New York Times thinks we have “lost the Earth” – goes full nutso on #ExxonKnew

By Spencer Walrath, Energy In Depth

The New York Times Magazine has published an entire issue devoted to a single investigative piece on climate change, which observes that by the late 1970s and early 1980s, “everybody knew” it was happening. The conclusion is a major blow to climate activists, who have spent years engaging in a political campaign targeting energy companies for supposedly covering up the risks of climate change, and thus preventing global action.

The author, Nathaniel Rich, writes that from 1979 to 1989 humanity had the best opportunity it has ever had to solve global warming and that “nothing stood in our way – nothing except ourselves.” Rich even goes as far as to say that “[a] common boogeyman today is the fossil-fuel industry,” but during the time when “everybody knew,” oil companies “including Exxon and Shell, made good-faith efforts to understand the scope of the crisis and grapple with possible solutions.”

This lengthy report shreds the narrative put out by anti-oil and gas activists in recent years. As Rich told PBS NewsHour:

“By 1979, there was a strong consensus within the scientific community about the nature of the problem. The fundamental science hasn’t really evolved since then. It’s only been refined really. There was no politicization of the issue throughout the decade. A number of prominent Republicans were leading the charge to insist on a major climate policy, and industry, which we now blame for much of our paralysis, had not turned against science or truth and if anything, especially in the early part of the decade, was engaged in trying to understand the problem and determine solutions

“By the mid-50s, you had top government scientists speaking about the issue. You had major articles in Life Magazine and Time. So it wasn’t just industry that was following it. It was at the highest levels of government. Lyndon Johnson sent a special message to Congress in 1965 that discussed the problem.” (emphasis added)

If all of humanity was informed of the dangers of climate change in the 1970s and agreed that something needed to be done, how can activists lay the blame for global inaction at the feet of the industry and political partisanship? As Rich writes,

“The rallying cry of this multipronged legal effort is ‘Exxon Knew.’ It is incontrovertibly true that senior employees at the company that would later become Exxon, like those at most other major oil-and-gas corporations, knew about the dangers of climate change as early as the 1950s. But the automobile industry knew, too, and began conducting its own research by the early 1980s, as did the major trade groups representing the electrical grid. They all own responsibility for our current paralysis and have made it more painful than necessary. But they haven’t done it alone.

The United States government knew. Roger Revelle began serving as a Kennedy administration adviser in 1961, five years after establishing the Mauna Loa carbon-dioxide program, and every president since has debated the merits of acting on climate policy. Carter had the Charney report, Reagan had ‘Changing Climate’ and Bush had the censored testimony of James Hansen and his own public vow to solve the problem. Congress has been holding hearings for 40 years; the intelligence community has been tracking the crisis even longer.

Everybody knew. In 1958, on prime-time television, ‘The Bell Science Hour’ — one of the most popular educational film series in American history — aired ‘The Unchained Goddess,’ a film about meteorological wonders, produced by Frank Capra, a dozen years removed from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ warning that ‘man may be unwittingly changing the world’s climate’ through the release of carbon dioxide. ‘A few degrees’ rise in the Earth’s temperature would melt the polar ice caps,’ says the film’s kindly host, the bespectacled Dr. Research. ‘An inland sea would fill a good portion of the Mississippi Valley. Tourists in glass-bottomed boats would be viewing the drowned towers of Miami through 150 feet of tropical water.’ Capra’s film was shown in science classes for decades.

Everyone knew — and we all still know.” (emphasis added)

This conclusion – that #EveryoneKnew – is even supported by activists, though they haven’t yet followed their arguments to their logical conclusion.

Groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists and Greenpeace were quick to follow #ExxonKnew with #ShellKnew and #UtilitiesKnew, blaming every company they don’t like while failing to acknowledge their own amnesia on climate change. The idea that energy companies “knew everything there was to know about climate change,” as Bill McKibben likes to say, and that the rest of us didn’t know about it until James Hansen testified before Congress in 1988, “is one of the worst examples we have of the cultural amnesia of this country and especially around this issue,” Rich told NewsHour.

Confirming that Rich’s narrative is a direct threat to the multi-million-dollar campaign they have waged in recent years, anti-energy activists intensely criticized the report before it was even released.

The loudest pre-buttal came from Hunter Cutting, a director of strategic communications for Climate Nexus, a project of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The Rockefellers have funded every aspect of the #ExxonKnew campaign, and are no doubt alarmed by the New York Times contradicting the very basis for their campaign.

The activist group also condemned the story shortly after it was published.

350 dot org  @350

Maybe news to NYT, but a movement millions strong knows who’s really to blame—fossil fuel billionaires. And we sure as hell haven’t lost yet. 

For several hours after the report was released, the umbrella group for the #ExxonKnew campaign dedicated its Twitter page to criticizing Rich’s narrative and retweeting others who were scrambling to control the damage.

Rich’s story ultimately concludes that it’s too simplistic to point your finger at one company, industry, or political party for inaction on climate change, which is a complex global problem. The issue was receiving mainstream media attention and was the subject of multiple Congressional hearings in the 1970s and 1980s, long before the supposed “disinformation campaign” that environmental activists cite ever began.

It may not have been the intent of New York Times Magazine to throw cold water on a fringe environmental activists campaign, but the damage has clearly been done. The attempt at damage control from the #ExxonKnew campaign is only beginning.

Full story here


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Thomas Homer

“The fundamental science hasn’t really evolved since then [1979].”

If your science hasn’t evolved from the starting hypothesis, maybe it’s time to revisit the hypothesis.


Just more evidence that Climate Change is now fully a religion based on an affirmation of faith and the underlying dogma.


That the atmosphere would be 33 K colder without greenhouse gases is obviously wrong.

An atmosphere will increase the average global air temperature, but since don’t have air temperature without atmosphere, it also increases ground or a ocean surface average temperature.
Other elements other than an atmosphere can also increase the average global temperature, rotation will increase average temperature as will tilt of the rotation.
The insulative or conductive nature of the surface will affect the average temperature- the moon’s highly insulative surface lowers it’s average temperature. Though if Moon had atmosphere the lack conduction of heat below surface would be replaced atmospheric gas being heated. If Moon had any transparent substance whether gas or liquid, it’s highly insulative regolith would lower the average temperature less.

And Earth’s transparent oceans increase Earth’s average temperature and elements which would make the ocean less transparent will lower Earth’s average temperature.
The Earth ocean hold far more energy than the transparent atmosphere and the oceans major element increasing Earth average temperature.

There is enough ocean water to completely cover all the land with more than mile ocean above it, if Earth were completely covered with ocean so ocean was at least a mile deep, Earth’s average temperature would be higher than 15 C.
But you also have a lack of hot days- instead it would a warm and humid world with average temperature of about 25 C.
Having land surfaces allows hotter days [+40 C], but Earth’s land net effect decreases global average temperatures.
So Earth without an ocean or covered only with land, would have hot days but also cooler nights- you get hot days in summers or tropics where it is always summer, but where sun is lower on horizon [outside of tropics] days are cooler and nights are much colder.
Or currently average ocean surface is 17 C and average land is 10 C. And land is warmed by the ocean. Ocean would be warmer if not warming the land. Land would be much cooler without being warmed by the warmer ocean.
One way to reduce land cooling effect is have land be less dry- deserts are global cooling effect, and irrigating the Sahara desert would be global warming effect.


In 1979 I sat in on a presentation based upon planetary orbits and resultant volcanism that predicted global cooling. Can’t remember the professor’s name but he was nationally known. Anyone know whom I am talking about?

Pop Piasa

The fundamental science hasn’t really evolved since then, but speculation over the impacts of that science has evolved into abuse of the (now much exaggerated) fundamental premise, for purposes of implementing multiple social, political, and fiscal agendas on a global scale.
If the masses of humanity “lose the earth” it will be lost to despotic global dictatorship.

Thomas Homer

The fundamental CO2 science
has not evolved since 1896
— Co2 is a greenhouse gas.

The alleged effect of CO2
on the average temperature
is nothing more than speculation,
first publicized in the
1979 Charney Report,
and never changed since than,
in spite of no evidence that a doubling
of Co2 will cause +3 degrees C. of warming,
+/- 1.5 degrees C.


We’ve always know that the climate was changing. It’s just that the change of the change from global cooling to global warming caused many to realize that climatologist cannot predict anything with enough certainty to promulgate public policy that could do more harm than good.

Mike McMillan

A real problem is the current 60 year cycle of 30 years warm and 30 years cool. That’s a human adult lifetime. I remember the cold ’60s and ’70s, and it’s fer shure warmer now, but I don’t remember the hot dust bowl years to compare with because I wasn’t around then. My parents remembered the dust bowl, but they’re not around now.

When the government data gatekeepers alter the old records to suit their agenda, who can tell them from first hand knowledge they’re wrong?

1910 is colder now than it was in 1910, and it’s going to get even colder in the future, but the folks who read those thermometers back then aren’t able to complain.

J Mac

You got it, Mike!

Brent Hargreaves

I’m getting worried about the folks in 1910. It’s getting colder and colder according to NASA GISS records. And – sob! – it’s all the fault of wicked mankind whose very presence on Mother Earth puts her in danger. /sarc


If those temps in 1910 keep getting lower, my grandparents will get frost bite.


Human life evolves (i.e. chaotic process) from conception. Climate changes, with anthropogenic influence in a limited frame of reference. And the world goes around and around and around. NYT is last to know.

the Rockefeller Foundation funded the eugenic research in Germany and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.


And they also funded that researcher at McGill university in Canada that was connected to the MKUltra issue. Interesting that this issue was ‘investigated’ by both the Church and Rockefeller commissions.

Bet dollars to doughnuts that the Rockefeller ‘investigation’ of MKUltra was pure crap and coverup.


“which observes that by the late 1970s and early 1980s, “everybody knew” it was happening.”

CO2 theory….which is the theory of global warming…is over 100 years old
…and in 100 years, they have never gotten one prediction right


JULY 4, 1923
MacMILLAN SAILS NORTH.; Explorer Hopes to Determine Whether New “Ice Age” Is Coming.


“which observes that by the late 1970s and early 1980s, “everybody knew” it was happening.”

…everyone but the NYT it seems

New York Times May 21, 1975;
Major Cooling May be Ahead

Greg Goodman

“everybody knew” ? Well I didn’t , I’d been told we were at risk of tipping into a new “ice age” just like the rest of public being told stories by the media rewriting what “climate experts” were saying.

“everybody knew” ? barefaced lies.

J Mac

What amazes me is the persistence of this myopic modern doomsday cult. “The Climate is Changing…. and We’re the Ones Killing the Earth!” It’s the oldest pagan con game in this world! “The spirits are angry – We must appease them!” declares the Shaman. And the tribe dances and flagellates…

The Propheteers of Doom fleece the gullible ‘modern and educated’ marks to purchase their next gorebull warming financed seaside mansion… as the ‘modern and educated’ marks seek salvation in the meaningless virtue signalling penance of ‘eliminating plastic straws’ and similar drek.

As for me, I will remain a man innocent of participation in such self-delusion or any lasting detrimental effects on our Earth, for that matter.
Innocent Man – Billy Joel

Tom Gelsthorpe

“The world is coming to an end unless we throw a hundred virgins onto the bonfire,” sayeth the Shaman. So the peasants comply, and the world doesn’t end. Obviously the strategy works!


It’s a false equivalency to compare religion with science. The high tech hand-held smart-phones we are conversing with is proof (that you can actually look at) that science is real and it works.

You can’t deny just some of science. And only accept the science that you like. It doesn’t work that way.

Science is the best tool we have for finding the truth.

Btw, you don’t get to weigh in on science unless you are science literate.

Hokey Schtick

Science is so unscientific.

John Endicott

“Btw, you don’t get to weigh in on science unless you are science literate”

So that will be you shutting up then.


Not one prediction right, huh… like increased floods, fire storms and heatwaves? World-wide heatwaves? And gradually Increasing temps as the CO2 concentration has increased? These were all predicted to happen in our future 30 years ago.

There is no doubt these things are happening now. Physical measurements prove it.



You’ve been reading the MSM haven’t you? Silly boy.

“NOAA tornado data”

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“According to the MunichRe data for Europe floods, there does not appear to be much going on, other than a big spike in 2002, the year of the big Central European floods.”

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“Attempts to link the increasing economic losses from weather disasters with climate change are bedevilled with unknowable variables and bias. What we do know though is that they are reducing as a proportion of GDP:”

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Thanks to Paul Homewood for the data.

John Endicott

Not one prediction right, huh… like increased floods, fire storms and heatwaves? World-wide heatwaves? And gradually Increasing temps as the CO2 concentration has increased? These were all predicted to happen in our future 30 years ago

And that actual scientific data (as Hot Scot points out) contradicts that narrative. That you are unaware of the actual scientific data shows how scientifically illiterate you are. Now what was that someone recently said? Oh yeah “you don’t get to weigh in on science unless you are science literate”.

Alan Tomalty


Mike McMillan

In which case global warming would be beneficial.


No, the “best opportunity” was lost on March 31, 2009 when the Waxman-Markey carbon tax bill (and massive redistribution of wealth slush fund) passed the House but right before the phone lines to congressional offices caught fire with constituent rage. Dems have been in retreat in local districts ever since.


Wasn’t that when the Dems had the WH, Senate, and House?


Yes, but their switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree.

Nic Harvard

More mass hysteria.
What did everyone know? That releasing an extra few percent of various substances into the environment could affect it?
In which direction?
How much?
Would this be a mitigating or compounding effect on current trends?
Would it be beneficial or harmful?

Bit of a pointless article not addressing these

Tom Abbott

They didn’t know what the climate was going to do then, and they don’t know now.

Exxon can’t prove humans are causing the climate to change and neither can anyone else. Claiming to know, is a lie because it can’t be backed up with any evidence, now or then.

Ridiculous propaganda and lies.

This is a case of “if you repeat a lie long enough it will be percieved as the “truth”. Although, apparently most Americans and most of the other people of the world don’t believe in CAGW.

The climate change propagandists forgot one essential part of their propaganda: They failed to shut down the opposition and didn’t control the entire message. Instead, there were alternate voices who have poked holes in their CAGW nightmares.

One other reason the climate alarmists are losing this argument is they have cried climate disaster for so long without any of these disasters happening that people just tune them out anymore.


Good points, Tom, but you forgot to list the short time horizon they gave for the end of the world. I think that was a b-i-g mistake.

“By the year 2000… no wait! By 2010…. no wait! By 2020… no wait! 2030 maybe?”

The doom-mongers didn’t catch on to predicting “by 2100” before it was too late. Too many EOTWAWKI deadlines passed with nothing happening and now, in any given snowstorm, the hoi polloi can be heard making jokes about Global Warming.

‘Climate Change’ was a poor choice for a substitute because to the small percentage of ‘True Believers,’ Climate Change still means CAGW while everybody else says, “So what? Climate changes. Everybody knows that.”

P.S. I have always been a strong supporter of Global Warming because the alternative is much worse. I keep rooting for global warming but I suspect that another glaciation will occur despite my desire for the opposite.

Tom Abbott

Good points, HR. 🙂

Pop Piasa

“Losing Earth”…

One subscriber at a time.


There’s no point continuing to blame the oil companies. Every lawsuit against the oil companies has failed so far.

Continuing to try to blame the oil companies for CAGW sounds like the very definition of insanity. link


I would never have purchased gasoline or turned on the furnace or water heater if they had not hidden the truth from me.
I am an innocent man. Oh yes I am.


Everybody knew…
something that has yet to be verified outside of heavily parameterized models.


After the Ozone hole rehearsal, it is true that the decade 1979-1989 was the best opportunity for the scammers to convince the world… That they could not and reality of nature, despite their falsifications and their world wide advocacy, is a testimony to human resilience to propaganda.

Pat Frank

Nobody in 1960 “knew,” in the scientific sense, that CO2 emissions would cause climate warming. I’ve read some of the literature. CO2 radiative transfer to kinetic energy was worked out in the 1950s.

By the early 1960’s there was debate in the literature about whether CO2 emissions would cause warming or not. The most pointed was between Gilbert Plass (yes) and Fritz Moeller (no one knows because the climate is not understood).

The 1979 Charney & co report said what everyone agreed: that CO2 emissions would warm the climate if nothing else changed.

No change in cloud type or cover; no change in convection; no change in precipitation; no change in water evaporation/condensation; no change in Willis Eschenbach’s tropical thunderstorm cooling mechanism.

No one knew how or whether any of that would change (and who knows what else) when CO2 emissions converted IR radiant energy into kinetic energy and injected that into the atmosphere.

No one knows still yet today, either. Science has not marched on in climatology. Mostly because of the tyranny of climate modeling.

Nathaniel Rich’s entire thesis is wrong. It’s not supported by the history of science or of the debate about CO2 emissions and climate. No one knew then (1960’s), no one knows now, and Jim Hansen certainly did not know in 1988 when he portrayed his ideas with such certainty.

The entire field of consensus climatology and its media hangers-on, the entire recent history of AGW, has made its living off false precision and nothing else … well, except for the shouting and the censorship.

One of the supposedly most damning documents was the 1968 Robinson Report for the American Petroleum Institute (API).


In 1968, scientists with the Stanford Research Institute reported to the American Petroleum Institute about their research on atmospheric pollutants of interest to the industry. Summarizing the available science, the scientists saved their starkest warnings for carbon dioxide (CO2). They cautioned that rising levels of CO2 would likely result in rising global temperatures and warned that, if temperatures increased significantly, the result could be melting ice caps, rising sea levels, warming oceans, and serious environmental damage on a global scale.

One of the reproduced pages from this damning report referenced Möller (1963) as the source of a 1-7 °F rise in temperature due to a 25% rise in atmospheric CO2…

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Well, being a scientist, a sedimentary geologist to be more specific, I was curious. So I looked up Möller (1963) and found the abstract to this seminal publication…

On the influence of changes in the CO2 concentration in air on the radiation balance of the Earth’s surface and on the climate

F. Möller


The numerical value of a temperature change under the influence of a CO2 change as calculated by Plass is valid only for a dry atmosphere. Overlapping of the absorption bands of CO2 and H2O in the range around 15 μ essentially diminishes the temperature changes. New calculations give ΔT = + 1.5° when the CO2 content increases from 300 to 600 ppm. Cloudiness diminishes the radiation effects but not the temperature changes because under cloudy skies larger temperature changes are needed in order to compensate for an equal change in the downward long-wave radiation. The increase in the water vapor content of the atmosphere with rising temperature causes a self-amplification effect which results in almost arbitrary temperature changes, e.g. for constant relative humidity ΔT = +10° in the above mentioned case. It is shown, however, that the changed radiation conditions are not necessarily compensated for by a temperature change. The effect of an increase in CO2 from 300 to 330 ppm can be compensated for completely by a change in the water vapor content of 3 per cent or by a change in the cloudiness of 1 per cent of its value without the occurrence of temperature changes at all. Thus the theory that climatic variations are effected by variations in the CO2 content becomes very questionable.

Journal of Geophysical Research

Thus the theory that climatic variations are effected by variations in the CO2 content becomes very questionable.

This was priceless!!! So I spent $6 to rent the paper for 48 hours. Here are some highlights:

In this case, we must distinguish between the assumptions that the water vapor content (in cm l.e.) remains unchanged in spite of heating (cooling) of the atmosphere and that it increases (decreases). Constant absolute humidity means that the relative humidity (f) decreases from 75 to 70.34 per cent with a 1° or lowered by 4.66 per cent per deg. According to the above-mentioned calculations, an increase in CO2 from 300 to 600 ppm gives us a temperature change ΔT = +1.5° for Δf = -4.66 per cent per deg, and a temperature change ΔT = +9.6° for Δf = 0.


We recognize that for Δf = 0.8 per cent per deg the temperature change becomes infinite. Very small variations effect a reversal of sign or huge amplifications.

It is not too difficult to infer from these numbers that the variation in the radiation budget from a changed CO2 concentration can be compensated for completely without any variation in the surface temperature when the cloudiness is increased by +0.006 or the water vapor content is decreased by -0.07 cm l.e.


These are variations in the cloudiness by 1 per cent of its value or in the water vapor content by 3 per cent of its value. No meteorologist or climatologist would dare to determine the mean cloudiness or mean water content of the atmosphere with such accuracy; much less can a change of this order of magnitude be proved or its existence denied. Because of these values the entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is becoming questionable.

So, way back in 1963, the entire oil industry knew exactly what we know today:

The entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is questionable.

John F. Hultquist

David and Pat,
Thank you for the history of this.
I was a college student in ’63 — no mention of any of this in the basic science classes.
Now I think global warming doom is in all text books — and wrong.


I was a science student in the mid-1980s, and also studied physical geography, climatology, and meteorology for several of the years I was an undergrad (which back then were humanities classes).
And I can vividly recall reading all about this, all of it, including the Mona Loa graph of CO2, and the uncertainty of any of it, and the uncertainty as to whether warming even COULD be bad, since it has always been regarded that warm periods are highly beneficial to life and to people.
In light of the much more certain knowledge that the interglacial was over 10,000 years old, and the last four of them, at least, had lasted no longer than 10,000 years, and hardly anyone was worried about the faint chance that the globe might warm substantially.
I have known since Hansen gave his testimony that he was way off base, that hardly any warming had occurred compared to recent cooling, and that it was actually a very clement period we are lucky enough to be alive in.
Back then only people who did not pay attention to such things took seriously the notion that the heat that Summer was some unprecedented event.
It was not even unusual.
Natural variation was understood to encompass everything that was then occurring.
What was very worrisome was the possibility that a large volcanic eruption or a nuclear exchange could cause substantial and immediate cooling…and cooling was KNOWN to be bad.
The idea that we must be in fear of a warmer world is the most successful part of the whole bugaboo of global warming…being that we are in an ice age and vast areas of the planet are literally deadly cold, either permanently or seasonally.

Andy Pattullo

Congratulations on doing the scientific thing and going to the source. Very informative. Impossible to see how they could have mistakenly reinterpreted this paper to say the opposite of what was intended. This is deliberate fakery. It is really refreshing to read a bit of science that was only meant to try and determine the limits of known truth – not to build a scientific reputation, a achieve a political goal or acquire some academic dream job at taxpayer expense.

You want fakery? Or, more precisely, idiocy?

To these morons, the relevance of climate change to sedimentary geology is also one of primary bits of “evidence” in the incredibly moronic #ExxonKnew fraud.

Similarly, as Steve Coll wrote in Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power (2012), the company’s

investments in skeptics of the scientific consensus coincided with what at least a few of ExxonMobil’s own managers regarded as a hypocritical drive inside the corporation to explore whether climate change might offer new opportunities for oil exploration and profit.

The company tried to use the work of one of its most celebrated earth scientists, Peter Vail, to predict how alterations to the planet’s surface made by the changing climate could help it discover new deposits of oil and gas. “‘So don’t believe for a minute that ExxonMobil doesn’t think climate change is real,’ said a former manager…. ‘They were using climate change as a source of insight into exploration.’”

The New York Review of Books: The Rockefeller Family Fund Takes on ExxonMobil

These people are so fracking stupid that they can’t differentiate the scientifically challenged AGW hypothesis from the application of paleoclimatology to sedimentary geology.

As stupid as that passage was, it did stumble upon one of the two pillars of sedimentary geology: paleoclimatology.  The other pillar being paleogeography.  It also ignorantly refers to one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs in the history of geology: Sequence stratigraphy, as if it was some sort of tobacco-style conspiracy.

Theory Caused a ‘Sea Change’ in Thought
Vail’s Ideas Were a ‘Breakthrough’

When Peter Vail presented his theory linking stratigraphic interpretation with global sea level changes at the AAPG Annual Meeting in Dallas in 1975, it was akin to a shot heard ’round the world in the geology profession.

Vail’s hypothesis was a unifying concept for stratigraphy: Sedimentary basins filled with different sediments, he theorized, but the sediments were deposited in an episodic manner by global sea level changes.

That public pronouncement was at once lauded and accepted by many members of the scientific community and decried by others.

In fact, the ensuing controversy and scientific discussion among E&P industry stalwarts and academicians continues in some circles even today, providing apt testimony that this was a man on the cutting edge of research.

Unfazed by the naysayers and confident in his convictions, Vail spent a whole career furthering the case for seismic stratigraphy, which revolutionized the geology practicioners’ view of stratigraphy and the way oil and gas exploration is conducted.

Given his profound impact on the profession of geology, it comes as no surprise to Vail’s many former colleagues and others in the geology community that he has been selected to receive the 2003 Sidney Powers Memorial Award, AAPG’s highest honor.

Long held in high esteem by the association, Vail previously was awarded Honorary Membership in AAPG. He also has been the recipient of the AAPG President’s Award and the Matson Award for best papers.

Other industry-based society awards received during his illustrious career include:

Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG).
Individual Achievement Award from the Offshore Technology Conference.
Twenhofel Medal of the Society of Sedimentary Geology (SEPM).
Honorary Membership in SEG.

These are but a few of the plethora of honors bestowed upon this intrepid scientist who also has played a key role on various industry, government and academic steering committees and has been honored by universities at home and abroad in recognition of his work.

He has been a prolific contributor to professional literature, having authored more than 60 publications appearing in journals, textbooks and guidebooks.


AAPG Explorer, May 2003

A few eustatic sea level charts from Vail et al., 1977:

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1st order and 2nd order sea level cycles over the Phanerozoic Eon. Vail, et al., 1977.

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Global cycles of sea level changes from Late Triassic through Tertiary. Vail et al., 1977.

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Global cycles of sea level change over Cenozoic Era.

Pat Frank

I have Möller’s paper, if you’d like a permanent copy, David.

Thanks Pat. I saved it as an image file… so I have a readable copy.


Tom Abbott

“So, way back in 1963, the entire oil industry knew exactly what we know today: The entire theory of climatic changes by CO2 variations is questionable.”

Love it! Excellent scientific research, David!

So Exxon really *didn’t* know and neither does anyone else, then or now. Anyone who claims to know, or claims to know someone who does know, is just fooling themselves or are being disingenuous.

I bet Judge Alsup would be interested in Moeller’s publication.


“Lost the Earth”? I think I missed the mass exodus of humanity to Mars.

Sigh. Maybe people would take the media and claims about climate change more seriously if the writers didn’t resort to lies and exaggerations.

But if we already lost the battle then I guess there’s no point in pushing renewables and banning plastic anymore.


Clearly New York Times is a just cover. The rearranged letters give the true name: Monkeys Write.




Someone forgot to tell Mr Spock.


The New York Times. If the news fits, we’ll print.

D. J. Hawkins

“All the news that fits, we print.”

Fixed it for them.


Gray Lady down

Joel Snider

You’d think that since the Earth is a ‘lost cause’, they’d move on to the ‘acceptance’ stage (well, you would if you hadn’t seen the progressive reaction to the 2016 election).
Just imagine if they would free themselves from their own paranoia.
Although, to be fair, that only applies to those not being deliberately deceptive.


I thought they’d all moved on to the ‘biodiversity’ scam now? Maybe it’s just the clueless dead-enders who are clinging to the sinking ship of ‘Climate Change’.


If the excerpts are representative of the whole article, then there is much more wrong with it than the exposure of the #exxonknew farce. If scientists knew of “the issue” in the ’50s, when their rants concerned “nuclear winter”, then they didn’t “speak” very loudly about it. If LBJ was up to date on “the problem” in ’65, then his message would have been about the “coming ice age”, 20 years after the beginning of “global cooling”, which was still the rage for another decade. As long as Rich keeps talking about “the issue” and “the problem” without defining either, it is no wonder that he thinks that nothing in “the science” has changed for the last four decades.


That was my impression of the South Bronx in the 70s from movies. Not sure what the real story is today other than some media-driven cop killings.

Bruce Cobb

The New York Times has lost the plot.


I doubt they ever had a plot to lose.

John Endicott

The New York Times never had a plot, just a narrative


It’s patently absurd to say that everyone knew global warming (now known as climate change) was happening in 1979, since not everyone today even agrees that it is happening or if it is happening, to what degree. Up until about 1975, the consensus science was that we were in danger of entering a new ice age. Global cooling made headlines in every major newspaper and news magazine. For “everyone” to suddenly change on a dime and now agree that the earth was on a runaway warming trend is ridiculous. Even the most ardent know-nothing hippie environmentalists had to what until James Hansen’s 1988 congressional testimony to be convinced that the world was about to end due to warming. And the general population had to wait to be duped by Al Gore’s convenient lies movie.

While this NY Times claim makes those who want to blame big-oil uncomfortable, it is really an effort by know-nothing journalists to try to move people who are unsure of AGW off the fence by telling them that “everyone” knew about this 40 years ago, so who are you to doubt it.


Another simplistic article by the hysterical crowd. Not even today does science know everything that is to be known. Why can’t the warmists at least try to discuss the complexity involved and that the issue is one of attribution of warming. They just fumble around with the sophistication of struggling sophomores in a beginning statistics class.


Because they are mostly all either ignorant of the complexity, or in way too deep to start to hem and haw now.


In the 70’s they were screaming that we were going to freeze to death. Short memories make history repeat itself much faster.

John Endicott

Indeed. But I suspect the target audience is those who weren’t born yet in the 70s and thus don’t have the memory of what had been going on then. As Dan in a post above this one so aptly noted:
” it is really an effort by know-nothing journalists to try to move people who are unsure of AGW off the fence by telling them that “everyone” knew about this 40 years ago, so who are you to doubt it”


Has Society graduated from corner preachers of ‘The End’ to “mainstream?”
Only one of many problems with the article —–

“Texas farmers [1988] fed their cattle cactus.” …. “Everybody knew. In 1958,….” Burning cactus was a long way from extraordinary, the 50’s drought (ended with the spring flood of 1957) was worse in a lot of Texas than the 1930s. 1988 was one year, 50s nearly a decade depending on how you measured it. One biologist who worked through both, thought the 30-50s were nearly continuous. In lots of decades rumbling through Texas (talking to some people born way, way, way back) I have never run across anybody who equated the 80s with them. Early 2010s a little closer.

A 27 July letter to the WSJ from a 50yr+ emeritus professor ended with—-“It is a mess, chaotic, sports-driven, with incompetent administrators trying to lead ungovernable faculty and students. Perhaps that is the price you pay for being the envy of the world.” That was actually something already known by many back then in academia that would happen.

Is this one of the author’s novels? Not bad!!!!

dodgy geezer


Scott Manhart

We were freezing out collective butts off in the 70’s. Reid Bryson was running around telling us the glacier were coming, the glaciers were coming! Anyone suggesting our nemesis was warming would have been put in a padded room.

Roger Collier

The seventies are much colder now than they were in the seventies because of all the warming since.


But once we got through the ’80s man, the ’90s made the ’70s look like the ’50s.


“Anyone suggesting our nemesis was warming would have been put in a padded room.”
Not so…it was a matter which got part of a chapter in some classes on the relevant subjects.
IOW…it was a matter of somewhat arcane debate among certain scientists.
It was not a new idea, or unheard of, or unmentioned.
It was considered highly speculative, and not backed up by what was observed.
But no one was afraid of some climate tipping point…since it was also known that CO2 had been far higher in the distant past and no such thing had occurred.


“The Rockefellers have funded every aspect of the #ExxonKnew campaign, and are no doubt alarmed by the New York Times contradicting the very basis for their campaign.”

I don’t buy this. The Rockefellers were instrumental in creating the International Press Institute at which one point, they had over 1,400 editors of media organizations under their wing. As of just a few years ago, the NYTimes was still with this organization. This to me looks like billionaire oversight of the news outlets. Just recently, the IPI has been funded in part with Soros money.

Oil is liquid gold. Interesting that the Rockefeller family wants it locked up after their wealth was made from it and at the height of Rockefeller’s wealth, he was worth $250 billion in today’s dollars.

Question: Does anybody think that the rich will lower their lifestyle like they expect us to?

Don B

Tony Heller:

“In today’s New York Time article they discuss the 1974 CIA global cooling report, and say that the CIA warned about CO2 induced warming. ….

“It is difficult to image journalism more Orwellian than this. The 1974 CIA report was discussing global cooling and a new ice age. They said the world was returning to its normal cold state, and that it was natural climatic change. Everything in the New York Times article was the exact opposite of reality.”


The author, Nathaniel Rich, writes that from 1979 to 1989 humanity had the best opportunity it has ever had to solve global warming and that “nothing stood in our way – nothing except ourselves.”

He must not have included China and India in “humanity” as they and other developing countries are what are standing in the way of co2 reduction and good for them and photosynthesis. But then these are anti humanity folks carrying on this climate change BS.


And yet still they never mention the words “nuclear power”.
The only currently feasible way to reduce fossil fuel usage without going back to a preindustrial existence and dooming billions on the process.
Rich never mentions a lot of things, such as exactly how he supposes the world could have achieved what he seems to imply is needed.

Tom Gelsthorpe

As usual, the New York End of Times is understating the catastrophe. We haven’t just “lost the earth;” we’ve lost the universe. Thanks to the greed of fossil fuel people, i.e. monsters who prefer machine power to muscle power, we have lost the universe. The Milky Way Galaxy is careening out of control, and will collide with every other galaxy until the whole universe collapses into a black hole and goes PFFFFT! in a reversal of the Big Bang. If only we had sued the bejeesus out of them while there was still time! Now it’s too late.

Or not. But at least professional doomsayers like Gore and McKibben got to make fortunes, instead of look for real jobs.

” … multiple Congressional hearings in the 1970s and 1980s, long before the supposed “disinformation campaign” that environmental activists cite ever began.”

This is where his misinformation starts. The disinformation campaign was begun by James Hansen during the Reagan administration (1981 – 1989) in response to being called a lunatic for his chicken little alarmism. Hansen became GISS administrator also in 1981 when many of the heavily biased papers from GISS about CO2 warming started to appear, many of which were canonized in the first AR, despite little, if any, corroborating evidence.

The disinformation campaign wasn’t in place during the 70’s, but its seeds were planted in the late 70’s during the Carter administration. It started to ramp up in 1981 and by the formation of the IPCC in 1988 was in full stride. The end game of all the disinformation throughout the 80’s was to lead to the formation of the IPCC and once they succeeded, the scientific method was replaced with conformance to a political narrative and we have been stuck with the consequences ever since.

Pop Piasa

The idea of humanity losing the planet is totally backward. A more realistic scenario would be the planet losing its human occupancy (most likely from wars or catastrophic astronomical events).
The planet would simply go on in a new paradigm, which may (or may not) be compatible with previous organisms. Mars could well be a poster child for this kind of eventuality.

Small, weak minds fret over the small, fragile planet they perceive and imagine they can control.


” ‘The Bell Science Hour’ — one of the most popular educational film series in American history — aired ‘The Unchained Goddess,’ a film about meteorological wonders…”

I remember a 16mm film being shown to our elementary science class sometime in the mid 1960’s. It was a film with two scientists talking “about meteorological wonders” and also contained animated “Weather Gods” so it may well have been the ‘The Unchained Goddess’. What was most memorable about the film I saw was not its prediction about CO2 induced climate change, but rather the scientists spending the whole film talking about meteorology and how weather forecasts are created. The movie culminates in them predicting a sunny day. When they open the curtain to look outside it is raining (to the great amusement of the animated “Weather Gods”). At least scientist in that era were able to admit they didn’t always get it right.


This NYT writer and his fellow eco-imperialists are truly unhinged.


It’s time to look into modeling of the NYT as a factor in NYC suicide rates. Remember to statistically dampen any past spikes in order to accentuate recent rises.

Snarling Dolphin

410 and rising to 350? Oh yeah, you’ve lost. The only question left now is by how much.


I’ve lost control of the plants in my yard. I don’t know if it is because of warmer weather and higher concentrations of CO2 in the air, but everything is growing nutso this year. Trimmers will get a real workout this fall.

Everybody who ever used fossil fuels … “knew”, … yet they kept on using fossil fuels, KNOWING full well what they “knew”.

I NO that eatin’ ground glass will give me a upset stuhmuk, but, darn it, those little pieces are so purdy shinnin’ in thugh sun whin I gulp ’em down that I think I’sle just keep on shovelin’ ’em down. Now I’m gone Sue me sum glass cumpnies for makin’ me eat glass.


So we knew it was worse than we thought?


So everyone knew it was worse than everyone thought?


When the enemies of mankind turn on themselves – and climate extremists are enemies of mankind- please just stand back and let the dusgusting fools have their way with each other.
Hopefully the eventual winner will either be weakened and let go of their irrational counterfactual climate obsession, or will be weakened enough to be chased out of the public square.

Kip Hansen

Well, that’s sure an interesting take on the special issue of NY Times Magazine….Nathaniel Rich is a “science fiction writer” who wrote a novel about a future environmental apocalypse Titled “Odds Against Tomorrow”.


Funny, I thought that in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s everybody was afraid of global cooling!


It seems that those swivel-eyed, spittle-flecked thigh-rubbers have been hoist by their own petard, courtesy of matey at the NYT.

Their wailing and gnashing of teeth is music to my ears!



We’ve lost the NYT.
And nobody noticed.


Hey Rockefellers . . . two Federal Court dismissals topped-off with a NYT masterpiece.
Federal Judges read the NYT.
Right about now you’re throwing good money after bad hounding Exxon & Co.
Too funny!

Paul Schnurr

Again, if everybody knew what was happening why did they continue to burn oil as a fuel. Bringing oil out of the ground, the job of the oil companies, does not increase CO2.

David Borth

It’s really a downer when somebody has a better conspiracy theory than yours