Exclusive: GM, Ford knew about climate change 50 years ago?

tempt The latest installment in a long line of bollox. E&E News breathlessly tells us that Scientists at two of America's biggest automakers knew as early as the 1960s that car emissions caused climate change, a monthslong investigation by E&E News has found.

Can they really prove this? Of course: In a 1975 paper in Science, she asserted that aerosols caused "heating of the atmosphere near the poles... published in the Journal of Applied Meteorology in 1979. It focused on albedo, or the measure of how well a surface reflects sunlight. Their second paper, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research in 1981, explored "increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide." Or perhaps you prefer: Before arriving at Ford, Plass had published a series of eye-grabbing pieces on the climate, including a 1956 article in the magazine American Scientist titled "Carbon Dioxide and the Climate" and a 1956 paper in the journal Tellus titled "The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change." And so on. In case you should think that these papers were ignored - and therefore the auto-makers, who, errm, sponsored them before they employed these people, errrm, had some kind of inside track, E&E helpfully destroys its own case by noting that Plass' findings reached the highest levels of the U.S. scientific community.

Yup, you read that right: their evidence was that they published public research papers. In other words, the "GM, Ford knew", with its implication (actually, more than an implication: E&E lies directly: More than two decades after GM and Ford privately confirmed the dangers of climate change...) of sekrit knowledge, is utter drivel: whatever they knew was public. This is the fruit of a months long investigation? 

All of this stuff is stupid. It is done by idiots trying to plump up their public profile, and with a future eye on lawsuits, which judging by Alsup will fall over horribly because they will learn nothing from that case. The idea that people really knew with any confidence about GW in the 1960s is obvious drivel; see previous posts; at best, you could claim that the first IPCC report in 1990 is a good date, but even that is doubtful, if you've ever read the thing. The idea that the oil companies, or anyone else, knew anything sekrit is also drivel: #everyoneknew.



* More drivel, this time a Twat from Alexandria Ocasio-CortezI’m willing to hold you accountable for lying about climate change for 30 years when you secretly knew the entire time that fossil fuels emissions would destroy our planet. Fuckwit.


Phil said...

Lying for profit is acceptable to some.

Lying for power as well.

William M. Connolley said...

Yes, but it is supposed to be the evil giant corporations doing it. Nice people like E&E News aren't supposed to. Aren't they supposed to be the guardians and watchdogs of truth? Obviously, they have freedom of speech in the usual way so they have license to lie if it suits them, but it affects their reputation, or should do.


What about 125 years ago?


Phil said...

Whataboutism doesn't remove the funding for all the climate denial.

William M. Connolley said...

RS: are you sure that's a ship? It doesn't have topgallants...

P: funding climate denial is definitely bad, and I won't crit anyone for criting that. But that isn't what the article I'm criting is about. So I think you're on the wrong track. How about offering your own opinion on the article. Is it a valuable contribution to the debate, offering fresh new opinion and insight, or is it a useless pile of dingoes kidneys?

Phil said...

The article repeats what we have known for years, and perhaps extends it back in time a little.

Not fresh insight, not useless.

Lying for profit isn't news. Denial isn't a river in Africa.


I agonized briefly before choosing ship because :

1 Calling the Lawson a schooner would make the shipping firm that built her, Coastwise Transportation , a schoonering company.

2. The Wiki lacks a page on the matrix algebra of seven masted schooner sail names


3. A lot of big 21st century tall ship rigs have switched to four courses and roller reefing

William M. Connolley said...

> http://www.oldsaltblog.com/2016/04/many-name-masts-schooner-thomas-w-lawson/

Interesting. And, don't let me pretend to any knowledge; I get my seagoing factoids from Patrick O'Brian's books.


Among my fondest memories is hours spent reading O'Brian off watch in the mizzentop of a brig running down the Windward Islands from Antigua.
You could lean back on the gannet , look across the ratlines to the main topgallant, and actually figure out what in hell he was talking about

Steve Bloom said...

AOC fan that you are, ICYMI you'll appreciate yesterday's comment to the Big Oilies: "Some of us have to live in the future you're setting on fire."