Yet more Exxonknew drivel

evil Only this time it is #humbleknew, not such a popular tag. But, addd to the Wiki Exxon page, because people like their drivel to be in visited places. And the drivel was:

Prior to its purchase by Exxon, Humble Oil had conducted a study titled "Radiocarbon Evidence on the Dilution of Atmospheric and Oceanic Carbon by Carbon from Fossil Fuels" in 1957.  The report warned that rising carbon dioxide levels as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels would result in increases in temperature at the Earth’s surface and that significant increases in temperature could have numerous consequences, including causing ice caps to melt, sea levels to rise and oceans to warm. Unfortunately for humanity, this report was consequently hidden from the government or public, so that Humble Oil, and later Exxon could increase their profits.<ref>https://www.ucsusa.org/about/news/new-evidence-reveals-fossil-fuel-industry-funded-cutting-edge-climate-science-research</ref>

The "Unfortunately for humanity..." obviously fails NPOV and got removed; but the rest was left, because poeple tend to trust people; and who can actually be bothered to read sources nowadays? But if you look at the UCS report, none of the text is justified, apart from the title of the report. And if you read back a little, the title of the 1957 doc gives you a hint why. I've removed it now, BTW.

The text of the report is available from https://www.smokeandfumes.org/documents/7. If you go there, S+F will "helpfully" put up a popup telling you that This 1957 study conclusively demonstrates that, by no later than the 1950s, Humble Oil (now ExxonMobil) was aware of climate risks and actively engaging in climate science, just in case you're not able to think for yourself. But if you the report itself, it is dull (well, to me). It is about exactly what the title says: Radiocarbon Evidence on the Dilution of Atmospheric and Oceanic Carbon by Carbon from Fossil Fuels. And... it is in Transactions of the AGU; i.e., fully public. So once again, there were no secrets, and the correct hashtag is #everyoneknew. The UCS doesn't actually say the dox were sekrit, but it does do its best to imply so, breathlessly: A trove of documents released today by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) reveals that..insideclimatenews does lie to us, asserting it shows that the risks of climate change were being discussed in the inner circles of the oil industry earlier than previously documented but that is bollox: just because they did some research does not show that anyone at the top much cared.

Update 2021/11: I find The state of the science at the time (say, the mid 1970’s), based on reading the papers is, in summary: “…we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate…” (which is taken directly from NAS, 1975). In a bit more detail, people were aware of various forcing mechanisms – the ice age cycle; CO2 warming; aerosol cooling – but didn’t know which would be dominant in the near future. By the end of the 1970’s, though, it had become clear that CO2 warming would probably be dominant; that conclusion has subsequently strengthened at https://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/the-global-cooling-myth/


If you’re a climate or energy researcher, chances are the fossil fuel industry owns you?

Early oil industry knowledge of CO2 and global warming?

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

What Exxon Knew and When, round three?

Yet more Exxon drivel (includes more people lying about the 1957 report)

What’s the Least Bad Way to Cool the Planet?


Anteros said...

Obviously I was somewhat surprised to visit the Exxon wiki page to find the quote almost entirely vanished. Took me a moment to ascertain that you'd vanished it yourself. Well done.
I read most of the UCS link but found it too painful to finish.

Arbitrary question that could have better fitted your previous post - "What does a Carbon Tax enthusiast do when it looks like there is zero chance of a carbon tax being implemented?"

I ask because it seems to me that such a tax is only going to be even vaguely effective if it covers a goodly proportion of the worlds carbon emissions. And I don't see that happening - at all.

So, do I continue, like Timmy, to jump up and down repeating that "The answer is a Carbon Tax! Problem solved!" Or think of advocating something else which may be suboptimal but has some sliver of a chance of being implemented. I've no idea of what that would be, but still, it feels odd to be only advocating something that I don't ever see happening.

William M. Connolley said...

I've updated the post to avoid your confusion happening to anyone else.

> What does a Carbon Tax enthusiast do when...

This is a reasonable question, that I've asked myself quite often recently. The answer depends on whether you think you're likely to have any influence on the currents of world opinion or not; and I have reluctantly admitted to myself that the answer is Not, so I'm free to argue for Purity. I don't mean that quite entirely because I'm pretty sure I've slagged people off for Purity before; but I distiguish my in-current-world-unlikely purity from others not-in-any-world purity.

There is a Confucian quote which I can't find about how, in troubled times when govt grows oppressive, the superior man retires to seclusion :-)


They won't get around to blaming GHG release on The Authority until the final season of His Dark Materials