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The Fossil Fuel Industry Lied; Time to Hold Them Accountable?
The Congressional Progressive Caucus Forum on Climate Change will examine issues surrounding the fossil fuel industry's concerted efforts to deceive elected officials, investors, and the American public on the reality of climate.
Date: Wednesday, June 22nd from 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Place: Rayburn HOB - Room 2220
Speakers will include members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, scientists, researchers and activists.
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.
If Exxon's corporate leaders had reported what its own scientists were saying about the dire impacts of fossil fuel use on the climate, we might well have gained a crucial 40 years of public attention and official action to prevent this crisis. Instead, Exxon launched a disinformation campaign to confuse the public with claims that there was no emerging climate crisis. And they succeeded. Their false narrative continues to prevent unified support for policies that will transition our nation from a fossil fuel-based economy to one powered by clean, safe, renewable energy.
Viewed from every perspective: health, economic, national security, humanitarian and faith, the moral imperative to act decisively to address the climate crisis and prevent further harm to the poor and vulnerable is clear.
Please join us on Wednesday.
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