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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > Jan Feb 2016 > What Exxon Knew About Arctic Warming Twenty-Five Years Ago

What Exxon Knew About Arctic Warming Twenty-Five Years Ago

A major new investigation thoroughly documents how a big oil company’s executives were publicly minimizing the effects of climate change in the Arctic while its own scientists were studying those impacts and concluding they would be significant.

The events began more than a quarter century ago, when it was becoming apparent that global warming would warm the Arctic regions even more so than other parts of the planet. Big oil companies have major stakes in the Arctic, and they needed to know the impacts of climate change on their operations.

In 1990 the board of Exxon, one of the world’s largest oil companies, responded to a dissident shareholder by saying Exxon had studied the science of global warming and concluded it was too murky to warrant action. It said its examination “supports the conclusions that the facts today and the projection of future effects are very unclear.”

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