❝ In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2060, CO2 levels would reach around 560 parts per million – double the preindustrial level – and that this would push the planet’s average temperatures up by about 2°C over then-current levels (and even more compared to pre-industrial levels).
❝ Later that decade, in 1988, an internal report by Shell projected similar effects but also found that CO2 could double even earlier, by 2030. Privately, these companies did not dispute the links between their products, global warming, and ecological calamity. On the contrary, their research confirmed the connections.
❝ The documents make for frightening reading. And the effect is all the more chilling in view of the oil giants’ refusal to warn the public about the damage that their own researchers predicted. Shell’s report, marked “confidential,” was first disclosed by a Dutch news organization earlier this year. Exxon’s study was not intended for external distribution, either; it was leaked in 2015.
I haven’t much concern for the excuses these firms and their peers raise to shield their greed, sophistry. Nor am I surprised at the culpability of our politicians, the ignorant acceptance of corporate lies by the US population in general. We are the poster child for advertising abuse and lies.
“Not a cough in a carload” indeed! Multiply that by millions and begin to comprehend the global crime we face – living in the belly of the beast that has been devouring the whole world for decades.