Oil Companies Lying to You

Jan 17, 2023

Aaron Dunbar

Letter to the Editor Marietta Times

“On January 12th, the New York Times published an article entitled “Exxon Scientists Predicted Global Warming, Even as Company Cast Doubts, Study Finds.”

I was actually quite perplexed by this. I had frankly assumed Exxon’s culpability was common knowledge by this point, having myself learned about the fossil fuel industry’s subterfuge on the climate crisis through Naomi Oreskes’s excellent 2010 book “Merchants of Doubt,” not to mention the subsequent #ExxonKnew allegations that have only intensified alongside the ever-worsening effects of global warming.

However, a new study headed by Oreskes herself, along with others, has more recently quantified just how brazenly oil giants like Exxon have spent decades lying to our faces about the heating of the planet, and the catastrophic impact that is now guaranteed to ensue.

Analyzing records from Exxon scientists between the years 1977 and 2003, researchers found that “their projections were as accurate, and sometimes even more so, as those of independent academic and government models.”

Think about that for a moment. One of the most powerful companies on the planet has known for decades on end that the product they sell people is killing us– and has, in fact, known it with greater surety than those who have spent just as long trying to sound the alarm and stop us from destroying ourselves.

And yet in spite of this knowledge, Exxon has during this same period established the Global Climate Coalition to prevent the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, become a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council in order to prevent state and federal action on climate change, and funded think tanks to co-publish fraudulent “research papers” and petitions, allegedly signed, among others, by fictional characters from the hit television series M.A.S.H. (and yes, this is every bit as insane as it sounds.)

They’ve hired con artists who once represented the tobacco industry to trick the public into believing there’s uncertainty about the reality of climate change, spent millions upon millions of dollars lobbying against emissions regulations, bought off politicians as well as positions of political power, and done just about everything humanly possible to keep us from ending our dependence on a deadly fuel source that might well bring about the collapse of civilization.

And they knew. All this time they lied straight to our faces, and they knew.

There’s a good chance that if you’re reading all of this right now thinking that it’s some sort of far left communist propaganda, Exxon and its campaign of mass deceit are almost certainly responsible for you viewing the issue of climate change in the way that you do.

So the next time some oil and gas stooge or their right wing cronies on TV and in the newspapers tell you that climate change is a hoax, or that they have some miracle solution to the climate crisis that somehow doesn’t involve eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels, just remember: they lied to you. They sold all of us the greatest lie ever told in the history of humankind, and they will keep on doing it for as long as we keep letting them.”