Friday, May 13, 2016

Oil Companies Have Known For 50 Years

The global warming deniers favorite topic is that climate scientists are all part of a cabal addicted to government funding.  This is their main argument against the fact that by far most climate scientists believe in global warming due to human activities.

But how about this?  How about the oil company scientists?  Are they part of this government funded cabal?  I don't think so.  In fact, they were the pioneers.

The oil industry's leading pollution-control consultants advised the American Petroleum Institute in 1968 that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels deserved as much concern as the smog and soot that had commanded attention for decades.
This paperalong with scores of other publications, shows that the risks of climate change were being discussed in the inner circles of the oil industry earlier than previously documented. The records, unearthed from archives by a Washington, D.C. environmental law organization, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), reveal that the carbon dioxide question—an obscure corner of research for much of the 20th century—had been closely studied since the 1950s by some oil company researchers.
By the 1960s, the CO2 problem was gaining wider scientific recognition, especially as President Lyndon B. Johnson's science advisers and leading experts brought it to the attention of the White House in 1965.
"If CO2 levels continue to rise at present rates, it is likely that noticeable increases in temperature could occur," SRI scientists Elmer Robinson and R.C. Robbins wrote in their 1968 paper to API.
"Changes in temperature on the world-wide scale could cause major changes in the earth's atmosphere over the next several hundred years including change in the polar ice caps."
Ten years later, the world's leading oil company, Exxon, would launch an ambitious in-house research program into the emerging science of climate change, as detailed by InsideClimate News last year in an investigative series. Beginning in 1978, Exxon researchers hoped their work would identify the risks climate change posed to the company's business and earn it a seat at the table when policymakers moved to limit CO2 emissions, according to internal documents. 
 Exxon wasn't the only oil company concerned about this.
Mobil's chief executive, Rawleigh Warner, Jr., took notice of the increasing production of tar sands, oil shales and liquefied coal in an article published by the United Nations Environment Program.
"The switch to heavier fossil fuels has already caused much popular concern...and the general fear that excessive use of these fuels may so build up carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that the earth's temperature may increase, with some disastrous consequences. 
"Both of these fears should be seriously addressed."
Well, they weren't.
By the late 1980s, Exxon, Mobil and most of the task force companies had joined campaigns to stall climate regulations and manufacture doubt about global warming science.  
It turns out there is a cabal, one made up of oil company scientists and executives who under the control of their salaries had organized a campaign to obfuscate and confuse people about the dire consequences of their product for our planet.  And so we are here today with a lot of confused people and not enough conviction which puts us in a serious position where we may fail to prevent those dire consequences.

In the end it's money doing us in, the threat to oil company profits, motivating the oil companies and their enablers to confuse the collective mind, thus preventing us from taking the serious actions necessary to keep our civilization going.