By Mat Hope • Sunday, October 7, 2018 – 18:00
The scientists are clear: “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are needed if the humans are going to prevent the world warming by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
This news — emanating from the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) mammoth new special report — comes as a surprise to almost no-one. Least of all the fossil fuel industry, which has known for decades that the carbon budget that keeps that goal within reach has been rapidly depleting thanks to its products.
So how did we get here, to a place where plotting a path to keep planetary warming within this highly desirable limit requires changes on a scale for which “there is no documented historic precedent”?
Exxon Knew, Shell Knew
Fossil fuel companies have known for decades that their products would lead us to this point.
Back in 1982, Exxon published this graph, which shows a probable temperature rise of 1.5°C some time between 2030 and 2040:
Published on Oct 1, 2018