Climate change threat of 1968 was known to Oil Industries.


The year 1968 was all about peace, love, and happiness and putting an end to war, but issues like climate changes were the last thing on anyone’s mind. The fact is that nobody even knew what the term meant at all – it could have had been the name of a new rock band and stuff, for all they knew. But freshly released reports from the U.S. oil space suggests that the industry WAS warned that year about climate change, decades before people knew it could become problematic.
The report was gathered by four-year research period by the Centre for IEL i.e. International Environmental Law, and one of the most intriguing new papers released this week was a report from the year, 1968. Where the American Petroleum Institute was asked to look into ways to reduce their carbon emissions. This isn’t the only one, though, as other paper also suggest that American oil firms had been aware of the fossil fuel emissions could do to the world temperatures. There are numerous points though where the industry was on notice that this is going to be a rising risk,” said CIEL president Carroll Muffett. “(In 1968), they had two paths in front of them. One was to respond to this rising risk, notwithstanding the continuing uncertainty, or the alternative is to try to discredit the science. And I think history has already shown them what path they chose.”
Unusually, the history of fossil fuels and attempts to control the carbon footprint dates back to the immediate post war era, i.e. 1946, the API had set up “Smoke and Fumes Committee” for Los Angeles. About a decade later, in 1957, Humble Oil (the future ExxonMobil) pinpointed fossil fuel burning as a cause of rising carbon emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere. Fast forward to 1968, when Stanford Research Institute meteorologist Elmer Robinson told API that these rising emissions “may be the cause of serious worldwide environmental changes.” Talk about a smoking gun that wasn’t, because look at what climate change has done to world temperatures so far!
A member of a major climate change think tank believes that the literature is proof that the oil industry was fully aware of climate change, and may have also been “at the cutting edge” of climate change science back in its earliest days. “These new studies push the timeline back for when we have evidence that the fossil fuel industry knew about climate change,” said Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists lead analyst Gretchen Goldman. “It’s remarkable to see them have this sophisticated a position this early.”