They Knew, They Knew All Along

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They Knew, They Knew All Along

Postby Keep The Reason » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:08 pm

Looks like there's a investigation against ExxonMobil thanks to the release of some papers from...


noting that the use of fossil fuels would raise the temperature of the planet. It's one of those "unbelievable but not" scenarios, much like the cigarette cover ups that cost Phillip Morris a few billion. Here we go:


Steve Knisely was an intern at Exxon Research and Engineering in the summer of 1979 when a vice president asked him to analyze how global warming might affect fuel use.

"I think this guy was looking for validation that the greenhouse effect should spur some investment in alternative energy that's not bad for the environment," Knisely, now 58 and a partner in a management consulting company, recalled in a recent interview.

Knisely projected that unless fossil fuel use was constrained, there would be "noticeable temperature changes" and 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air by 2010, up from about 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution. The summer intern's predictions turned out to be very close to the mark.

Knisely even concluded that the fossil fuel industry might need to leave 80 percent of its recoverable reserves in the ground to avoid doubling CO2concentrations, a notion now known as the carbon budget. In 2013, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change formally endorsed the idea.

"The potential problem is great and urgent," Knisely wrote. "Too little is known at this time to recommend a major U.S. or worldwide change in energy type usage but it is very clear that immediate research is necessary."

The report, which circulated within the company through the early 1980s, reflected Exxon's growing need to understand when the climate implications of increased CO2 emissions would begin to spur policy changes.

So Exxon (now ExxonMobil) shelved an ambitious but costly program that sampled carbon dioxide in the oceans—the centerpiece of its climate research in the 1970s—as it created its own computerized climate models. The models aimed to simulate how the planet's climate system would react to rising CO2levels, relying on a combination of mathematics, physics, and atmospheric science.

Through much of the 1980s, Exxon researchers worked alongside university and government scientists to generate objective climate models that yielded papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Their work confirmed the emerging scientific consensus on global warming's risks.

Yet starting in 1989, Exxon leaders went down a different road. They repeatedly argued that the uncertainty inherent in computer models makes them useless for important policy decisions. Even as the models grew more powerful and reliable, Exxon publicly derided the type of work its own scientists had done. The company continued its involvement with climate research, but its reputation for objectivity began to erode as it campaigned internationally to cast doubt on the science.

So what has this led to? Other than a planet with what may now be runaway warming trends?

New York investigating Exxon over climate statements:

(Reuters) - The New York attorney general has launched an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) misled the public and shareholders about the risks of climate change.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed the company on Wednesday evening, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents, a source familiar with the investigation said on Thursday.

Exxon on Thursday said it was weighing a response to the subpoena. The company has included information about the business risk of climate change for many years in its quarterly filings, corporate citizenship report and in other reports to shareholders, company spokesman Richard Keil said.

The New York Times first reported the news on Thursday. (

The Exxon investigation might expand to other oil companies, according to the people with knowledge of the case, though no additional subpoenas have been issued, the newspaper said.

Sources told the New York Times that the attorney general’s investigation began a year ago and encompasses company filings dating back to the 1970s.

To cut some folks off at the pass, I don't advocate for violence, oppression, genocide, war, hatred or intolerance. Instead, I advocate for education, organization, activism, and the democratic process. ~~ KtR
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