If you haven’t yet heard, some members of congress (Democrats, of course) recently decided to request a formal investigation into the shady activities of Exxon Mobil after the company failed to disclose a wealth of valuable data and information related to climate change. Exxon researched the subject and acted contrary to its findings while also publicly dismissing the science as murky and unreliable. As usual, half the country thinks Exxon should pay the price. The other half remains in steadfast denial.
This revelation comes from a series of investigations by Inside Climate News, the Los Angeles Times, and Columbia University’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project.
According to the LA Times article, the entire debacle began in the 90s when a shareholder fearing the lasting effects of climate change asked Exxon’s board to make preparations to reduce carbon emissions. The board’s response was fairly typical: research the effects of carbon emissions on the environment, come to all the same predictable conclusions that climate change scientists have been telling us about for years, and then lie to the public about the results.
Even as the company deceived the rest of the world, it used the researched projections to make a different kind of preparation: figuring out how it could best adapt in a world with a warming climate. If your first thought is, why, reduce carbon emissions! You’d be wrong.
The company actually found a number of ways a warming climate could help boost the company’s prosperity.
For example, senior ice researcher for Exxon’s Canadian subsidiary, Ken Croasdale, admitted the company wasn’t only interested in the negative impacts of global climate change: “potential global warming can only help lower exploration and development costs.” This would make it easier for Exxon Mobil to find new drilling locations and turn a larger profit.
Richard Keil, a spokesman for Exxon dismissed the criticisms:
“We unequivocally reject allegations contained in the letter to Atty. Gen. Lynch from Reps. Lieu and DeSaulnier. Suggestions that Exxon Mobil suppressed its climate research are completely without merit.”
We’ll know soon enough, now won’t we?