#ExxonKnew

An Illustrated History of What Big Oil Knew About Climate Change—Before the Moon Landing

Read time: 2 mins
Comic showing what Stanford research on climate change told the American Petroleum Institute in 1968

By now, it’s no secret that oil companies have been long aware of the risks of climate change from burning fossil fuels. Exxon had “no doubt” that carbon dioxide was a global threat by the late 1970s, and Shell wrote in 1988 that the resulting climate change might lead to “the greatest [changes] in recorded history.”

But decades before, the oil industry was already privy to — and giving its own internal warnings about — the climate threats of carbon pollution from burning its products. In fact, as one science-and-art collaboration illustrated this week, that was happening before humans even landed on the Moon in 1969.

Climate Misinformation Researchers Throw Support Behind California Communities Suing Fossil Fuel Companies

Read time: 4 mins
Stand up for Science rally

Just in case fossil fuel companies had forgotten when and how much they knew about the impacts their products have had on the climate, a reminder came at them in court this week.

On January 29, six researchers studying climate misinformation filed one of eight friend-of-the-court briefs in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals supporting the California communities suing fossil fuel companies for climate damages.

Competitive Enterprise Institute's Climate Denial Efforts Target Media, Cities Filing Liability Suits

Read time: 7 mins
ExxonKnew sign on a building

By Karen Savage, Climate Liability News. Crossposted from Climate Liability News.

The conservative think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute has been busily pressing forward with its mission to promote climate denial, using high-profile tactics like full-page ads in major newspapers. But it is also working behind the scenes, filing records requests to dig for information from cities filing climate liability suits and academics studying the topic. 

As the science has grown definitive in tying global warming to the burning of fossil fuels, even oil companies have been forced to acknowledge the overwhelming scientific consensus and back away publicly from climate denial efforts. But CEI continues to double down on their mission to claim the science is not settled.

CEI made a splash this week by purchasing full-page ads in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal taking issue with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd and NBC for refusing to give airtime to denialists during his Dec. 30 show about climate change.  

Drilled: A Podcast on the Climate Crime of the Century

Read time: 4 mins
Drilled podcast graphic

By Climate Investigations Center

A newly released podcast, Drilled, “investigates the crime of the century — the creation of climate denial.”

The eight part series takes listeners back in time to the inception of climate change denial. It tells the story of the special interests that launched campaigns against evolving climate science and the momentum created by this science, starting in the late 1980s and sustained through the 2000s.

Guided by documents uncovered by reporters, academics, and activists in recent years, Drilled exposes the campaign of climate denial as a successful public relations endeavor undertaken by the fossil fuel industry and allies.

Dark Money Paid New Trump Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s Salary for 3 Years

Read time: 5 mins
Matthew Whitaker

Today, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that Matthew G. Whitaker, who served as chief of staff for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would replace his boss. Sessions was forced from office a day after the midterm elections, which were rough for climate and anti-fracking measures around the country.

Whitaker was appointed as Session’s chief of staff on September 22, 2017. Before that, he served for three years as the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), which describes itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas.”

FACT has come under fire for its own lack of transparency, with the Center for Responsive Politics calling attention to FACT’s funding, which in some years came entirely from DonorsTrust, an organization also known as the “Dark Money ATM of the Conservative Movement” and whose own donors include the notorious funders of climate denial, Charles and David Koch.

Is Climate Science Denial Leading to Human Rights Violations, Asks Philippines Commission

Read time: 3 mins
Boy walking through Typhoon Ketsana floodwaters in Milan in 2009

By Kert Davies, Climate Investigations Center. Originally posted on Climate Investigations Center.

As climate change liability — who is to blame — increasingly lands in courtrooms around the globe, the Philippines Commission on Human Rights is taking a different and unique approach, investigating climate change impacts as a human rights infringement. The commission has held a series of hearings this year to investigate the role of fossil fuel companies (also known as “carbon majors“) in causing climate change, concealing climate science, delaying policy solutions, and facilitating the climate crisis of the Filipino people.

'Vast Blind Spot': IPCC Accused of Ignoring 'Decades Long' Fossil Fuel Misinformation Campaign on Climate

Read time: 6 mins
Charles Koch

The United Nations (UN) climate science panel is being accused of ignoring research into fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns that have been key to holding back action on global warming.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — an assessment of more than 6,000 research papers — found global warming caused largely by fossil fuel burning would have severe impacts even if limited to 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Described by the IPCC as “one of the most important climate change reports ever published,” the report is designed to inform policy makers and the public around the world.

But several researchers are angry the report did not take account of academic research into the “decades-long misinformation campaign” funded and promoted by fossil fuel interests and so-called “free market” conservative think tanks that has been a major brake on progress.

30 Years Ago Global Warming Became Front-Page News – and Both Republicans and Democrats Took It Seriously

Read time: 8 mins
James Hansen in 1988

By Robert Brulle, Drexel University

June 23, 1988 marked the date on which climate change became a national issue.

In landmark testimony before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Dr. James Hansen, then director of NASA’s Institute for Space Studies, stated that “Global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause-and-effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming … In my opinion, the greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now.”

Yes, Exxon Is Accusing Local Governments of Misleading Investors on Climate Change

Read time: 6 mins
ExxonKnew projections on buildings in San Francisco

In January, ExxonMobil filed a legal petition seeking to depose more than a dozen city and county government officials in California, claiming that the municipal officials are defrauding investors by not fully disclosing the risks posed by climate change.

You read that right. Exxon is legally challenging cities and counties for not talking up the risks of climate change enough to the investors who purchase municipal bonds for those localities. Has Exxon had a change of heart and now become concerned about transparency and the impacts of climate change?

Let's take a closer look.

Exxon Mobil’s About-Face on Climate Disclosure

Read time: 6 mins
ExxonMobil protesters hold signs

By Paul Griffin, University of California, Davis

Exxon Mobil Corp. has vowed to do a better job in disclosing the risks it faces from climate change starting “in the near future” after bucking pressure to do that for years.

Until now, shareholders and bondholders had no choice but to rely on informed guesswork by outsiders to divine how the nation’s largest fossil fuel company was retooling for the future — a time when taxes, regulations and competition from renewable energy and other new technology alternatives are likely to thin consumers’ demand for its products.

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