Exxon confirmed anthropogenic global warming 30 years ago

Turns out that some of the most accurate projections that support human-caused global warming were made by Exxon scientists 25-40 years ago. Exxon internal documents show that their own scientists modeled anthropogenic climate change similar to academic and government efforts and came to the same conclusions that fossil fuel-caused global warming was real and significant. Exxon just lied about it.

“…we quantitatively evaluated all available global warming projections documented by—and in many cases modeled by—Exxon and ExxonMobil Corp scientists between 1977 and 2003. We find that most of their projections accurately forecast warming that is consistent with subsequent observations. Their projections were also consistent with, and at least as skillful as, those of independent academic and government models. Exxon and ExxonMobil Corp also correctly rejected the prospect of a coming ice age, accurately predicted when human-caused global warming would first be detected, and reasonably estimated the “carbon budget” for holding warming below 2°C. On each of these points, however, the company’s public statements about climate science contradicted its own scientific data.https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.abk0063

Not surprising but still sad.

There is a “climate change conspiracy” but it is not being led by “Greens”, socialists, and radical environmentalists. It was, is, and always has been a conspiracy of the fossil fuel industry. Follow the money.


Or, it is just capitalists engaged in commerce. Gasoline is a legal product and there are millions of customers, just here in the US, who desire to use that product. It makes sense there are capitalists willing to sell to the people a product that those people desire, at a low price.

There might be some people who expect Exxon to close up shop, and to disengage from commerce. Other capitalists will merely step in to fill the void. Or do you want to make gasoline illegal to sell? Good luck with that.

  • Pete

People are all worried about powerful AI’s, but they do not notice that

uncontrolled systems of power and control, whether communist maniacs or
capitalists corporations with bought title to “personhood”,
are the original horrific utterly artificial intelligence.

david fb


Commerce doesn’t justify lying about the consequences of using your product. What applied to the tobacco industry and their disinformation campaign on the carcinogenic effects of nicotine should also apply to the fossil fuel industry.

Implicit in the concept of a free market is that consumers are getting accurate information about products. Hence truth in advertising laws. Hence legal problems for Exxon.

A joint statement from the California cities of Santa Cruz, San Mateo and Richmond and Marin county said the oil companies knew the dangers of fossil fuels, which they said contribute to extreme precipitation and floods, wildfires and other climate-related woes, but opted instead to deceive consumers. US Supreme Court rebuffs Exxon, Chevron appeals in climate cases | Reuters


That’s a red herring argument. No one is discussing about the legality of gasoline or the merits of capitalism.

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s Exxon scientists made accurate predictions about the effects of fossil fuel induced climate change in the 2020s–40 years in the future. Exxon executives evaluated the work, and made the decision to lie their azzes off about what they knew. Not only that, they hired professional liars–many of them from the tobacco industry with a known history of lying about that industry–to spread lies and misinformation about global warming.

That raises the question, is it ethical to knowing lie about the product you are selling? There might be a case or two when the answer is yes, but overwhelmingly reasonably people would say no.

I’d say also, that if you can’t sell your product without lying about it, you don’t have a very good product.

It raises another question. The oil and gas industry has made more money than any other industry in human history. Back in 1980 when they understood exactly what was going on, they could have taking a tiny portion of their profits and pivoted towards investing in clean solar, nuclear, and carbon capture technology. Forty years in the future, surely those investments would have paid enormous dividends. Instead, they chose to use their resources to block public investments in those areas. In other words, they were using their financial position to actively do harm to the public No one would agree that actively doing harm is ethical.

One of the most prominent tobacco apologists turned climate deniers is Steven Milloy. One tagline that he repeatedly used for both tobacco and climate denial was “it is a legal product and capitalism is legal in this country.” Which has nothing to do with anything, but it is a thought stopping phrase.

And it is pretty much cut and paste your statement above. I mention that, because that’s how skilled the propogandists actually are. You are repeating their talking points, likely without even realizing it.


PBS Frontline recently had an excellent 3-part series about Big Oil and their climate lies. It’s amazing how well it worked. Look how many people on this board believe the climate denial lies. “It’s natural!” “It’s not caused by human activity!” “It’s not CO2!”

Big Oil, the number one driver of human accelerated climate change, KNEW THE DAMAGE THEY WERE DOING AND LIED TO ALL OF US.

It’s amazing and frustrating that when pointed out some people still won’t change their minds.


Well, we’ve seen that in many domains, especially in the last half decade or so. As a nation, we take in and absorb more lies than any can count. The old saying, “if you tell a lie enough times, it becomes the truth” is on the mark. Who needs alternative facts anymore when you can just repeat lies over and over and a huge segment of the population believes them?



AKA Skynet

And the cost of inaction is rising. The profits were privatized and the costs are public.

Severe storms lead to unprecedented $34 billion in US insured losses so far this year, Swiss Re says, August 9, 2023
“Waves of severe thunderstorms in the U.S. during the first half of this year led to $34 billion in insured losses, an unprecedented level of financial damage in such a short time”


The losses have to be normalized for the economic value at risk (the world is a richer place than it used to be). For example:

Economic ‘normalisation’ of disaster losses 1998–2020: a literature review and assessment
“This paper reviews 54 normalisation studies published 1998–2020 and finds little evidence to support claims that any part of the overall increase in global economic losses documented on climate time scales is attributable to human-caused changes in climate, reinforcing conclusions of recent assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”


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Yup, lots of “value for shareholders”, and cleaning up the mess is the next CEO’s problem. Doesn’t seem to be a sustainable model for an economy to me.



Uncontrolled systems of power and control, whether communist maniacs or capitalists corporations with bought title to “personhood”, are the original horrific utterly artificial intelligence.

This is not a mere bit of clever political / economic wordplay.

This is an accurate reflection of what can happen when dozens / hundreds / thousands / millions of individual things we THINK we understand are combined together and pointed at goals we THINK we want with feedback loops and control systems we are NOT capable of comprehending.

America provided protections to corporations as a means of providing continuity of existence to an economic entity beyond the human life of an owner / proprietor and simplifying the creation / enforcement of contracts with a group of individuals acting as a unit. Original references to corporations in US law consistently muddled the use of the terms “citizen” and “person” for such entities until a state tax issue in California resulted in a Supreme Court case in 1886 that used one person’s testimony about “citizen” versus “person” and landed on the PERSON interpretation which forever since has led corporate “rights” issues to DWARF all other areas of case law in Supreme Court decisions – always in favor of fictional corporate “persons.”

Since 1886, we have nearly 140 years of experience in how large corporations (railroads, oil companies in the gilded age, communications companies in the jazz to space age, oil companies in the modern era, communications companies in the Internet era, banks in every era) consistently act when ENORMOUS economic leverage is centralized under the control of a small number of people who can extract enormous PRIVATE benefits from manipulation of PUBLIC markets. The history since 1886 tells us it is nearly impossible to predict HOW – SPECIFICALLY – the next scam will be structured but that same history allows us to predict that ANY firm gaining outsized market power (probably exceeding 33% of a market) will INEVITABLY engage in tactics which harm the public at large – through fraud, monopolistic pricing, failing to pay for damages to public goods via pollution, abusive labor practices, etc.

We have accounting rules and criminal codes aimed at thwarting corporate corruption and monopolistic abuses yet nearly every five to ten years, a new novel scheme is devised which manages to escape detection until the crime implodes, takes out some of its perpetrators and a lot of bystanders in the process. Artificial Intelligence systems are fundamentally massive computer systems with software that claims to be able to find patterns in data. Any tool for FINDING patterns can be used to COPY from those patterns .
As a result, AI has attracted much concern on the part of humans whose jobs in large part amount to re-using known patterns (movie plots, re-packaging news articles, writing software…) who fear massive job losses. A second equal concern with this “creation” ability of AI is the likelihood AI output will be touted as human in an attempt to influence other humans.

But “creation” isn’t the only “killer app” for artificial intelligence. Pattern matching capabilities are fundamental to control system design, both for manufacturing, chemical plants and computerized processes such as trading and audit systems. If you thought five corrupt execs at Enron or Countrywide could be creative at financial fraud, an AI algorithm turned loose on the same available inputs could likely synthesize ten equivalent strategies in a MONTH, making it harder for carbon-based humanoids to decode and halt an ever-evolving fraud.

By the way, it is not safe to assume that the same logic used to create an AI that could be used for fraud could be used to synthesize controls to IDENTIFY AI-devised fraud. Reports from the last few days regarding the latest updates to ChatGPT have shown an interesting, unexpected trend… As ChatGPT’s masters have attempted to alter parts of its algorithms to limit “hallucinations” and other logical flaws, the resulting system is getting WORSE at basic math, something they were surprisingly poor at already. If AI creators have not yet figured out how to “tune” learning capabilities in one “soft” area without worsening accuracy in another area one would expect computer hardware and software to excel at, it is not likely human engineers will be able to reverse engineer AI-synthesized algorithms and decision trees to eliminate criminal ghosts in the machine.



Many here and on other message boards post, repeatedly, about how they can’t get an EV because on their annual long road trip they’d have to wait an extra 10-20 minutes to recharge. Have the oil companies convinced them of how inconvenient that would be?



The losses have to be normalized for the economic value at risk (the world is a richer place than it used to be). For example: Economic ‘normalisation’ of disaster losses 1998–2020: a literature review and assessment

Did you read that paper? It costs $50. Too much for me, and it is difficult to discuss an inaccessible paper. Seems like the paper is mostly just clickbait headlines. Do you have any data?

Since 1980, disaster costs as a percent of GDP have doubled. I expect this is an expontential curve, and so a doubling every 30 years might be expected. (It could be much worse if we hit a tipping point.) Global warming is an easy explanation for the increased costs, but there could be other contributing causes. Global warming is increasing the risk of disasters. This risk may or may not have been realized, but there is increased risk. I think the doubling of costs is mostly due to global warming.

    TimePeriod     Events/Year  Cost/Year [B]  avgRealGDP [B]  pctCost
1980s (1980-1989)      3.3          $21.20         7,804         0.3%
1990s (1990-1999)      5.7          $32.40         10,661        0.3%
2000s (2000-2009)      6.7          $60.00         14,488        0.4%
2010s (2010-2019)      13.1         $96.40         17,207        0.6%

pctCost is real Cost/Year divided by real GDP.

Select Time Period Comparisons of United States Billion-Dollar Drought, Flooding, Freeze, Severe Storm, Tropical Cyclone, Wildfire, and Winter Storm Statistics (CPI-Adjusted)

Real Gross Domestic Product
Billions of Chained 2012 Dollars

There are some obvious other contributing causes that do not mean that climate change isn’t a factor of even the biggest factor.
For example, people build homes more and more in increasingly dangerous places. They build in flood areas, in fire danger areas on seaside cliffs in tornado areas, just to name a few. And when disaster hits, their insurance (or government assistance) pays them so they can rebuild in the same place. I don’t think this used to happen many decades ago. And the politicians come visit the disaster zone and promise help, of course…it gets them re-elected. Just try saying, “no, you can’t live there please move away.”


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That’s funny – the Environmental Hazards journal as clickbait. At any rate, the article is a review of over 50 academic studies.

Here’s a paper by Klotzbach that is more accessible from a couple of years earlier. They start by noting that hurricanes (tropical cyclones) the make landfall are the largest contributor to economic damage in the US and world-wide. No surprise.

“While neither U.S. landfalling hurricane frequency nor intensity shows a significant trend since 1900, growth in coastal population and wealth have led to increasing hurricane-related damage along the U.S. coastline.”

As you noted, the inflation-adjusted damage has increased. However, that is because there is more value at risk. Think of the increased population and building in Florida, for example.

From Klotzbach:
“We demonstrate that this increase in damage is strongly due to societal factors, namely, increases in population and wealth along the U.S. Gulf and East Coasts.”


Another article from that clickbait journal, Environmental Hazards. Alimonti and Mariani looked at the number of global natural disasters since 1900. They were concerned about biases introduced over the years by improvements in reporting.

At any rate, they found that “the most recent subperiod 2002–2022 [is] characterized by a significant decline in number of events.”

Pielke’s paper is unreliable. It has only 1 citation, and that citation says the paper is wrong. The Environmental Hazards journal has low ratings.

Methodological issues in natural disaster loss normalisation studies, 2021
“We refute Pielke’s arguments that statistical studies estimating these relationships are biased… Pielke (2020) dismisses Estrada et al. (2015) and two other statistical studies that contradict his results… This makes the argument tautological: Studies that assume unitary elasticities confirm studies that assume unitary elasticities. Pielke agrees with studies that agree with Pielke”

Taylor & Francis Environmental Hazards Research, Impact Score 0.8

Best Environmental Sciences Journals
#1 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Impact Score 48.00
#663 Taylor & Francis Environmental Hazards, Impact Score 0.8

People moving to Florida could explain the higher costs. About half the costs are from hurricanes (tropical cyclones). Billion-dollar events to affect the United States from 1980 to 2023 (CPI-Adjusted):

    Disaster      Percent of Total Costs
    Drought               13.0%
    Flooding               7.4%
     Freeze                1.4%
  Severe Storm            16.6%
Tropical Cyclone          52.6%
    Wildfire               5.2%
  Winter Storm             3.7%
  All Disasters           100.0%

The percent of the US population in Florida is about the same.

Period  Events  RealCost[B]  RealGDP[B]  pctCost     USpop       FLpop     pctFL
1980s     3.3       21         7,804       0.3%   237,627,839  11,342,125    5%
1990s     5.7       32         10,661      0.3%   265,065,890  14,460,152    5%
2000s     6.7       60         14,488      0.4%   295,083,722  17,391,844    6%
2010s    13.1       96         17,207      0.6%   320,097,410  20,169,749    6%

In a stable world, costs would decline as construction methods improve. Or maybe they increase as lawyers get experience. In 30 years, costs have increased 4x, GDP increased 2x, population increased 2x. 2022 disasters (cost $B):

Western/Central Drought and Heat Wave $22.9
Central and Eastern Winter Storm and Cold Wave $8.6
Western Wildfires $3.2
Hurricane Nicole $1.0
Hurricane Ian $115.2
Hurricane Fiona $2.6
Kentucky and Missouri Flooding $1.5
North Central and Eastern Severe Weather $1.4
Central Derecho $3.3
Central Severe Weather $2.0
North Central Hail Storms $2.5
North Central Severe Weather $2.9
North Central Hail Storms $2.3
Southern and Central Severe Weather $1.2
Southern Severe Weather $2.8
Southeast Tornado Outbreak $1.5
Southern Tornado Outbreak $1.3
Texas Hail Storms $1.1

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The people of Juneau, Alaska

and Lahaina Town, Maui, Hawaii are dealing with Exxon’s lies today.

Where will the next front open up in the fossil fuel producers climate war?

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