real science.

The good news is that climate change deniers are now being exposed left and right, and Exxon is probably the biggest and most important of them all. Hopefully this, and other such news stories, will help turn back the denier tide.


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