Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Global Warming: What ExxonMobil Knew Half a Century Ago But Denies It Today

The evidence collected is lapidary, and each new paper adds to the lies and denials of the oil industry: The fossil fuel industry has known for decades that its products can cause dangerous global warming and is fine to deny, deceive, and delay. Organized from

In 2015, investigative journalists discovered internal company documents that showed Exxon scientists had been warning their executives about “potentially catastrophic” anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming since at least 1977.

Researchers and journalists have subsequently unearthed additional documents showing that the US oil and gas industry, through its trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, has been aware of possible anthropogenic global warming since at least the 1950s; coal industry since at least the 1960s; Total Oil Company and the General Motors and Ford car companies since at least the 1970s; and Shell Oil Company since at least the 1980s.

That’s why researchers from Harvard University and the Potsdam Institute in Germany thought it legitimate to ask “what exactly does the fossil fuel industry understand about the role of fossil fuels in causing global warming, and how accurate is their view?” understand?

To answer this question, they analyzed 32 papers produced internally by ExxonMobil scientists and managers between 1977 and 2002, and 72 peer-reviewed papers created or co-authored by ExxonMobil scientists between 1982 and 2014. Analyzed scientific publications, resulting in one publication. Prestigious Journal of Science Science.


Many of the documents under consideration include clear estimates of the amount of warming that can be expected over time in response to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The work, on the one hand, examines the accuracy and modeling potential of ExxonMobil’s global warming projections, especially when the latter are compared to actually observed temperature changes.

the study "overprint" The curves actually happened, with which he estimated these original Exxon papers in 1983.  The predictions turned out to be surprisingly accurate.  Graphic: Cited Publications
The study “overprinted” the curves that actually occurred with those projected by these original Exxon papers in 1983. The predictions turned out to be surprisingly accurate. Graphic: Cited Publications

They also compared that information with model evaluations published in the independent scientific literature, finding that Exxon’s findings did not differ materially from other information in the public domain.

The situation is particularly relevant because, as the authors note, they had limited His analysis of global warming estimates reported by ExxonMobil’s scientists compared to those of other companies, for three reasons.

“First, ExxonMobil’s extensive climate research program is well documented. Second, the ExxonMobil documents comprise the largest public archive of global warming projections ever recorded by a single company, giving us a unique perspective of the climate science industry. allows a coherent picture of the player’s initial understanding to develop. Third, the company has been active in challenging climate science in general and climate models in particular” they explain in the paper’s introduction.

All this configures a picture in which the company cannot claim ignorance, lack of information or any doubts arising from various analyses. Their corporate speeches were staged to lie to their shareholders, governments and the general public.

So much so, that an independent study in 2021 found that ExxonMobil is the company that leads the ranking of investments in lobbying against climate action.


He promoted skepticism about the potential environmental impact of fossil fuels in much of Mobil and ExxonMobil Corp.’s public communications. As a result, civic organizations, cities, counties and states have filed dozens of lawsuits accusing ExxonMobil Corp. and other companies of fraud and liability for weather damage.

The Massachusetts attorney general even alleged that ExxonMobil “has long held scientific knowledge about the causes and consequences of climate change” and engaged in “campaigns of public deception” that misrepresented that knowledge. Huh.

Civil society campaigns seeking to hold fossil fuel interests accountable for allegedly misleading shareholders, customers, and the public about climate science have emerged under names such as #ExxonKnew, #ShellKnew, and #TotalKnew.

Nation World News Desk
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