"Yes, we should rake over the coals. And the oil, and the gas.
Democratic accountability means remembering who helped to stoke the
climate crisis. We should hold the fossil fuel companies to account.
In 1979, an internal study by Exxon concluded that burning carbon fuels
“will cause dramatic environmental effects before the year 2050”. In
1982, as the Guardian’s Climate Crimes series recalls, an Exxon memo
concluded that the science of climate change was “unanimous”. Then it
poured millions of dollars into lobby groups casting doubt on it.
They didn’t call themselves lobby groups, but “thinktanks” or “research
institutes”. Across the world, the media took them at their word.
So scientists and environmental campaigners found themselves fighting
the oil companies at one step removed, and with one hand tied behind
their backs. When some of us were pitched against a “thinktank” in the
media, if we tried to explain that it was not what it claimed to be, or
asked it to reveal its funders, we were accused of being “conspiracy
theorists”, or of “playing the man not the ball”. But if we didn’t, its
false claims about climate science were given equal or greater weight.
After all, who were we, a threadbare bunch, beside those
respectable-sounding institutes with offices in Washington or Westminster?"
Via Robert Sanscartier.
*** Xanni ***