Exxon Knew of Climate Change in 1981, But Funded Deniers 27 More Years

"ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.

The email from Exxon’s in-house climate expert provides evidence the company was aware of the connection between fossil fuels and climate change, and the potential for carbon-cutting regulations that could hurt its bottom line, over a generation ago – factoring that knowledge into its decision about an enormous gas field in south-east Asia. The field, off the coast of Indonesia, would have been the single largest source of global warming pollution at the time.

“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% CO2”, or carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change."

Suzanne Goldenberg reports for the Guardian July 8, 2015.


"Email Shows Exxon Was Studying Its Climate Impact in the '80s" (InsideClimate News)

"Big Oil’s Decades of Deception: Report Reveals That Exxon’S Known the Truth About Climate Science Since 1981" (Salon)

"Internal Documents Show Fossil Fuel Industry Has Been Aware of Climate Change for Decades" (Huffington Post/Union of Concerned Scientists)

Source: Guardian, 07/09/2015