#ExxonKnew – and Chose to Lie
May 26, 2016
What climate deniers call “Free Speech”, the rest of us call lying.
Anna Kalinsky, the granddaughter of former Exxon climate scientist James Black, has berated the company for bankrolling climate change denial despite her grandfather’s attempts to inform the company of the risks of burning fossil fuels for the global climate.
“In 1977 my grandfather was a senior scientist at Exxon. He warned Exxon executives that the world was just a few years away from needing to rethink our energy strategy to prevent destructive climate change,” Kalinsky says.
“Instead, Exxon chose to mislead people about the risks of climate change – and continues to mislead people today. The company says they value their scientists and all the work they do, but that’s pretty hard to believe when they continue to fund organizations – both publicly and anonymously – that spread misinformation about the science.”
Kalinsky’s comments came during a call with media prior to ExxonMobil’s May 25 Annual General Meeting in Dallas, Texas, where shareholders will vote on a number of resolutions pertaining to climate change.
Kalinsky is slated to address ExxonMobil’s executives and speak about her grandfather’s scientific findings which were featured in a September investigative article by InsideClimate News.
As Kalinsky alluded to, Exxon spent $31 million dollars funding the climate change denial machine between 1998 and 2014 — by conservative estimates.
Among other climate-denying activity, Exxon still funds the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a “corporate bill mill” that has long denied the reality of human-caused climate change. ALEC has been singled out by ClimateTruth.org, which is calling on Exxon to drop its dues-paying membership with the organization.
Back in 1978, almost four decades ago, Black made ominous warnings about the potential perils of climate change to come if humanity did not stem fossil fuel usage and reverse course.
“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 higher-ups, according to InsideClimate News’ reporting, in a presentation titled “The Greenhouse Effect.” “Present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.”
Remarking that Black was a “man of science,” Kalinsky offered her thoughts on how Black may feel today, were he still alive, about the direction Exxon took and the “road not taken” once it made scientific discoveries about climate change.
“He told my mother that a company is in trouble when it falls into the hands of the accountants,” Kalinsky stated. “I don’t think he’d be proud of the company he’d worked so hard for.”