NewEnergyNews: Big Oil’s Climate Crime

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    Friday, July 16, 2021

    Big Oil’s Climate Crime

    Big Oil’s lies about climate change—a climate scientist’s take

    Adam Sobel, July 9, 2021 (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

    “…[Calling fossil fuel companies’ culpability for the climate crisis crime might seem] too extreme…[because] Exxon and the others were just working within our legal, economic, and political systems to provide a commodity we all use every day. They may have known that global warming posed a risk, but people accept all kinds of risks in exchange for the many benefits of living a relatively affluent life in a modern, industrialized economy…It comes down to the scale of the harm; the willful, systematic, and sustained nature of the lying; and the leading role the climate denial movement has played in the sustained assault on democracy…

    …[T]he legal system so far seems ill-equipped to grasp it...But the moral case, at least, is clear…We know now that fossil fuel company researchers understood early on, from their own work as well as that of academic and government researchers, that warming due to human emissions of greenhouse gases posed risks at the planetary scale…[It is almost certain that economists, and consequently also politicians,] have historically grossly underestimated the sheer scale of the harm, because economics as a discipline is based on assumptions that don’t fit global-scale environmental crises…

    …[Fossil fuel executives] could argue that they have worked within the legal system…[and fulfilled] their fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value…[But they] have systematically, cynically misrepresented and suppressed the facts. Their jobs didn’t require them to do this…[and it] is well documented and widely known…And they’re still doing it: perhaps not all of them, and perhaps in some cases with different tactics, but fossil fuel companies are still funding denial groups and politicians who act on the denial agenda…Having learned that propaganda can make a decent fraction of the population believe lies on a large scale with no consequence, it’s hard for these bad actors not to keep doing it…” click here for more

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