Shell and Exxon's secret 1980s climate change warnings
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: September 30th, 2018
Recently, secret documents have been unearthed detailing what the energy industry knew about the links between their products and global warming. In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2060, CO2 levels would reach around 560 parts per million double the preindustrial level and that this would push the planets average temperatures up by about 2C over then-current levels. in 1988, an internal report by Shell projected similar effects but also found that CO2 could double even earlier, by 2030. Privately, these companies did not dispute the links between their products, global warming, and ecological calamity. On the contrary, their research confirmed the connections. The effect is all the more chilling in view of the oil giants refusal to warn the public about the damage that their own researchers predicted. Although the details of global warming were foreign to most people in the 1980s, among the few who had a better idea than most were the companies contributing the most to it. Despite scientific uncertainties, the bottom line was this: oil firms recognized that their products added CO2 to the atmosphere, understood that this would lead to warming, and calculated the likely consequences. And then they chose to accept those risks on our behalf, at our expense, and without our knowledge.