Report: ExxonMobil Predicted Climate Change

A study published in the journal Science on Thursday revealed that oil giant ExxonMobil accurately forecast global warming dating back to the 1970s while publicly downplaying the impacts.

Report: ExxonMobil Predicted Climate Change
Image credit: npr

Facts

  • A study published in the journal Science on Thursday revealed that oil giant ExxonMobil accurately forecast global warming dating back to the 1970s while publicly downplaying the impacts.
  • In 2015, journalists discovered internal company documents which were used in the study. A company memo from the late 1970s stated Exxon’s fossil fuel products could lead to global warming with “dramatic environmental effects before the year 2050.”
  • ExxonMobil used over a dozen different computer models to forecast climate trends, many of which yielded equal or greater precision in their projections compared to government or academic scientists.
  • Despite years of internal forecasts, then-Exxon CEO Lee Raymond in 1999 insisted that climate projections were based on unproven models and were essentially speculation. His successor echoed the sentiment in 2013 calling the models “not competent.”
  • The lead author of the study Geoffrey Supran — a University of Miami professor — called the findings a “smoking gun,” confirming speculation that Exxon knew about climate change while misleading the public.
  • Exxon faces more than 20 lawsuits from various states and local governments for climate-related damages. Company spokesman Todd Spitler says those who claim "'Exxon Knew' are wrong in their conclusions," adding that "ExxonMobil's understanding of climate science has developed along with that of the broader scientific community."

Sources: Al Jazeera, Science, Associated Press, BBC News, and NPR Online News.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Crucial Years. While most people had an idea that ExxonMobil knew about the crisis and swept it under the rug, this new study reveals the depth of the oil giant’s complicity. ExxonMobil blatantly lied despite having some of the most accurate climate predictions recorded. Exxon must be held accountable and forced to pay for the irreparable harm it has done to our planet for the sake of profits.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by ExxonMobil. Activist groups and media have been misleading the public for years with their so-called “#ExxonKnew” campaign. Many flawed and false reports have come out trying to delegitimize ExxonMobile and its commitment to counteracting climate change. Nefarious actors are out in full force, and their reports are inaccurate.