Exxon covered-up climate change: email reveals

Exxon covered-up climate change: email reveals

A newly discovered email from one of ExxonMobil's scientists revealed that the oil giant knew about climate change as early as 1981, more than half a decade before the notion became a public issue.

According to the email, Exxon was aware of the connection between increasing use of fossil fuels and drastic changes in climate as well as the potential for carbon-cutting regulations that could hurt the company's bottom line over a generation ago.

Despite being aware of the issue, the company allegedly spent millions of dollars over the next 27 years to promote efforts to deny climate change.

The email by Lenny Bernstein, Exxon's former in-house climate expert and a three-decade industry veteran, stated, "Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia. This is an immense reserve of natural gas, but it is 70% CO2."

But, the company continued to refuse to acknowledge the potential dangers of climate change. Over the years, the oil giant spent more than $30 million on think tanks and scientists who promoted climate denial.

Prof. Naomi Oreskes, a climate change expert from Harvard University, said it was unsurprising that Exxon would have factored climate change in its plans as early as 1980s but she disputed the suggestion that other companies weren't aware of the potential danger.

Climate change is nowadays the biggest environmental issue. Scientists say climate change could lead to extinction of many species from Earth.

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