Shell and Exxon's secret 1980s climate change warnings

exxon_again_plus_shell Hey ho, this again. The current retread is in The Graun:
In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2060, CO2 levels would reach around 560 parts per million – double the preindustrial level – and that this would push the planet’s average temperatures up by about 2°C over then-current levels (and even more compared to pre-industrial levels)... For its part, Exxon warned of “potentially catastrophic events that must be considered.” Like Shell’s experts, Exxon’s scientists predicted devastating sea-level rise, and warned that the American Midwest and other parts of the world could become desert-like. Looking on the bright side, the company expressed its confidence that “this problem is not as significant to mankind as a nuclear holocaust or world famine.”
But we all know that the devil can cherry-pick scripture to his own purposes. and although this is byelined "Newly found documents" I don't think there is anything new here; this is The oil industry knew about climate change long before the American public did? all over again. Following my previous lazy post, I get to ask: can anyone else see anything new in this?

I haven't bothered read it all. The para I've included as an image is the last para from the summary section of the 1982 Memo to Exxon Management about CO2 Greenhouse Effect. It doesn't support them knowing anything terribly exciting, which is about right for 1982.

Why bang on about this? Well, the Graun is banging on about it in the absence of any real news I suppose. I'm banging on about it in the hope they can just drop this nonsense and talk about reality instead, because that's the only way we can hope to make some progress.


* Confessions of a former carbon tax skeptic by Josiah Neeley.
ExxonMobil agrees to join oil and gas climate change alliance (the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OCGI)).
* Exxon thoughts in response to being misinterpreted.


Frank Rosser said...

I like the "lets wait and see" conclusion in the report - well the report would say that, wouldn't it? I agree, nothing new in this.

Andy Mitchell said...

The industry is out there looking for more fossil fuels to exploit, even though we know we cannot burn all current proven reserves. So yeah, it seems to be part of a very black comedy.

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

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Andy Mitchell said...

This is an excellent point. Asimov's laws of robotics are remarkably silent on spam.

William M. Connolley said...

Pfft, at least here you don't need to load unsafe scripts in order to see the comments...