Blog No 99.
Just as Big Tobacco knew about the adverse health consequences of smoking tobacco many years before it became public knowledge, so too with Big Oil and anthropogenic climate change (or ‘destabilisation’ as it is increasingly and more accurately referred to.) It would now appear that companies, such as EXXON, knew that their activities would destroy the global climate, long before knowledge of the fateful consequences of greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels dawned on the consciousness of the general public. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/exxon-knew-about-climate-change-almost-40-years-ago/
When the news did start to seep out, it was suppressed with all the funding power at the oil and coal companies’ disposal. The tactics (and even many of the PR consultants used) were the same as in the case of tobacco.
I first covered this aspect of the world we humans inhabit (and in a century or two may well cease to) in my blog No 51. https://khakispecs.com/?p=1204 That blog earned some criticism when I, in what some of my readers considered bad taste, concluded with a photo of hanged Nuremberg war-criminals.
I make no apologies for that. Whereas Big Tobacco chose to gamble with the lives of millions of individuals and Hitler and cronies, with the existence of entire nations, Big Oil has chosen to play Russian roulette with our own and multiple other species’ total extinction. Big Oil, by its deliberate obstruction, has ensured that it is now not improbable that humanity has already lost the tight race against time, in which it has to completely alter the global economy on which it depends. Even if humanity in some form survives, it will only be after it has surmounted a now almost inevitable, mountain of human anguish and grief.
In the meantime, Exxon and the American Petroleum Institute, continue to lobby governments to delay and draw the teeth on proposed climate change legislation. Take your pick from these articles – and many, many more on the Web. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/american-petroleum-institute/
None of the above will be news to anyone who is familiar with my blog – and multiple others. What is news is that a campaign is now gathering strength to bring these criminal boards before the courts. https://www.alternet.org/environment/exxon-fraud-probe-biggest-bipartisan-climate-battle-ever?akid=14401.19264.2WrtKe&rd=1&src=newsletter1059337&t=9
Totally unrepentant and utterly cynical in defence of its profits, the board of EXXON is taking legal counter action against the US State Attorneys mounting the action against it. https://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/06/17/3789871/exxon-knew-climate-change-investigation/
A web search on the ‘fraud charges against EXXON’ will reveal multiple articles. However, in a neo-liberal justice system the board members of EXXON and of other companies, who have taken similar action, will continue to sleep soundly at night. Though their companies might have fresh restrictions imposed on them, no legal retribution for their individual crimes against humanity will ever be brought home to the board members responsible. They will all die wealthy men and acclaimed for their successful careers by those around them.
And so they should. It is not these particular individuals, but the whole, neo-liberal authorised, greed is good, self-before society ethos, of which they are the respected products, that threatens the obliteration of our civilisation.