Oil giant Exxon was studying climate change impacts in the 1970s and 80s, and their projections from 35 years ago accurately portray what is happening now.

Knowing what they knew, they chose to continue business as usual.

Now this astounding article in the LA Times.

LATimes:

A few weeks before seminal climate change talks in Kyoto back in 1997, Mobil Oil took out a bluntly worded advertisement in the New York Times and Washington Post.

“Let’s face it: The science of climate change is too uncertain to mandate a plan of action that could plunge economies into turmoil,” the ad said. “Scientists cannot predict with certainty if temperatures will increase, by how much and where changes will occur.”

One year earlier, though, engineers at Mobil Oil were concerned enough about climate change to design and build a collection of exploration and production facilities along the Nova Scotia coast that made structural allowances for rising temperatures and sea levels.

“An estimated rise in water level, due to global warming, of 0.5 meters may be assumed” for the 25-year life of the Sable gas field project, Mobil engineers wrote in their design specifications. The project, owned jointly by Mobil, Shell and Imperial Oil (a Canadian subsidiary of Exxon), went online in 1999; it is expected to close in 2017.

The United States has never ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse emissions.

A joint investigation by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project and the Los Angeles Times earlier detailed how one company, Exxon, made a strategic decision in the late 1980s to publicly emphasize doubt and uncertainty regarding climate change science even as its internal research embraced the growing scientific consensus.

By all means, go to the link and read the entire, jaw-dropping piece.

Anyone with any doubts about whether Exxon will be vulnerable to a RICO action needs to read this.

I presented this video at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco – at a session on climate communication that was, unlike in some past years,very  well attended.

Somehow, “teachable moment” just doesn’t cut it….

NYTimes:

The year, expected to be the hottest on record, may be over at midnight Thursday, but the trouble will not be. Rain in the central United States has been so heavy that major floods are beginning along the Mississippi River and are likely to intensify in coming weeks. California may lurch from drought to flood by late winter. Most serious, millions of people could be threatened by a developing food shortage in southern Africa.

Scientists say the most obvious suspect in the turmoil is the climate pattern called El Niño, in which the Pacific Ocean for the last few months has been dumping immense amounts of heat into the atmosphere. Because atmospheric waves can travel thousands of miles, the added heat and accompanying moisture have been playing havoc with the weather in many parts of the world.

But that natural pattern of variability is not the whole story. This El Niño, one of the strongest on record, comes atop a long-term heating of the planet caused by mankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases. A large body of scientific evidence says those emissions are making certain kinds of extremes, such as heavy rainstorms and intense heat waves, more frequent.

Coincidence or not, every kind of trouble that the experts have been warning about for years seems to be occurring at once.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Richard “Ricky” Rood is a former NASA atmospheric scientist, now teaching at the University of Michigan.

Every once in a while we can pull back the curtain and get a good look at the evil elves and Madison Avenue Orcs deployed by the fossil fuel barons. Look hard, climate deniers. This is the man pulling your strings.

Posted by a front group called the “Environmental Policy Alliance”, this corporate forged “viral” video popped up a couple days ago. Had to check and make sure this wasn’t a joke, but it’s real.

mckibbenevil

Evil, Scary Bill Mckibben from the video

 

Check out the video above for the hilarious/bad caricature of Bill Mckibben, and for the ‘fossil fuel” girl friend, who I guess is supposed to be attractive, but unfortunately for the producers, looks disturbingly like “Mr Hanky” of South Park fame.  The piece is getting a lot of views, but maybe not for the reasons the client hoped.

hankySourcewatch:

Big Green Radicals is a front group operated by the PR firm Berman & Co. Berman & Co. operates a network of dozens of front groups, attack-dog web sites, and alleged think tanks that work to counteract minimum wage campaigns, keep wages low for restaurant workers, and to block legislation on food safety, secondhand cigarette smoke, drunk driving, and more.

Big Green Radicals describes itself as “a project of the Environmental Policy Alliance (EPA), which exists to educate the public about the real agenda of well-funded environmental activist groups” according its website. “The EPA receives support from individuals, businesses, and foundations.”

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Richard Berman is the type of corporate hit man that Aaron Eckhart played in “Thank You For Smoking” – amoral, vicious, and dishonest.  PR guys like him usually don’t make the headlines, preferring to remain the man behind the curtain – but a few months ago he showed up in the New York Times, because recommendations he made in a  presentation were so vile and offensive that even members of the oil industry audience were disgusted.

NYTimes:

 If the oil and gas industry wants to prevent its opponents from slowing its efforts to drill in more places, it must be prepared to employ tactics like digging up embarrassing hankyfossil2tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities, a veteran Washington political consultant told a room full of industry executives in a speech that was secretly recorded.

The blunt advice from the consultant, Richard Berman, the founder and chief executive of the Washington-based Berman & Company consulting firm, came as Mr. Berman solicited up to $3 million from oil and gas industry executives to finance an advertising and public relations campaign called Big Green Radicals.

The company executives, Mr. Berman said in his speech, must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. And major corporations secretly financing such a campaign should not worry about offending the general public because “you can either win ugly or lose pretty,” he said.

“Think of this as an endless war,” Mr. Berman told the crowd at the June event in Colorado Springs, sponsored by the Western Energy Alliance, a group whose members include Devon Energy, Halliburton and Anadarko Petroleum, which specialize in extracting oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. “And you have to budget for it.”

What Mr. Berman did not know — and what could now complicate his task of marginalizing environmental groups that want to impose limits on fracking — is that one of the energy industry executives recorded his remarks and was offended by them.

“That you have to play dirty to win,” said the executive, who provided a copy of the recording and the meeting agenda to The New York Times under the condition that his identity not be revealed. “It just left a bad taste in my mouth.”

Pdf of Berman’s presentation here.

Speaking of bad taste, “60 Minutes” profiled Berman as an attack dog for the purveyors of poisonous junk food, and he was proud enough of that to post it on his own Youtube channel, below. Read the rest of this entry »

A favorite hobby horse of climate denial is that “all climate science is based on fantastical models that are frequently wrong”. So what have climate models been right about?

A lot, it turns out.