The main play for those who disbelieve in man-made climate change is to say that it’s a liberal political issue where people are only incentivized to support it, and are punished for going against it.
Well here’s the best argument you’ve ever heard for man-made global warming, and it comes from the least likely group, at the least likely time.
ExxonMobil is known for hiring top-tier scientists. This has been the case for decades, and largely continues to be so. And scientists are given extraordinary freedom within the company because they’re helping the business make predictions about the future.
The predictions that come out of ExxonMobil have been industry benchmarks for decades for this reason. Within the industry, they simply have the best scientists, and they produce the best science.
Well it turns out that they were asked to investigate man-made global warming back in the 1970s, and in 1978 James Black told senior executives, and then many others in the company, that the threat was absolutely real.
That’s almost half a century ago.
And Exxon responded respectably. They commissioned more studies—again, long before any of this stuff was controversial or a political talking point—and their scientists concluded that the issue was valid and significant.
And for a time, Exxon’s scientists were working on all sorts of solutions to the problem, being the top-end and highly-respected scientists that they were.
But then something changed.
Some folks in the business decided that the political repercussions would be too great if everyone realized how dangerous fossil fuels are, and that the government would regulate in a way that harmed Exxon’s business.
So they told everyone internally to reverse course and start saying that global warming was not clear, that the data wasn’t conclusive, and that it wasn’t that bad of a problem.
And that’s what they did. For the last 40 years.
My simple point in all this is not what Exxon did—they’re a business and businesses protect their interests.
My point is that it’s ridiculous to argue against the conclusion that humans have caused global warming when the world’s most influential and scientifically respected oil company came to that conclusion 40 years ago and only changed their message for business reasons.
The studies and data that lead to their conclusions wasn’t forged or manipulated. Their findings were pure scientific research by the best people in the world with no political forces guiding them towards their conclusions whatsoever. In fact it was the opposite, if anything.
At this point it’s an exercise in pure anti-intellectual data denial, and hatred of all-things-government, to deny that man-made climate change is real.
So if you’re one who hates the government (which there are good reasons for doing), and disbelieve anything climate change related because of that distrust, take climate change off your list of things to disbelieve.
You can still dislike and challenge what you think government wants to do with this information, but don’t deny that it’s real. Let’s start talking about solutions instead.