Exxon Mobil’s climate change cover-up

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In a demonstration of capitalism’s incapacity to act beyond its vested interests – even with humanity itself at stake – the world’s biggest oil conglomerate, Exxon Mobil, has been exposed as having concealed proof from its own scientists that climate change was real and manmade since 1978.

Two investigations, one from the Pulitzer prize-winning website Inside Climate News and another from the Columbia Journalism School, both found that Exxon ignored warnings from its own scientists. Instead it used the information to buy oil leases in the areas where it knew ice would melt and waged a global marketing campaign to promote climate change denial.

The findings of Exxon’s scientists were validated in the early 1980s with concrete results from shipborne measurements of CO2 and computer models that predicted global temperatures would rise by 2-3°C this century – a figure that remains accurate by contemporary estimates. As the head of one key lab at Exxon Research wrote to his boardroom superiors, there was ‘unanimous agreement in the scientific community that a temperature increase of this magnitude would bring about significant changes in the earth’s climate, including rainfall distribution and alterations in the biosphere’.

The faux debate over the credibility of climate change theory has raged since 1988, when NASA scientist James Hansen testified to congressional committees in the US. Now in 2015, the catastrophic collapse of the massive West Antarctic Ice sheet is underway; the illegal operations of third-party suppliers to transnational industries have inflicted devastating infernos on Indonesia and the Amazon, releasing seismic amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere; and unprecedented quantities of methane are erupting from the destabilising sea beds of the warming, rising Arctic Ocean.

Poor countries are not to blame for climate change, yet they are already bearing the brunt of the devastating consequences inflicted by what Bolivian vice-president Alvaro Marcelo Garcia Linera calls the oppressor nations’ ‘consumerist orgy’. Europe is already walling itself off from the migration it manufactured. Left-leaning liberals continue to blame ‘corporatism’, obscuring its inevitable rise from the system of capitalism. Indeed, Exxon’s decision to conceal the truth was quite obviously determined by its relentless drive to increase profits.

A recent UN report confirmed that the latest voluntary (and inevitably hollow) pledges of 146 countries to curtail emissions would have a negligible impact. Without the radical spread of an ecosocialism being fought for by the peoples of Latin American countries, the world will eventually plummet headlong into barbarism. It is clear that the only system capable of marshalling the level of organisation necessary to achieve a sustainable future is a planned socialist economy. If survival is in one’s material interests, then revolution is perhaps in the material interests of more people than ever before.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 248 December 2015/January 2016