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Exxon knew about the dangers of fossil fuels in 1977;
they lied to protect their profits
At a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters in July 1977, a senior company scientist named James F. Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity. Exxon's leaders received this blunt assessment, well before most of the world had heard of the looming climate crisis.
Exxon responded swiftly. Within months the company launched its own extraordinary research into carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and its impact on the earth. Exxon's ambitious program included both empirical CO2 sampling and rigorous climate modeling. It assembled a brain trust that would spend more than a decade deepening the company's understanding of an environmental problem that posed an existential threat to the oil business.
Then, toward the end of the 1980s, Exxon curtailed its carbon dioxide research. In the decades that followed, Exxon worked instead at the forefront of climate denial. It put its muscle behind efforts to manufacture doubt about the reality of global warming its own scientists had once confirmed. It lobbied to block federal and international action to control greenhouse gas emissions. It helped to erect a vast edifice of misinformation that stands to this day.
The United States Department of Justice has the power to prosecute Exxon’s deliberate deception under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act - just as the DOJ did to the tobacco industry for knowingly lying about the dangers of cigarette smoking.
P.S. Inside Climate News did an investigative report and interviewed the Exxon scientists responsible for the research and findings. This is an international scandal; current Members of Congress are climate deniers based on Exxon's lies. It's time to hold Exxon accountable!
Source: "Exxon: The Road Not Taken," InsideClimate News.
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