A new investigation shows the oil company understood the science before it became a public issue and spent millions to promote misinformation
By 1989 the company had helped create the Global Climate Coalition (disbanded in 2002) to question the scientific basis for concern about climate change. It also helped to prevent the U.S. from signing the international treaty on climate known as the Kyoto Protocol in 1998 to control greenhouse gases. Exxon’s tactic not only worked on the U.S. but also stopped other countries, such as China and India, from signing the treaty. At that point, “a lot of things unraveled,” Oreskes says.
Phi Beta Iota: Exxon is one of the greatest companies on the planet, with the power to do great good. Like the US Government, it chose the wrong path, sacrificing intelligence (decision-support) and integrity in the quest for short-term profits for the few over long-term wealth for the many. It is never too late for major organizations to come to their senses. Exxon has the power, for example, to not only radically accelerate the draw down on fossil fuels and the creation of a decentalized renewables energy grid, but to also dominate both the water desalination business and the open source everything engineering businesses.