Exxon Mobil Knowingly 'Misled' People On Climate Change For 40 Years, Harvard Study Finds #ExxonKnew
Yes, #ExxonKnew — and the oil giant deliberately deceived the public about the dangers of climate change for four decades.
That was the conclusion drawn by two Harvard researchers in a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters Wednesday. Following the analysis of nearly 200 documents related to Exxon’s climate change communications, the researchers found that America’s largest oil producer had repeatedly made “explicit factual misrepresentations” about global warming in advertisements aimed at the general public, while simultaneously acknowledging its risks behind closed doors.
“Our findings are clear: Exxon Mobil misled the public about the state of climate science and its implications,” study authors Naomi Oreskes and Geoffrey Supran wrote in a New York Times op-ed this week. “Available documents show a systematic, quantifiable discrepancy between what Exxon Mobil’s scientists and executives discussed about climate change in private and in academic circles, and what it presented to the general public.”
The discrepancy, the researchers said, was staggering. About 80 percent of Exxon’s research and internal memos acknowledged that climate change was real and caused by humans. However, 80 percent of the company’s newspaper ads regarding climate change questioned this fact.
An internal Exxon memo penned in 1979, for instance, acknowledged a possible link between fossil fuel combustion and an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Another memo from 1982 described “potentially catastrophic events” that could arise from climate change, such as the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet.
A peer-reviewed study conducted by Exxon scientists in the 1990s concluded “the body of evidence ... now points towards a discernible human influence on global climate.”
|Exxon Mobil Knowingly 'Misled' People On Climate Change For 40 Years, Harvard Study Finds
Researchers found a "systematic, quantifiable discrepancy" between what the oil giant said about climate change in private versus what it told the public.