This, is the story of how your safety and future finances were robbed without you ever really noticing. Back in the 70s,
Everyone was like (peace),
but there was also the creation of an energy company called Exxon. They were obsessed with what we are still obsessed with now;
innovation. So, the oil company Exxon, decided to invest in science. Scientists hired by Exxon, again Exxon’s very own
scientists, were the first to present a series of groundbreaking papers explaining that burning fossil fuels will
influence the climate as the carbon dioxide released will cause a greenhouse effect
Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think, that oil companies discovered climate change. This happened right in the early
1980s just as the price of oil was
decreasing, so the higher-ups at Exxon chose to ignore the information and instead focus on growing the business. They did ask the scientists to keep
looking into it.
In 1982, their own scientists again came back, this time with more thorough research saying “yep, it was worse than they thought.”
Based on what Exxon was planning to do in regards to fossil fuel extraction
would warm the climate, cause sea levels to rise, and increase deadly droughts. Humans will suffer effects, which will be indeed
catastrophic so the scientists pitched a major reduction in fossil fuel combustion. An email from Lenny Bernstein, a
former employee of Exxon wrote: “In the
1980’s, Exxon needed to understand the potential for concerns about climate change to lead to
regulation of…potential projects. They were well ahead of the rest of the industry in this awareness.” If Exxon wanted to be innovators so bad,
maybe they would have taken this moment to
diversify the energy sector-
invest in alternative energy sources, but instead they decided to lie. To you, to me, and to your mom. It is now the
1980s, and for the first time an internal memo is released at Exxon that says, they “need to start to emphasize the uncertainty of the
scientific data around climate change.” They begin to start going against their very own
science and plant the seed for what we now know as climate change denial. Here is part of an internal memo from Exxon at the
time. “There is currently no unambiguous
scientific evidence that the earth is warming. If the earth is on a warming trend we’re not likely to detect it before
1995.” One of the most frustrating parts of this story is that Exxon
did believe their climate change science. Right at this time they started to build
drilling platforms in the ocean a little bit higher up to deal with the rising sea levels they predicted. They also started to plan to
drill in the Arctic,
because as they knew the sea ice in the Arctic was going to melt. In the late 80s, the effects of climate change began to
Time magazine had a picture of the planet in shackles due to climate change on their cover, as the scientific
impact of burning fossil fuels became public knowledge.
At the time, 80% of Americans claimed that climate change was an issue, and
accepted that it was caused by the burning of fossil fuels. It was also not a political issue. Here, is
Republican President George Bush senior on the campaign trail in
1988 after a year of severe heat waves killed thousands of Americans: “Don’t say these problems are too big, that
it’s impossible for an individual, or even a nation as great as ours to solve the problem of global warming,
or the loss of forests, or the deterioration of our oceans.
My response is simple; it can be done, and
we must do it.
Let’s not forget all that we’ve accomplished,
all that we’ve accomplished since America first
concentrated its attention on
preserving the environment,
under a Republican administration,
back in 1970.” This is the time when the oil companies started to get scared of that (evil
regulation from the government) so they started to really jack up their campaigns to increase
climate change denial. They became inventive, they actually created the OP ad that we now sometimes see in newspapers, where it kind of looks like
an article but it’s actually fully a paid advertisement. So this is one of the op ads that they paid for in the
liberal New York Times. “One of the brighter hopes with the climate change debate has to be the benefits achieved
through technology.” Notice how they used the word “debate” and notice how they sort of make it seem like, oh
climate change might be a good thing because we’re gonna invent new things to cope. They secretly paid
scientists to promote fake science. In an article called climate change: a degree of uncertainty,
the first line wrote: “The debate on climate change has been long,
complex, and intense.” This is of course not true, because according to their own science that there wasn’t really a debate at all.
Quite a short explanation that was really quite simple it’s that, the burning of CO2 creates a greenhouse effect that warms the earth.
In 1997 Lee Raymond, the CEO of Exxon at the time actually
decided that in the
presentation he was going to say that, no in fact according to their science the earth was cooling. This was a full lie. Again he
did this in a presentation in 1997,
more than 20 years after his own scientists first broke the fact that the greenhouse effect is real, and the name of his
presentation, boldly a bold lie was, “Is the earth warming? Does burning fossil fuels cause global warming?”
Lee Raymond sucks, because he also is the person who began to make climate change a political issue. Lee Raymond
persuaded George Bush, the younger one, to go against his campaign promise and take carbon dioxide
off the list of pollutants. These are one of the first times that we actually see climate change become a political issue, a side of
left or right, and at the time the Republican Party was under a lot of pressure
from these big oil companies, and they released this
Memo: “The scientific debate is closing [against us] but not yet closed. There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science.”
Later in the memo it reads: “Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues around global warming are settled, their views about
global warming will change accordingly. Therefore we need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a
primary issue of debate”. All of this hard work paid off. In
2017, around 90% of Americans did not know there was a scientific consensus on global warming.
52% of Americans think the threat of climate change has been exaggerated. This lack of knowledge helped Rex Tillerson,
became the CEO of Exxon after it merged with Mobil to become Exxon Mobil, to sign a
500 billion dollar deal to explore for oil in the rapidly thawing Russian Arctic. For this plan, he was awarded the
Russian order of friendship. Global warming and climate change is caused by our immense burning of coal, gas, and oil for energy.
This causes the carbon release to combine with oxygen in the atmosphere to produce CO2,
carbon dioxide, which traps heat that would have been radiated back out into space.
Due to this, the extra
heat trapped near earth is equivalent to the heat from four hundred thousand bombs the size of what was dropped on Hiroshima,
being collected in our atmosphere every day. By
2100, the rising sea levels will cost the world 14
trillion dollars. 9 of the 10 deadliest heat waves in recorded human history have occurred since the year
2000. Since the 1970s, 60% of the world’s wildlife has been killed. If we continue with our current greenhouse gas emissions, by
2070 tropical regions that now get one day a year of oppressive humid heat will get between 100 to 250 days per year.
100 million trees died in California in the past 10 years, and studies show that by
2050, if temperatures rise the way they are predicted, a quarter of the earth will experience extreme droughts and desertification.
Stephen Hawking gave humanity a deadline of a century to leave earth, as it may be the only way to save ourselves.
And who is going to be able to afford this? Maybe Lee Raymond, as his retirement package from
ExxonMobil was a mere $400 000 000, for his impressive work of making money for the company at your expense.
Climate change is real. I was lied to,
you were lied to, your parents were lied to. These oil companies did all of this because they were
short-sighted. They wanted to make money for themselves, but we need to think about the future. We as young people are the ones who
are left to kind of figure out this mess. It’s not
necessarily our fault, this is a huge injustice. All these lies and deceit that these companies did to the public consciousness are
unfair, but we have to figure out what we do now. In our next video we’re gonna talk about hope.
So, one thing is that a lot of people are
challenging and figuring out how the law should get involved with these companies. They should technically be sued for what they did.
There’s the green New Deal happening in America, What exactly is that what does that mean for such a large
economic power? And we’re gonna highlight some of the amazing,
innovative ways that science is now trying to figure out how to clean up this mess.
Thank you so much for watching, you can subscribe to this channel we’re gonna release the video in the next few weeks. We just
wanted to make this video because we make our animated videos on Thursdays where we try and get people interested in science and
understanding a critical thought and learning about how the world works around us, but there’s
Also these other things going on within the science community that we need to talk about and that’s what this video was, so we hope
that you like it. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter, smash out like button, hit that subscribe and we’ll see you next week. Peace 🙂