What did ExxonMobil Know and when did they know it? (Part 1)

Guest post by David Middleton

Maybe ExxonMobil should file a RICO lawsuit against the “Shukla 20”, Inside Climate, the LA Times and this gentleman…

Exxon Knew Everything There Was to Know About Climate Change by the Mid-1980s—and Denied It

And thanks to their willingness to sucker the world, the world is now a chaotic mess.

By Bill McKibben YESTERDAY 12:13 PM

A few weeks before the last great international climate conference—2009, in Copenhagen—the e-mail accounts of a few climate scientists were hacked and reviewed for incriminating evidence suggesting that global warming was a charade. Eight separate investigations later concluded that there was literally nothing to “Climategate,” save a few sentences taken completely out of context—but by that time, endless, breathless media accounts about the “scandal” had damaged the prospects for any progress at the conference.

Now, on the eve of the next global gathering in Paris this December, there’s a new scandal. But this one doesn’t come from an anonymous hacker taking a few sentences out of context. This one comes from months of careful reporting by two separate teams, one at the Pulitzer Prize–winning website Inside Climate News, and other at the Los Angeles Times (with an assist from the Columbia Journalism School). Following separate lines of evidence and document trails, they’ve reached the same bombshell conclusion: ExxonMobil, the world’s largest and most powerful oil company, knew everything there was to know about climate change by the mid-1980s, and then spent the next few decades systematically funding climate denial and lying about the state of the science.



These folks are so desperate to create a tobacco company analogy that they really must thing that the ends do justify the means.

After a cursory review of “the Pulitzer Prize–winning website Inside Climate News” and part one of their “bombshell conclusion,” I can safely conclude that Exxon didn’t know anything that wasn’t already known, published and available to the public.

Part 1: “Exxon’s Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels’ Role in Global Warming Decades Ago

At a meeting in Exxon Corporation’s headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world’s use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity.

“In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels,” Black told Exxon’s Management Committee, according to a written version he recorded later.


Exxon’s research laid the groundwork for a 1982 corporate primer on carbon dioxide and climate change prepared by its environmental affairs office. Marked “not to be distributed externally,” it contained information that “has been given wide circulation to Exxon management.” In it, the company recognized, despite the many lingering unknowns, that heading off global warming “would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion.”

Unless that happened, “there are some potentially catastrophic events that must be considered,” the primer said, citing independent experts. “Once the effects are measurable, they might not be reversible.”


The “1982 corporate primer” was sourced from publicly available materials from Arrhenius (1896) to Ehrlich & Holdren (1977) to Wang, Yung, Lacis & Hansen (1976).  It appears that Exxon relied heavily on a National Research Council publication for this primer, Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment (1979).

The closest thing to a “smoking gun” that I could find was figure 3 on page 7 of the corporate primer.  It is sort of a climate model… It’s a cartoon derived from the NRC publication…

Figure 1: Exxon's 1982 "climate model."
Figure 1: Exxon’s 1982 “climate model.”

Out of curiosity, I plotted the Mauna Loa CO2 and HadCRUT4 temperature data at the same scale and overlaid it on Exxon’s “climate model”…

Figure 2: Exxon was just as wrong as Hansen!!!
Figure 2: Exxon was just as wrong as Hansen!!!

Way back in 1982, Exxon knew what Hansen knew.  They knew that CO2 would cause nearly twice as much warming as would actually transpire over the subsequent 30 years.

I don’t know if I will follow this up with future posts… My ribs still ache from laughing at part one of this very bad joke.

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October 22, 2015 7:09 pm

Irreversible, because global greening, or something.

Reply to  probono
October 22, 2015 7:16 pm

It’s the liberals ” War on Trees ” !!!! They are trying to suffocate them !!

Reply to  probono
October 22, 2015 10:58 pm

Disagree. Here’s a sample of Exxon’s newspaper ads sowing climate science doubtcomment image

Reply to  Bevan
October 23, 2015 1:33 am

This is because THERE ARE doubts. IPCC also expresses doubts when they say that they don’t know if the climate sensitivity is as little as 1.5 degrees per CO2 concentration doubling, or 3 times as much (4.5). Do 97% of scientists agree with model projections?

Harry Passfield
Reply to  Bevan
October 23, 2015 3:21 am

Bevan, what’s so wrong with disagreeing with a hypothesis? AGW is not yet a proven theory. Scepticism is a valid POV – and should be honoured.

Reply to  Bevan
October 23, 2015 4:21 am

Maybe you should read those articles.

Reply to  Bevan
October 23, 2015 6:29 am

Telling the truth is now “sowing doubt”?

Gerry, England
Reply to  Bevan
October 23, 2015 8:24 am

Those all look like very accurate articles to me and questions that scientists would ask. You don’t get many scientists in the climate change industry though.

Reply to  Bevan
October 23, 2015 8:58 am

Good for Exxon. Wish they were still doing this.

Reg Nelson
Reply to  Bevan
October 23, 2015 12:05 pm

All of those ads are dated after the “pause” began. So it seems reasonable to question the science and the models at that point because they all predicted runaway warming, which didn’t occur.
Also, is placing an ad in newspaper now considered “systematic funding”? Seriously?

Reply to  Bevan
October 23, 2015 6:09 pm

They are totally protected by the First Amendment.

Reply to  Bevan
October 24, 2015 7:27 am

Are you sure about these adds? What newspaper were they run in?
Were they adds actually run by Mobil who frequently ran full page adds in major newspapers, and someone used the Rather approach to smear.
I don’t recall Exxon running adds like Mobil did.

Reply to  Bevan
October 24, 2015 9:37 am

Were these articles/adds? Wrong?

Reply to  Bevan
October 24, 2015 11:53 am

Isn’t the ICN article claiming all of this conspiracy stuff at Exxon happened in the 70’s and 80’s?
What do what appear to be editorial or opinion pieces have to do with that?
And since when is offering an opinion a conspiracy?
You are aware that much of what is put out about the dangerous impacts from climate change is simply opinion, right?

CC Reader
Reply to  probono
October 23, 2015 3:28 am

Dr David Evans, 22 September 2015. Project home, Next post.
States the following!
“Breaking the Intellectual Standoff
There is an intellectual standoff in climate change. Skeptics point to empirical evidence that disagrees with the climate models. Yet the climate scientists insist that their calculations showing a high sensitivity to carbon dioxide are correct — because they use well-established physics, such as spectroscopy, radiation physics, and adiabatic lapse rates.
How can well-accepted physics produce the wrong answer? “

Reply to  CC Reader
October 23, 2015 3:43 am

Simple. Anything applied incorrectly will produce an invalid result.
The ‘well-established’ portions of the inputs are unfortunately far outweighed by the unknowns and assumptions in the GCM’s.

Reply to  CC Reader
October 25, 2015 8:17 am

CC Reader October 23, 2015 at 3:28 am quotes David Evans as “…How can well-accepted physics produce the wrong answer?”
It is very simple: just leave out some relevant information and pretend you have everything that matters covered. This is precisely what they are doing. They do not mention that the atmosphere contains a number of greenhouse gases besides CO2. Among them is water vapor that is hugely important. It is left out of their Arrhenius greenhouse theory which thereby becomes invalid. Nevertheless, they use it to predict future temperatures out to the next hundred years. Small wonder that all their future temperature predictions are wrong. And have been wrong ever since Hansen introduced them in 1988. The only greenhouse theory that does take account of water vapor is MGT, the Miskolczi greenhouse theory. According to MGT, carbon dioxide and water vapor, both greenhouse gases, form an optimal joint absorption window in the IR whose optical thickness is 1.87. Miskolczi showed in 2010 that the optical thickness of the Earth’s atmosphere remains invariant when atmospheric carbon dioxide is varied. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere you are increasing its optical thickness. But as soon as this happens, water vapor gets busy fixing it. It starts to decrease, rains out, and the original optical thickness is restored. The added carbon dioxide will of course continue to absorb but the reduction of water vapor has so lowered the absorptivity of their joint window that greenhouse warming is not possible. What an outside observer now sees is that carbon dioxide is increasing but there is no parallel warming that Arrhenius would demand. And this perfectly describes the hiatus we are living through. For the last 18 years there has been no warming despite a constant addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as shown by the Keeling curve.
keeling curve..

October 22, 2015 7:11 pm

In 1982 it wasn’t called ” Climate Change “, it was called ” Glo.Bull Warming ” !!!

Dave G
Reply to  Marcus
October 22, 2015 10:46 pm

IN 1982, it was global cooling and ice age actually.

Reply to  Dave G
October 23, 2015 12:05 am

Not at my unsiversity.

Reply to  Dave G
October 23, 2015 5:30 am

Only with meteologists at my university. Global warming was not a general issue at all in 1982.

Reply to  Dave G
October 23, 2015 1:39 pm

In the 1970s; certainly, it was ‘A New Ice Age . . . . . ‘ Cooling was the thing. I was here.
Not so sure about the 80s – tho’ possibly Jethro Tull –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjvNY2zzEC8 And even that was “Live in 1980”.
I don’t think Gore-Bull warming truly established itself until the 1990s [by the time Al Gore Jr. – son of a Senator – was US VP] – not by that name, anyway.

John Robertson
October 22, 2015 7:11 pm

Fair enough.
Exxon knew as much in 1982 as we know in 2015.
A conjecture exists that adding CO2 to the atmosphere would warm the planet.
No measured manmade warming in 1982 .
No measure manmade warming in 2015.
Difference ?
33 years more evidence of no correlation, never mind causation.

Reply to  David Middleton
October 22, 2015 7:58 pm

Is that akin to “if you can’t explain the pause, you can’t explain the cause”?

D.J. Hawkins
Reply to  David Middleton
October 23, 2015 8:31 am

OK, you win the thread for this one. I am so going to steal this line.

October 22, 2015 7:24 pm

So basically Santa is real?
I’m so conflicted now. Should I pack my children’s stockings full of coal or candy when they’re bad?

Reply to  dog
October 22, 2015 8:02 pm

Jeez dog, maybe natural gas is the most cost-effective nowadays.

October 22, 2015 7:26 pm

Even the Joker is clapping at this one!

Ha ha ho ho he he uh uh
“I started a … Joke … I’m not going to kill ya … I’m just going to hurt ya … really really … BAD.”

October 22, 2015 7:44 pm

Alarmists 1 Scientists competing for government funding 2 Bureaucrats with supranational ambitions (cushy U N jobs) 3 hard wired anti capitalists 4 Purveyors of windmills and solar panels 5 Merchant bankers who can see a dollar to be made shorting carbon credits 6 Misguided idealists intent on saving us from ourselves.

Russell Johnson
Reply to  D B C
October 23, 2015 5:02 am

Well said DBC. We’re witnessing an ideological war between capitalism and socialism (rebranded); global warming/climate change is one of the battles. Demonizing Exxon in the manner of tobacco companies is definitely a strategy that can pay off for big government–the judges are already in place. They want total control of all fuels so they can tax the hell out of them.
Our government hates corporations and profit because it results in dilution of government control and power. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end”. Carried to its logical conclusion–our government in its perverted pursuit of “fairness” despises liberty.

Reply to  Russell Johnson
October 23, 2015 7:30 am

You’re clearly a political hammer. The US government hates corporations? That’s why it is pushing TPP?
Not everything is a nail.

Proud Skeptic
Reply to  Russell Johnson
October 23, 2015 11:27 am

Russell! Loved you in Gilligan’s Island. Hey…did you ever nail Ginger or Maryanne?

October 22, 2015 7:50 pm

There is no evidence that humans have caused the climate to change or the Earth’s atmosphere to heat up, so I don’t know what Exxon would know in 1982, that would change that.
As an aside:
This isn’t quite on topic for this particular article, but it is on topic for the website and I don’t know whereelse to put this little item, so I’ll put it here.
I was reading the latest issue of Astronomy magazine, and ran across a “For Your Consideration” column by an author named Jeff Hester. The article was titled “Postmodernist airplanes” Subtitled: Science is not just another world view.”
The article starts off with: “These days a lot of people feel perfectly justified in rejecting scientific claims on a whim and insist that their own opinions are as valid as any scientist’s. When even National Geographic puts “The War on Science” on its cover, something is up.
Later in the article Mr. Hester writes: “The philosopher who got the important part of science right was Karl Popper. In his 1934, work, “The Logic of Scientific Discovery”, Popper said that the conerstone of science if “falsifiability”. If you haven’t tried to show that an idea is false, then you know nothing about whether it is true. What’s more, if you don’t make falsifiable predictions, then what you are doing is not science, regardless of what you may call it.”
I think Mr. Popper is correct. If you don’t challenge your own assumptions, you are not doing proper science. And it seems like to me that Mr. Hester, in quoting Mr. Popper, is perfectly describing those who are skeptical about the theory of human-caused global warming/climate change. The skeptics are just as much in the scientific tradition and anyone. Having reservations about a scientific theory is perfectly normal.
Mr. Hester concludes his article with his opinion that Climate sketics are outside the rhelm of legitimate science: “From creationism to climate change to homeopathy, there are a lot of postmodernist airplanes out there with open doors, inviting you to take a ride. Leave rationality at the door and hop on board if you like. But I don’t recommend it. Personally, I think I’ll stick with science.”
My comment: None are so blind as those who will not see. There sure are a lot of true believers in high places out there.

Reply to  TA
October 23, 2015 3:21 am

Apparently the popular narrative in science right now, or at least in the rhelm of warmists is that if you are to be a legitimate scientist, you must be atheist and anti-capitalist, or you are subject to bad thinking.

Reply to  TA
October 23, 2015 6:20 pm

I guess I should throw my degree in aeronautics out the window, and just stick to my skepticism about global warming. However, one thing I wouldn’t do is just get on a plane because computers told me it should fly, I want to see that it has had at least one real world test flight. I think that is being scientific, believing models doesn’t seem very scientific to me.

Reply to  tomwtrevor
October 24, 2015 11:59 am

I love this comment Tom.
Perhaps we should offer the delegates to COP21 a free ride to Paris on a computer modelled plane. Better yet, require that they fly on a fossil fuel free aircraft. If they object, we tell them that it works every time in the computer simulation.

October 22, 2015 7:53 pm

So next up is the Middle Eastern refugee’s are coming into the EU because of Exxon? Somebody has to pay for that, no? Or the EU could do another QE for a Trillion or so.
Paris is coming.

October 22, 2015 8:01 pm

ExxonMobil, is equal to the 30th largest country in the world by GNP (or something).
The United States economy is the engine that drives things.
You might think you can affect it, better have tried.
(there is always that work around, one step ahead of the regulators ).
They are persistent bastards though.
Game on !!

Reply to  u.k.(us)
October 23, 2015 6:24 pm


October 22, 2015 8:22 pm

Sooo, did EXXON inspire Hansen about global warming? James Hansen was at one time so the rumours go, part of the global cooling crowd, no?

George A
October 22, 2015 8:31 pm

“ExxonMobil, the world’s largest and most powerful oil company, knew everything there was to know about climate change by the mid-1980s”
So why did we spend all those billions on climate research when we just could have hired a few of the genius ExxonMobil scientists.

Reply to  George A
October 22, 2015 10:44 pm

“knew everything there was to know about climate change by the mid-1980s”
Yet each IPCC reports states that there has been great improvement in understanding climate since the previous report. Why is that being said, if everything was known in the 1980s? (…or, how little was known in the first IPCC report, if there has been so much improvement since then…)

Reply to  AnonyMoose
October 23, 2015 1:43 am

To add new reallys. First IPCC report was saying “we think this”, the next one “we really think this”, then “we really really think this”, and so on until current’s “we really really really really think this”.
Unfortunately we are still waiting for something remotely close to “we have proven this”.

Reply to  George A
October 23, 2015 8:19 am

As an XOM lawyer in that time period (1980s) I talked to a number of our PhDs on the staff. As I recall, one of them mentioned that the geological record showed that there was a time lag between the increase in temperature and the increase in CO2 levels. That is, temperatures rose before and not after (as a consequence of) CO2 increases. I seem to recall that charts posted here also showed the same lag. QED.

Reply to  JimB
October 23, 2015 1:57 pm

Thanks – spot on.
Exactly so.
I have [I think] read here of studies suggesting a lag of 800 – my memory – years between temperature rise and CO2 rise.
IIRC – and I emphasize ‘IF’ – that is pretty solid.
So any gross temperature-rise cause from about the time of the Magna Carta – the Great Charter (of England) – of 1215 AD/CE will – roughly – now start showing up in CO2 increase.
I guess that, perhaps, there may be a few bits of the science that, actually, are not yet f u l l y settled.
[mods – that’s litotes!]

October 22, 2015 8:45 pm

And yet the “conclusions” were given wide media attention. In the USA I listened to an extensive interview about all of this on NPR. The show’s host never ask if there were alternate ways of looking at the material or came within a mile of asking a penetrating question. The narrative that oil companies are evil like tobacco companies is simple hammered home without serious analysis.
The Chevron case had it all including bought science tailored to a narrative from a previously somewhat creditable consultancy made up of specialist scientists. I believe it would do us all some good to revisit that part of the Chevron case. I don’t think that it’s a surprise to anyone that some lawyers are greedy and corrupt or that Hollywood and elements of the media are often useful idiots. It probably didn’t shock anyone that politicians mainly in New York were being tapped to bring pressure on the company to settle. It may have surprised a few people and would surprise many in the general public that the science was corrupt and that the consultancy had to admit as much.
Sheldon Whitefish and The RICO20 have raised the stakes and sharpened the battle. I am not a scientist. Perhaps if I was I would hesitate to take this fight to the streets a outrance because that’s not what serious scientists do. Understood and accepted although you may be the last people standing in a temple sacked from the inside. Those on the site with an interest in seeing the right thing done for the right reasons who are not scientists should consider a disciplined public fight built a outrance. Who after all signed the RICO20 letter aimed at criminalizing your speech. Scientists.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  troe
October 23, 2015 7:37 am

NPR is government radio. Keep that in mind and you won’t be disappointed when they fail to deliver the truth.

October 22, 2015 8:48 pm
Reply to  Rafe Champion
October 22, 2015 9:39 pm

And you were equally afraid to tell me.
I’ll never click a link unless there is some kind of introduction as to its content, fyi.

October 22, 2015 9:16 pm

Well the evidence that Exxon’s execs knew they were destroying the world is actually pretty strong. In fact, does anyone have any other explanation for them building all those massive mansions for themselves and their families in far northern communities? Just down the street from Al Gore’s place?

Reply to  davidmhoffer
October 22, 2015 10:40 pm

We can all hope for redistributive change. It’s a cyclical thing. Chaotic, really. As each life individually and together is unpredictable outside of a limited frame of reference (i.e. scientific domain). Still, there are some common attractors or convergent interests that enable us to marginally improve accuracy. Power, pleasure, and leisure are notable focal points for virtually all human beings.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
October 23, 2015 4:17 am

You’re kidding right? Executives building houses in the North is proof of destroying the world? Does the world no longer include New England or Canada? I guess Alaska must be really safe.

Reply to  Alx
October 23, 2015 9:53 am

Wow, did you miss the point.
The point is that NONE of the people who supposedly KNOW, with CERTAINTY what the outcome of global warming is are doing ANYTHING to protect themselves or their families from the doom they claim is upon us any day now. If you knew that the house you were living in was going to sink into the swamp and kill everyone in it TONIGHT would you just put the kids to bed and kiss your wife good night? Of course not.
Perhaps a sarcasm tag would have helped, but I regard sarcasm requiring a label to identify it as simply being poorly written.

October 22, 2015 9:58 pm

Here’s a question for anyone to answer. I just made this comment at Jennifer Marohasy’s blog.
In the book “Taxing Air” the authors tell us that the IPCC prefers the Had 4 temp data. I’ve tried this before, but can anyone tell me why the alarmists get a free pass trumpeting their so called CAGW? Here’s the 3 warming trends used by Phil Jones in the 2010 BBC interview, but I’ve extended the 1910 to 1940 trend to 1945. That’s 36 years (inclusive), so the 2 early trends shown here are 1860 to 1880 and 1910 to 1945. Both are clearly before the 1950 impact from human co2 emissions.
The later warming trend is from 1975 to 1998 and should be impacted by extra co2 emissions. Please can anyone tell me the difference in the last warming trend? It looks very similar to me and Jones agreed that there was no SS difference during the interview.

Reply to  Neville
October 23, 2015 2:16 pm

Each set of warming decades starts and ends (or pauses) at a higher temperature than the previous. That suggests some long-term warming pressure at work. What is it? We don’t know rising GHG concentrations is the major cause. But unless scientists identify an alternative warming mechanism operating over the same time span, GHG forcing is a reasonable candidate (especially as a non-negligible contributing factor). That there is no correlation between CO2 and warming on decadal scales does not refute AGW, which does not deny the role of natural variability (even if the IPCC overestimates the role of GHG forcing). Similarly, the fact that the slopes of three warming episodes are identical doesn’t refute AGW unless continual acceleration is a necessary attribute or “fingerprint” of GHG-induced warming. Some AGW models project accelerating warming, but that, I think, is due to feedback assumptions, not to assumptions about GHG-forcing per se. Happy to be corrected on the foregoing if I got anything wrong.

Reply to  marlolewisjr
October 23, 2015 3:52 pm

I don’t think you’ve got it wrong.
There have been even warmer periods in the last 2000 years.
And from all I’ve read nothing BAD happened…one must take this statement seriously…
…in those periods the world “progressed”…even though ‘bad’ was happening.
But the GOOD is now with us…
The world is greening because of added CO2 in the atmosphere.
Because of added photosynthesis Homo sapiens is benefitting.
“Everything” seems to be better…
We should be promoting more CO2, not taxing it…paying, instead.
Vern Cornell…San Diego

Reply to  marlolewisjr
October 24, 2015 12:06 pm

I find this to be very reasonable. Probably why I’d be classified as a lukewarmer. I also agree with Vern that nothing in this hypothesis points to anything “bad”.

David the Voter
October 22, 2015 10:25 pm

Sounds like bullshit to me.

October 22, 2015 10:34 pm

Unlike “green” technologies, where only the driver is green, and the technology has a gray to black impact on the environment throughout its lifetime from recovery to reclamation, ironically, oil is one of the few green sources of energy, that is both environmentally productive (e.g. basic nutrient in some ecosystems), and may be renewable (either through production or recycling).
Perhaps each energy source and conversion technology should be considered in context, free of politically-motivated science (e.g. social consensus) and special interests (e.g. “green” industry, oil industry, etc.).

Nigel S
October 23, 2015 12:05 am

I’m getting confused. Have we all won a Pulitzer prize too?

Chris Hanley
October 23, 2015 12:07 am

This is what the NH and by extension the global av. temperature looked like in the late ‘70s:
Assuming back then they were aware of CO2 concentration fluctuations in the ice core records and that the Law Dome proxy estimate of the CO2 concentration in 1880 was ~285 ppm increasing more or less monotonically since, what on Earth did they think would cause the global av. temperature to suddenly take off like a 787 Dreamliner at 340 ppm?comment image

Reply to  David Middleton
October 23, 2015 4:35 am
October 23, 2015 12:11 am

And figure 2 is based on HadCrut warming trend manipulated data
The ONLY actual warming from 1980 to 2015 is the 0.26C from the big El Nino centred around 1998
So they knew even less than they knew.

Lewis P Buckingham
Reply to  AndyG55
October 23, 2015 12:52 am

Exactly, they ‘knew’ something which did not happen.

Village Idiot
October 23, 2015 1:09 am

“These folks are so desperate to create a tobacco company analogy….”
To be sure, there are similar amounts of smoke being created in both cases – climate and tobacco. But as with the case of tobacco, the obfuscating smoke will clear eventually to reveal was generating it…..

Reply to  Village Idiot
October 23, 2015 3:34 pm

Is that all it takes to get you to come out of the weeds.
The mention of tobacco.
That’s curious !!

October 23, 2015 1:16 am

“Way back in 1982, Exxon knew what Hansen knew. They knew that CO2 would cause nearly twice as much warming as would actually transpire over the subsequent 30 years.”
A few inverted commas or asterisks would make the point clearer –
“Way back in 1982, Exxon *knew* what Hansen *knew*. They *knew* that CO2 would cause nearly twice as much warming as would actually transpire over the subsequent 30 years.

October 23, 2015 2:04 am

Right. So ExxonMobil managed for next to nothing, years ago something that climate scientists with tens of billions at their disposal haven’t been able to in twenty five years. They categorically and unambiguously settled the science behind AGW. Seems reasonable 😀

October 23, 2015 3:12 am

Big business is constantly trying to gauge the development of public policy, public opinion, current developments in science, etc.
Obviously. Since they are trying to stay ahead of the game. And, often, they find opportunities to lobby regulatory interventions that serve their own interests.
That is why companies must stay up to date with ideas that develop in wider society and science.
No surprise then, that Exxon was been presented with a run-down of the “theory” of CO2 induced global warming.
So who is surprised by this, and why?

October 23, 2015 3:13 am

It would seem reasonable to expect that Exxon had many, many scientists working for the firm in 1982. These scientists were not expected to toe a party line but to tell the truth as far as could be determined. I suspect many of them told management that the CO2 scare was BS.
They may even have had geologists working for them that knew that nothing unusual was happening and that CO2 had been much higher in times past. Some might even have mentioned the Standard Atmosphere developed during the space race with the USSR which had no ratitive component at all.
Heck, perhaps some of them even knew the laws of thermodynamics and told management that little Jimmy Hansen was a crank. Some might have mentioned that a slide into a new cold period was much more likely given what we know of the length of interglacial periods.
Note : I hate iPads but must use this spelling crippled device at the moment. 😡

October 23, 2015 3:27 am

OT… Calling all Aussies.
All Ex-Liberal voters MUST MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE that Turnbull NEVER gets elected as PM. !!
Even if it means putting Shorten/Labor in for 3 years. !!

October 23, 2015 4:18 am

I’m with you Andy.

October 23, 2015 6:36 am

Another big corporation, also “knew” the climate future, and worked to take economic advantage of it – Ken Lay / Enron excited about cap-n-trade. Lay previously had experience in Dept of Interior, so he knew a thing or two about govt regulation…

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
October 23, 2015 6:40 am

Technically, Enron (Ken Lay and his “creative” oil-and-gas manipulators) DESIGNED the carbon trading methodolgy and sources and political foundations.

31 trillion a year moving from financial institute to government to government to financial institution to government in carbon trading money, plus 1.3 trillion a year in new taxes to the government, plus 800 billion a year in new “designated and directed” government “freebates” to its chosen few voters and donors buys a lot of government “self-called” scientists. And thousands of peer-reviewed papers, doesn’t it?

Reply to  RACookPE1978
October 23, 2015 3:52 pm

Not saying you’re wrong, but when you start talking trillions… ears perk up.
Specially, those that might get a piece of that pie.

October 23, 2015 6:43 am

@ David Middleton October 23, 2015 at 4:33 am
Not my recollection.

Walt D.
October 23, 2015 6:54 am

The clock hath stricken three. Julius Caesar, Act 2 Scene 1
There were no clocks in Rome during the reign of Julius Caesar.
1) Global Warming did not become an active issue until after the fall of the old USSR in 1989.
2) Climate Change was not talked about until the 21st Century when it became apparent that “Global Warming” was not taking place according to plan.
Bill McKibben is guilty of an anachronism.

Nigel Harris
Reply to  Walt D.
October 23, 2015 7:13 am

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was drafted in 1992. They did not invent the term “Climate Change”.

October 23, 2015 8:39 am

I love the phrase from McKibben’s article: “…according to a written version he recorded later.”
So James Black (who died in 1988) supposedly had a “detailed set of slides” from which he presented “without a text”. He then recorded a written version later. The slides from the meeting aren’t available. The written version recorded later is.
We are supposed to believe that this written version recorded later, by someone long dead, accurately represents what was presented in the meeting.
Doesn’t wash. Hearsay evidence (IANAL, but I watch Judge Judy). Would get laughed out of court.

Bruce Cobb
October 23, 2015 9:21 am

Classic smear campaign from known compulsive climate liar with a propensity for histrionics, Bill McKibben.

October 23, 2015 9:46 am

‘Inside Climate News’ posted these statements in ‘Exxon – the Road Not Taken’:
“”As the international community moved in 1997 to take a first step in curbing emissions with the Kyoto Protocol, Exxon’s chairman and CEO Lee Raymond argued to stop it.
“Let’s agree there’s a lot we really don’t know about how climate will change in the 21st century and beyond,” Raymond said in his speech before the World Petroleum Congress in Beijing in October 1997. “We need to understand the issue better, and fortunately, we have time,” he said. “It is highly unlikely that the temperature in the middle of the next century will be significantly affected whether policies are enacted now or 20 years from now.””
World Oil posted this statement in the recent article ‘ExxonMobil Hits Back…’
“Exxon Mobil scientists have been selected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations’ most authoritative body on the subject, as authors of their past four major assessment reports, and have contributed to National Research Council boards and committees on climate change.”
Assuming all these statements are accurate, and given the growing demand to end alarmist speculation – I think ExxonMobil’s actions have been reasonable.

October 23, 2015 10:45 am

Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
Yet another of those “proofs” that only a true fanatic would believe and that’s essentially irrelevant anyway. What Exxon believes or does isn’t really important and it’s certainly not criminal. It looks as if Exxon was using the best material available and changing as better data became available.

October 23, 2015 1:00 pm

OMG! The US Army ran simulated exercises for dealing with a zombie apocalypse! THEY KNEW, MAN! ZOMBIES ARE REAL!
Or, they just run an awful lot of simulations, some plausible, some… less plausible.

James at 48
October 23, 2015 2:04 pm

McKibben would fail as a sleuth. The actual conspiracy was energy monopolies funding junk science to hype “the climate change danger” so they could sucker people into going for (far more expensive than fossil fuels) so called “renewable energy” sources, which of course they’ve long been invested in. Just like the way Apple convinces you that you “need” an iCrud when a plain old flip phone will do.

October 23, 2015 2:06 pm

I wonder if these warmest could be liable for defamation.

October 23, 2015 3:58 pm

Exxon Knew Everything There Was to Know About Climate Change by the Mid-1980s—and Denied It
And thanks to their willingness to sucker the world, the world is now a chaotic mess.

By Bill McKibben YESTERDAY 12:13 PM

That is a conspiracy theory. Like the maddest conspiracy theorists, McKibben will not recognize it, as he has a monopoly on truth. It is others who fail in their perceptions of the real world.

October 28, 2015 4:56 am

Bill McKibben is composed of made up stuff all the way down- from his deliberate deception about his heritage to his cynical money hunt dressed up as climate concern.
But McKibben, and Gleick, and so many others, are the best and brightest the climate consensus have to offer. And at this point there is no reason to believe they will not prevail.

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