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33 MIN READ TIME

What Exxon Knew About Arctic Warming Twenty-Five Years Ago

KENDRICK FRAZIER

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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About Skeptical Inquirer

The ‘Lie Detector’ Test Revisited: A Great Example of Junk Science Trends in Scientific Knowledge, Education, and Religion The Science of Meaning Mistaken Memories of Vampires: Pseudohistories and much more.

Other Articles in this Issue


Editor’s Letter
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Most people assume that the chupacabra, like its cryptozoological brethren
Crackpot scientists are very fond of abusing and trivializing science—especially
REVIEWS
Ghosts of Lincoln: Discovering His Paranormal Legacy. By Adam Selzer
Walking Among Us: The Alien Plan to Control Humanity. By
NEW AND NOTABLE
GOD IS WATCHING YOU: How the Fear of God Makes
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Kudos to Dr. Morton E. Tavel for his article “Correlations:
NEWS AND COMMENT
A major new investigation thoroughly documents how a big oil
In December 2014, our Committee for Skeptical Inquiry issued a
A Rutgers-Newark professor was accused of sexually assaulting a disabled
Over a decade ago in the pages of Skeptical Inquirer
Dick Smith, a longtime fellow of the Committee for Skeptical
A triple homicide in Florida in July 2015 was suspected
Rumors of a supernatural phenomenon circulated among residents of two
CONFERENCE REPORTS
The Sixteenth European Skeptics Congress was held at Goldsmiths College,
I love attending skeptic conferences. For much of my life
SPECIAL REPORT
Nearly 500 people crowd The Fashion Institute of Technology’s Haft
COMMENTARY
T he honorary doctorate being awarded by Goldsmiths is deeply
INVESTIGATIVE FILES
Joe Nickell, PhD, a former private detective, did graduate work
PSYCHIC VIBRATIONS
Sheaffer’s “Psychic Vibrations” column has appeared in the Skeptical Inquirer
SKEPTICAL INQUIREE
Benjamin Radford is a research fellow at the Committee for
THE SCIENCE OF SCIENCE COMMUNICATION
Matthew Nisbet is associate professor of communication at Northeastern University