Exxon Lied About Global Warming for 40 Years, Could Be in a World of Trouble

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Photo: Minale Tattersfield on Flickr
ExxonMobil is a company that needs no introduction, but just to put things into perspective, it's the largest of the world's "big oil" corporations and sits in seventh place globally regardless of the type of activity when it comes to revenues. Oh, and in 2016, ExxonMobil registered a net income of $7.84 billion.
Since it deals with oil and gas, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the company is one of the most active lobbyists against global warming and the idea that it is caused by burning fossil fuel, something it's been doing for a long, long time. However, when this kind of money is involved, you shouldn't take things at face value.

A paper published two years ago by Inside Climate News proved that Exxon's scientists were well aware of the negative implications human carbon emissions had on the climate and that they had come to this conclusion as early as 1977.

During these past four decades, Exxon merged with Mobil to create ExxonMobil, but more importantly, it continued to suggest that scientists were still unable to make a solid connection between burning fossil fuel and the rising temperatures.

In other words, the company knew very well how things stood, but because they were against its interests it decided to do its best (through advertising and lobbying) to convince the public of the contrary.

Now, the company is faced with multiple lawsuits, and given the severity of its actions and their deliberate nature, we're talking about some serious charges. Hearings are scheduled for the following months.

A pair of Harvard University researchers, Naomi Oreskes and Geoffrey Supran, embarked on the mammoth task of analyzing Exxon's internal documents and comparing them to its outward communication over the course of these 40 years in regards to global warming.

Their research concluded that about 80 percent of the internal documents admitted that global warming was real and influenced by humans, while roughly the same percentage of Exxon's advertorials expressed doubts over the phenomenon, often saying that scientists have not made their minds yet.

"Exxon Mobil misled the public about the state of climate science and its implications," the two researchers wrote. "Available documents show a systematic, quantifiable discrepancy between what Exxon Mobil’s scientists and executives discussed about climate change in private and in academic circles, and what it presented to the general public."

The paper is likely to be quoted as evidence in the upcoming hearings. At this time, we'd like to remind you of the sentence passed just last week for a Volkswagen engineer in the Dieselgate scandal who got 40 months in prison and a fine of $200,000. I think we can all agree that Exxon's wrongdoings far outweigh those of the Wolfsburg carmaker, and were just as deliberate. If the justice system is working, we should be looking at much more severe sentences.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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