Exxon Knew All About The Environmental Cost of Fossil Fuel Burning
The fact that researchers at Exxon knew about the ill effects of fossil fuel burning and the consequent rise in global temperature is not the latest news. However, new research, now, throws light on the accuracy of the global warming prediction made by Exxon. Exxon had quantitative knowledge about the rate of global warming due to the burning of fossil fuel.
Authors G.Supran, S.Rahmstorf, and N.Oreskes did a thorough analysis of what the oil company knew and compared it with the data available during the same period. The authors reveal that researchers at Exxon came up with their models of the rise in global warming, and the forecast presented by those models was in line with the data published by independent researchers and government agencies.
The report published in the Science Journal is the latest in a series of reports that hint at the fact that Exxon scientists kept on warming the company about the effects of fossil fuel on the atmosphere and its role in increasing global warming.
A report published on Skeptical Science revealed that Exxon researchers predicted that by 2019 CO2 level would rise to 418 ppm. The forecast was eerily accurate. The actual level in 2019 was around 410 to 415 ppm. The same report reveals how Exxon funded the Cato Institute which tried to discredit NASA scientist James Hansen’s famous testimony about 1988 being the warmest year in recorded history and how the greenhouse effect could trigger a climate disaster.
What The Latest Report Says
In essence, the researchers went on to analyse 100 reports prepared by Exxon scientists during the 1970s and 1980s. From these reports, they selected 12 reports containing predictions on the increase of CO2 and global temperature. The predictions were made in the form of statistical models. The researchers compared these statistical models with related models of other independent and government entities and correlated the prediction with the actual current state of the climate.
The researchers have found that 63% to 83% of climate projection reports made by Exxon scientists were statistically consistent with similar reports published by other, more trustworthy agencies. The researchers specifically mention that the reports presented by Exxon scientists were in line with the projections made by government and scientific organisations.
The researchers for the time quantified what Exxon knew about the effects of burning fossil fuel. The latest research reveals that the oil and gas giant was aware of the fact that the growth of fossil fuel usage would heat the planet by 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade.
The second part of this new report explains how Exxon / Exxon Mobil went against their scientists and over-inflated the uncertainty among climate scientists. Way back in 2000, Lee Raymond, the then CEO of Exxon Mobil claimed that “we” did not have enough knowledge about climate change and natural phenomena like a volcanic eruptions, solar activity or El Nino acted as noise thereby limiting the researchers from accurately ascertaining whether fossil fuel consumption would lead to climate change.
Such misleading PR campaigns continued until as late as 2010. The latest research, therefore, accurately reveals that what Exxon knew and what Exxon said had no consistency between them.