Climate change is an issue that we are going to be dealing with for many years to come, and it will be a topic is news daily until we can figure out a way to either reverse some of the damage, or slow down the process. This issue is causing various changes on our Earth right now, such as the rapid disappearance of bees, scientists say.
Exxon, This Generation’s Big Tobacco
ExxonMobil is a giant oil company with leases in various different areas, and you might recognize the name from their slew of gas stations. In the past, they have been a major supporter of several organizations that deny the evidence of climate change, having donated money and services to these organizations since the ’80s. According to the group Exxonsecrets, Exxon has spent upwards of $22 million in the funding of these anti-climate change groups.
Now, thanks to information provided by Exxon’s former Climate Expert, Lenny Bernstein, the company is in some hot water with environmentalists everywhere.
Exxon’s attempted Cover-Up
Bernstein is claiming that the company has known about the effects of fossil fuels since 1981. Evidence to support his claims was delivered to The Union of Concerned Scientists, and released by them Wednesday, in a report called “The Climate Deception Dossier“.
The company seems to be more worried about its bottom line than carbon-cutting or preventing climate change. According to an email sent by Bernstein, “Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia.” He claimed that it was an “immense reserve of natural gas, but it is 70% CO2.” As we know, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and one of the main causes of climate change. However, Exxon did not finalize the project and never mined the site. Over the years, Exxon has spent much time denying the evidence of climate change and that the oil company might have something to do with it.
Exxon’s Coming Out
When interviewed by the Guardian, Rick Keil, an Exxon spokesman, said, “There was nobody you could have gone to in 1981 or 1984 who would have said whether it [climate change] was real or not. Nobody could provide a definitive answer.” He was also very clear on what Exxon is doing now about this situation, “We have been factoring the likelihood of some kind of carbon tax into our business planning since 2007. We do not fund or support those who deny the reality of climate change.”
The reality of the situation is that Exxon likely knew by the 1980s that humans were having a negative impact on the environment, yet did nothing with the information. Bernstein said it best when he wrote in his email, “Instead of taking responsibility, they have either directly – or indirectly through trade and industry groups – sown doubt about the science of climate change and fought efforts to cut emissions.”