An amazing new trove of fossil fuel industry documents was released in summer 2015.
Check out this Russia Today segment, featuring Aaron Huertas from the Union of Concerned Scientists. It's surprisingly zinger-filled for a discussion of corporate memos.
Pro tip: Listen for this phrase “cannot be denied." The part about employees leaking some of these documents starts at 1:48.
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The fossil fuel industry, the one that has funded climate change deniers, knew the science about climate change existed. And they knew it a long time ago.
The documents in The Climate Deception Dossiers mentioned in the segment point to two key documents in support:
- In 1981, Exxon Mobile was having internal discussions about climate related to the Natuna gas field off Indonesia, according to an email published online in 2014.
- In 1995, a 17-page, internal primer prepping for the 1995 Global Climate Coalition, written by the companies' own scientists.
That's right. In 1981, they were discussing the climate impact of a particularly large extraction project.
As referenced in the video above, that's seven years before NASA scientist James Hansen's iconic congressional testimony on global warming, widely regarded as the moment that raised broad awareness of climate change.
It was also about year after Kim Kardashian was born. Puts it in perspective, right?
In the segment, Thom Hartman says something slight that pinpoints what needs to change for us to move forward.
“The [fossil fuel] industry knew that their actions were driving the planet to a crisis, and they did nothing to avoid it. When scientists and the public cried out, they spent money to spread lies to cover their guilt."
After Exxon's climate change discovery in 1981, they continued to fund climate deniers for 27 more years. Is Thom's observation talking about the industry spending money shamelessly to cover up guilt or spreading lies to cover up embarrassment? Either way, we all need help sometimes to keep our guilty interests in check.
Could you imagine what we could have done if, instead of covering things up, the fossil fuel industry had decided to take action against climate change?
Exxon knew that fossil fuels would make climate change worse, but instead invested in major climate science denial groups to save their profits. Sign our petition and demand that the Department of Justice investigates Exxon.