Exxon: What did they know and when did they know it?

Did Exxon, over 30 years ago, recognize that the burning of fossil fuels would increase atmospheric CO2 and warm the planet? Take a careful look at the graph above from an Exxon research study published in 1981 and recently posted by CleanTechnica. As you can see, Exxon scientist noted the range of global temperatures due to “natural fluctuations” would remain level beyond 2100. However, they discovered that continued release of CO2 into the atmosphere would warm the planet much above the normal historical baseline.

Instead of acting on their results and investigating alternative energy sources, Exxon began denying humans were warming the planet and obstructed corrective measures. As reported by The Guardian:

Exxon channeled about $30m to researchers and activist groups promoting disinformation about global warming over the years, according to a tally kept by the campaign group Greenpeace. But the oil company pledged to stop such funding in 2007, in response to pressure from shareholder activists.

Despite the pledge, ExxonMobile (Exxon & Mobil merged in 1999), continued their obstruction and “gave more than $2.3m to members of Congress and a corporate lobbying group that deny climate change and block efforts to fight climate change – eight years after pledging to stop its funding of climate denial.”