More than 26 lawsuits have been filed in the US against oil companies for their role in climate change. The internal documents of these companies contain research data collected by their teams regarding the effect of rising global temperatures.
These researchers had accurately predicted rising global temperatures. Some of these researchers have testified that fossil fuel companies, petroleum giants like Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP among others, knew about the role of burning fossil fuels in global warming more than 60 years ago.
Their testimonies bring forth information that shows how these companies that benefited from peddling fossil fuels spread misinformation about global warming and did nothing about the warnings they received.
Many of them also accept that “They were hardly whistleblowers out to take down big oil”, the Guardian piece said.
Dr Martin Hoffert, 83, physicist and Exxon consultant, told the Guardian, “We were doing very good work at Exxon. We had eight scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals, including a prediction of how much global warming from carbon dioxide buildup would be 40 years later. We made a prediction in 1980 of what the atmospheric warming would be from fossil fuel burning in 2020. We predicted that it would be about one-degree celsius. And it is about one degree celsius.”
Dr Hoffert added how Exxon subsequently shut down the research and instead started funding climate deniers.
Dr Hoffert’s story is not a one-off case. Other executives and consultants have been called to testify in the cases against oil companies in the US and with a greater push to recognise ‘ecocide’ globally, similar cases can be expected in the future against other oil companies. The landmark ruling of the Dutch court against the Royal Dutch Shell company which asked the petroleum giant to reduce its emissions was one such case.
New climate science is also making it easier to pin the direct effects of corporate activity to its immediate consequences ecologically and environmentally.