Earlier this month, reports revealed that Exxon has known about the threat of climate change since the 1970s and 80s.
That’s right: decades before climate change became a hotly debated political issue, the biggest oil company in the world was doing cutting-edge research into just what was causing it and how dangerous it might be. Exxon’s own scientists warned the company that burning fossil fuels was “potentially catastrophic” and might pose an existential threat to humanity.
But Exxon chose to protect their profits over the planet, and proceeded to cover up their findings for nearly forty years. They hid the work of their own scientists, while financing an elaborate network of climate-denial think tanks, organizations, and politicians.
Decades later, we’re in the midst of a rapidly-unraveling crisis — one that we could have been well on our way toward solving, had we acted much sooner.
We’re not surprised that Exxon lied about climate change. We’re not even surprised they lied for so long. What’s dismaying is that they just might get away with it.
But with a landmark UN summit coming up in Paris in just a little over a month, activists, organizations, journalists, and even politicians are calling for an investigation by the Department of Justice.
If we know the truth about how fossil fuel companies like Exxon really operate, then we can fight them better. It’s not too late to do that.
- Bill McKibben Wants Everyone to Know Why He’s So Mad at Exxon
- What if Big Oil (and their Consultants) Hadn’t Deceived Us for Decades? November 1, 2015