Exxon Knew About Climate Change Since 1981, Continued To Fund Junk Science

Lenny Bernstein, a climate expert with oil giant ExxonMobil for 30 years, recently revealed concerns over high presence of carbon dioxide in enormous gas field in south-east Asia factored into decision not to tap it. It seems that ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company and Republican sugar daddy, knew about climate change  since 1981. According to an email from one of the firm’s own scientists. the company that would sooner poison a kiddie wading pool than accept basic regulations protecting the environment, knew about it seven years before it became a public issue.

But giving a crap about clean air is bad for your CEO’s golden parachute and prohibitive pay, so naturally Exxon had to spend millions over the next 27 years promoting climate-change denying junk science.

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“Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia,” Lenny Bernstein, a 30-year industry veteran and Exxon’s former in-house climate expert, wrote in the email. “This is an immense reserve of natural gas, but it is 70% CBU2,” or carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change. (The Guardian)

But Exxon’s public position was to continuously stick their head in the tar sand and flout the dangers of climate change, even in response to appeals from the Rockefellers , its founding family, and its continued financial support for climate denial.  Exxon has spent more than $30m on “think tanks” and “researchers” that promoted climate denial, according to Greenpeace. In other words, a gas station attendant at one of its stations.

And, not surprisingly, Exxon tried to wiggle its way out.

“The science in 1981 on this subject was in the very, very early days and there was considerable division of opinion,” Richard Keil, an Exxon spokesman, said. “There was nobody you could have gone to in 1981 or 1984 who would have said whether it was real or not. Nobody could provide a definitive answer.” (Raw Story)

Click here or a full text of Lenny Bernstein’s email.

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Featured image via disinfo.com and courtesy of Union of Concerned Scientists, 2015

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