In 2015 Inside Climate News and Los Angeles Times partnered with Columbia Journalism School did independent investigations into ExxonMobil, analyzing different sources and both uncovered the same conclusion which was that ExxonMobil was aware of climate change decades ago and did everything they could to oppose climate change science and efforts to address climate change.
Bill Mckibben, wrote in a Guardian article:
“To be specific:
- By 1978 Exxon’s senior scientists were telling top management that climate change was real, caused by man, and would raise global temperatures by 2-3C this century, which was pretty much spot-on.
- By the early 1980s they’d validated these findings with shipborne measurements of CO2 (they outfitted a giant tanker with carbon sensors for a research voyage) and with computer models that showed precisely what was coming. As the head of one key lab at Exxon Research wrote to his superiors, there was “unanimous agreement in the scientific community that a temperature increase of this magnitude would bring about significant changes in the earth’s climate, including rainfall distribution and alterations in the biosphere”.
- And by the early 1990s their researchers studying the possibility for new exploration in the Arctic were well aware that human-induced climate change was melting the poles. Indeed, they used that knowledge to plan their strategy, reporting that soon the Beaufort Sea would be ice-free as much as five months a year instead of the historic two. Greenhouse gases are rising “due to the burning of fossil fuels,” a key Exxon researcher told an audience of engineers at a conference in 1991. “Nobody disputes this fact.”
But of course Exxon did dispute that fact. Not inside the company, where they used their knowledge to buy oil leases in the areas they knew would melt, but outside, where they used their political and financial might to make sure no one took climate change seriously.”
Since the late 1990s Exxon has spent $30 million organizing nationwide campaigns designed to instill doubt, borrowing tactics and personnel from the tobacco industry’s similar fight. They funded “institutes” devoted to outright climate denial. They spent over 60 million lobbying Congress and were integral in getting the Bush administration to back out of the Kyoto Agreement.