Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by hubie on Thursday February 08, @03:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the no,-really,-it's-not-true. dept.

Documents show industry-backed Air Pollution Foundation uncovered the severe harm climate change would wreak

"The fossil fuel industry funded some of the world's most foundational climate science as early as 1954, newly unearthed documents have shown, including the early research of Charles Keeling, famous for the so-called "Keeling curve" that has charted the upward march of the Earth's carbon dioxide levels."

A coalition of oil and car manufacturing interests provided $13,814 (about $158,000 in today's money) in December 1954 to fund Keeling's earliest work in measuring CO2 levels across the western US, the documents reveal.

Keeling would go on to establish the continuous measurement of global CO2 at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. This "Keeling curve" has tracked the steady increase of the atmospheric carbon that drives the climate crisis and has been hailed as one of the most important scientific works of modern times.

[...] Experts say the documents show the fossil fuel industry had intimate involvement in the inception of modern climate science, along with its warnings of the severe harm climate change will wreak, only to then publicly deny this science for decades and fund ongoing efforts to delay action on the climate crisis.

"They contain smoking gun proof that by at least 1954, the fossil fuel industry was on notice about the potential for its products to disrupt Earth's climate on a scale significant to human civilization," said Geoffrey Supran, an expert in historic climate disinformation at the University of Miami.

[...] "These documents talk about CO2 emissions having planetary implications, meaning this industry understood extraordinarily early on that fossil fuel combustion was profound on a planetary scale," he said.

"There is overwhelming evidence the oil and gas industry has been misleading the public and regulators around the climate risks of their product for 70 years. Trusting them to be part of the solutions is foolhardy. We've now moved into an era of accountability."

Obligatory XKCD


Original Submission

This discussion was created by hubie (1068) for logged-in users only. Log in and try again!
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Thursday February 08, @05:03AM

    by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Thursday February 08, @05:03AM (#1343582)
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Thursday February 08, @05:06AM (19 children)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Thursday February 08, @05:06AM (#1343583) Journal

    I think that there's still time to save the ice sheets, but that we're not going to respond strongly enough soon enough. We're going to keep screwing around until it's too late. And it's going to really suck. We won't be ready for the massive ocean level rise either, or we could handle that massive change with some finesse. But we won't. We're not sure how fast ice sheets can melt, but the possibility they could completely melt in less than a decade is entirely too high. Not millions but billions of climate refugees will be scrambling to find higher ground. There absolutely will be famine and war. Our grandkids will struggle to stop those wars from going nuclear. And who will be at the top of everyone's list of villains to blame for the crisis? The United States.

    If humanity survives, there's going to be a brutal postmortem that will indict not just Big Oil, but the entire capitalist system, for pushing such colossally short-sighted foolishness and callous anti-social thinking. It's one thing to employ fossil fuels to bootstrap ourselves up to better tech. But that's not what Big Oil has been doing, no. They've been lying and propagandizing about this problem, and doing all they can to delay transitions away from fossil fuels. And why? Not for any noble purpose that might be worth such a price, no. No, it's only for their grubby little quarterly earnings. They think dealing with CO2 is the public's problem, not their problem. The folly is stunning.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @06:35AM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @06:35AM (#1343593)
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @07:27AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @07:27AM (#1343600)

        Ooooh, ooooh, now do it per person.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @07:38AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @07:38AM (#1343601)

          Do you think physics changes when you switch your metric from absolute to per-person?

          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @02:55AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @02:55AM (#1343680)

            Do you think physics changes when you switch your metric from absolute to per-country?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @11:43PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, @11:43PM (#1343793)

            The only reasonable metric is per person. Otherwise Tuvalu-ians could emit a million tons of carbon each and the country would still be greener than most other countries.
               

    • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @07:48AM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @07:48AM (#1343602)

      We're going to keep screwing around until it's too late

      It's already too late, but screwing around is such a pleasurable experience.

      And it's going to really suck.

      B*-job? Now we're talkin'.

      Our grandkids will struggle to stop those wars from going nuclear.

      Why bother? I mean, look, a nuclear winter will do just fine, eliminate the excess CO2 producers and cool back the Earth in just as little as 2 years.

      If humanity survives, there's going to be a brutal postmortem that will indict not just Big Oil, but the entire capitalist system, for pushing such colossally short-sighted foolishness and callous anti-social thinking.

      Not quite. On the contrary, whoever survives will survive on the expense of others, competing over a very diminished amount of food.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by canopic jug on Thursday February 08, @08:16AM (10 children)

        by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @08:16AM (#1343606) Journal

        It's already too late, but screwing around is such a pleasurable experience.

        Indeed. The critical threshold [sciencealert.com] of 1.5° C is long past [plenglish.com]. A concerted, global effort might mitigate some of the damage. However, that would require unprecedented cooperation in squashing several smaller, more pernicious governments, and quite a few very large multinationals, as well as those backing fads like cryptocurrencies and large language models.

        At this point all that are left are the wars and starvation inducing famines, along with the accompanying mass-migrations. The fuse has been lit, and it is waterproof [www.visit.brussels].

        --
        Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @09:09AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @09:09AM (#1343610)

          as well as those backing fads like cryptocurrencies

          Are those still a thing today?

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by quietus on Thursday February 08, @09:33AM (2 children)

          by quietus (6328) on Thursday February 08, @09:33AM (#1343612) Journal

          Regarding your last linky: are you claiming that everything went hayward since the invention of the porcelain toilet bowl, or that we all should turn nudists to save the planet (count me in)?

          • (Score: 4, Funny) by janrinok on Thursday February 08, @11:27AM

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08, @11:27AM (#1343613) Journal

            I think that you might have done my favourite trick - I think you have invented a new word from the roots of wayward and haywire. I like it, and I might even use it from time to time.

            However it is not as original as I might have originally thought. It is defined as: hayward: noun. an officer having charge of hedges and fences around a town common, especially to keep cattle from breaking through and to impound stray cattle.

          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @12:49PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @12:49PM (#1343617)

            that we all should turn nudists to save the planet (count me in)?

            Let me turn up the "heating" to an extra +3.5C and then I'll save the planet in the nude. That is, until the weather starts to cool

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RamiK on Thursday February 08, @01:12PM

          by RamiK (1813) on Thursday February 08, @01:12PM (#1343620)

          At this point all that are left are the wars and starvation inducing famines, along with the accompanying mass-migrations.

          Though far from ideal, that's actually a reasonably benign outcome since a reduction in human population would reduce consumption -> production -> CO2 levels -> global warming -> climate change in a self-limiting drug sort-of-way. The bad scenarios range from slow-cooking-frogs, race to the bottom, living off Soylent Green type outcomes to the you're-all-going-down-with-me nuclear winter outcome.

          --
          compiling...
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday February 08, @01:37PM (1 child)

          by Thexalon (636) on Thursday February 08, @01:37PM (#1343623)

          A concerted, global effort might mitigate some of the damage. However, that would require unprecedented cooperation in squashing several smaller, more pernicious governments, and quite a few very large multinationals, as well as those backing fads like cryptocurrencies and large language models.

          First off, it's not the smaller more pernicious governments that are the biggest problem. It's the US, EU, Indian, and Chinese governments that would really need to buckle down and cooperate.

          And secondly, the reason we're completely boned here is that every player in this game (whether government or corporate or non-profit) with the power to make a real difference is motivated to do as close to nothing as they can while still putting out nice PR about it, while simultaneously posturing to try to convince other players to solve it for them. So nobody is going to really take steps to fix it unless they have exactly zero other options. And the mass murder of refugees or other innocent people is considered another option.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @02:35PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @02:35PM (#1343626)

            And the mass murder of ...

            What a waste of nutrients that would be. "Don't kill more than you eat" is way more sustainable, a pity sustainability seems something long forgotten nowadays.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Tokolosh on Friday February 09, @02:31AM (2 children)

          by Tokolosh (585) on Friday February 09, @02:31AM (#1343678)

          We are barrelling towards 2° C and the chattering classes are still screwing around and arguing about reducing emissions. Meanwhile, a cheap, quick and effective solution is out there - geo-engineering. But noooo, that is dangerous! If geo-engineering is too risky, then I guess the status quo is a-ok.

          Someone please explain why we are not working to actively cool the planet when disaster is imminent?

          • (Score: 2) by quietus on Friday February 09, @09:10AM (1 child)

            by quietus (6328) on Friday February 09, @09:10AM (#1343696) Journal

            Meanwhile, a cheap, quick and effective solution is out there - geo-engineering.

            Either explain -- with data please -- or tell us what you are smoking.

            • (Score: 2) by Tokolosh on Saturday February 10, @06:22AM

              by Tokolosh (585) on Saturday February 10, @06:22AM (#1343811)

              https://www.wired.com/story/geoengineering-is-the-only-solution-to-our-climate-calamities/ [wired.com]

              It is common knowledge that geo-engineering will be orders of magnitude cheaper that the current anointed "solution" of reducing emissions. But there is still a lot of research to be done, which is the start of the problem - any mention of this option gets flamed and the needed work does not get funded or taken on. This is mob rule and not a celebration of diversity.

              So your "what are you smoking" response is typical. But one day you will deny ever being so close-minded,

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday February 08, @03:21PM

      by DannyB (5839) on Thursday February 08, @03:21PM (#1343631) Journal

      There absolutely will be famine and war.

      . . . .

      If humanity survives, there's going to be a brutal postmortem that will indict not just Big Oil, but the entire capitalist system, for pushing such colossally short-sighted foolishness and callous anti-social thinking.

      Our descendants will be able to propel themselves into massive prosperity. They can create vast wealth by mining more cryptocurrency.

      --
      Reminder: March is National Procrastination Week.
    • (Score: 2) by Tokolosh on Friday February 09, @02:23AM

      by Tokolosh (585) on Friday February 09, @02:23AM (#1343676)

      Big Oil is not the one burning and releasing the vast majority of greenhouse gases.

  • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Barenflimski on Thursday February 08, @08:34AM (5 children)

    by Barenflimski (6836) on Thursday February 08, @08:34AM (#1343607)

    Unreal. Those fuckers!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @09:15AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 08, @09:15AM (#1343611)

      Unreal. Those fuckers!

      Not quite. But you can blame John Riccitiello for anything you want, he is the patented scumbag on duty of today.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday February 08, @02:00PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday February 08, @02:00PM (#1343624)

      No, all too real, and far from the only example of the few screwing the many long term for short term personal gains.

      --
      🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Thursday February 08, @03:06PM (2 children)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Thursday February 08, @03:06PM (#1343629) Journal

      Yeah, unreal. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the notion that Climate Change is going to be an epic disaster. The damage from every hurricane ever, added together, will be as nothing to the woe that Climate Change will cause. Possibilities such as a repeat of the marine anoxia that happened 93 million years ago, or a repeat of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) from approximately 55 million years ago, are horrifying. Those events were accompanied by lots of death and extinction. I don't want to believe it. Surely there's some way out, some invention or policy change, or, well, something. We're inventive, we'll think of something. But can we? Can we engineer a soft landing? I feel very uncertain that we can. I fear that we've trapped ourselves in a very tight corner. Perhaps no more than 3 decades from now, our remaining options will be very grim, somewhere between a big die off of over 50% of current world population, to total extinction.

      Nero fiddled while Rome burned. We're fiddling while the world burns. There's nothing in human history to match this. Not the legendary Great Flood. Not the end of the last Ice Age. Not the biggest war ever, WWII. Maybe the closest I've heard of, which was so long ago there is no human record of it, not even the barest hint in ancient stories, is the eruption of the supervolcano Toba that occurred circa 72,000 B.C. From what I've read, that pushed humanity to the edge, reducing our numbers to just a few thousand. Think of what triggered the Arab Spring: lack of food, and that because of drought. Food shortages can produce mayhem like nothing else can.

      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Thursday February 08, @10:47PM (1 child)

        by RS3 (6367) on Thursday February 08, @10:47PM (#1343666)

        I have a very different pessimism. I think we humans have many many ways to avert the problem. The problem is getting _all_ humans to comply. World efforts make good headlines, but the numbers and science don't lie- major large countries are not curbing their pollutants. I'd like to know the damage Putin alone is doing. Well, actually I don't want to know, but it should be further reason to stop him and imprison him.

  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Thursday February 08, @05:26PM

    by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday February 08, @05:26PM (#1343640)

    Trusting them to be part of the solutions is foolhardy. We've now moved into an era of accountability.

    We can trust them. Be cooperative and forgiving, but don't be a pushover [youtu.be]. And in this current age of data, ask for a public website with the graphs [xkcd.com] as well as the raw data. The more they provide, the more their credibility increases that they want to be part of the solution, and makes it more difficult to disseminate a data-backed big lie when it can be automatedly and minutely cross-checked for hints of misrepresentation [slashdot.org].

    You can trust, but you can also doublecheck the data, and maybe that's our individual responsibility now, even in the small-scale. Not a guarantee, but just raising the bar for effort when perpetrating research/publication fraud [arstechnica.com].

    One of the simplest examples of this is when a telemarketer calls and wants to sell me something or the US Department of the Treasury needs their taxes paid in gift cards. I ask for a website and say I like to do my own research ahead of time, and that they can even call me back in a week. That's not in their script (yet, anyway).

(1)