Unless "climate change" becomes a non-issue, meaning that the Kyoto proposal is defeated and there are no further initiatives to thwart the threat of climate change, there may be no moment when we can declare victory for our efforts.
American Petroleum Institute, "Global Climate Science Communications Action Plan", 1998.
A recent investigative series by Inside Climate News documented Exxon Corporation's extensive knowledge--as early as 1977-- of the reality of man-made climate change, and of its own role in creating increased greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions all but certain to result in a future of catastrophic warming to the planet. ICN's investigation also documented the abrupt and deliberate policy decision made by Exxon to become the industry leader in financing and fostering the denial of climate science, a decision that ensured that the rest of the human race would be fed a stream of disinformation until it was effectively too late, while Exxon profited to the maximum extent possible before the truth became overwhelming and, in essence, un-deniable.
New reporting by Neela Banerjee for ICN now reveals that it wasn't just Exxon, but the entire oil and gas industry through its mouthpiece, the American Petroleum Institute, that collaborated to perpetuate the denial and "uncertainty" charade, to soak in as much money for themselves as possible at the expense of the rest of us and all future generations who would have to live through the consequences of their deception:
The American Petroleum Institute together with the nation's largest oil companies ran a task force to monitor and share climate research between 1979 and 1983, indicating that the oil industry, not just Exxon alone, was aware of its possible impact on the world's climate far earlier than previously known.
The API's task force was made up of the senior scientists and engineers fromAmoco, Mobil, Phillips, Texaco, Shell, Sunoco, Gulf Oil and Standard Oil of California, probably the highest paid and sought-after senior scientists and engineers on the planet. They came from companies that, just like Exxon, ran their own research units and did climate modeling to understand the impact of climate change and how it would impact their company's bottom line. The leader of the task force, James Nelson, in probably one of the most ironic admissions in corporate history, acknowledged to ICN that the multi-company effort was initially called the CO2 and Climate Task Force, but changed its name to the Climate and Energy Task Force in 1980.
In the heady days of the late 1970's, before the Reagan era officially sanctioned corporate greed as an American value, there was actually some consideration by these companies of reducing emissions in order to spare the rest of the world the consequences of unchecked global warming:
API task force members appeared open to the idea that the oil industry might have to shoulder some responsibility for reducing CO2 emissions by changing refining processes and developing fuels that emitted less carbon dioxide.
Bruce S. Bailey of Texaco offered "for consideration" the idea that "an overall goal of the Task Force should be to help develop ground rules for energy release of fuels and the cleanup of fuels as they relate to CO2 creation," according to the minutes of a meeting on Feb. 29, 1980.
In the same 1980 meeting the task force also heard from Professor John Laurmann of Stanford University on possible conversion to alternate energy sources. Laurmann advised the task force of the potentially catastrophic consequences with continued global warming if fossil fuel consumption continued unabated. From the meeting minutes of Laurmann's presentation to the API task force:
1 C Rise (2005): BARELY NOTICEABLE
2.5 C Rise (2038): MAJOR ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES, STRONG REGIONAL DEPENDENCE
5 C Rise (2067): GLOBALLY CATASTROPHIC EFFECTS