In a series of revelations over the past three months, the Pulitzer Prize winning website Inside Climate News has revealed what may be the greatest crime of the 20th and the 21st Centuries. Via interviews and archival research, ICN recovered irrefutable evidence that Exxon scientists (and then ExxonMobil) had an extensive climate research program in the late 1970’s and 1980’s and came to the conclusions that fossil fuel use would lead to heating of the atmosphere, a radical change in climate, and would lead very likely to catastrophic consequences. In the 1980’s, Exxon scientists participated in scientific conferences that explored the role of carbon dioxide in warming and other climatic effects. However, ExxonMobil, once government officials were alerted in 1988 by the broader scientific community that global warming was occurring and was a global crisis, changed course and funded climate denial, delaying and weakening climate action and nascent climate policies. Exxon’s current CEO, Rex Tillerson, claims that global warming’s effects are exaggerated and won’t be that bad for humanity. The Los Angeles Times has used some of the same archival material to come to similar conclusions as has ICN.
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