Industries Denying Climate Change Knew Plenty

Andrew Revkin in a NY Times article on April 24 shows that the Global Climate Coalition, auto, coal and oil groups, while spending $1.68 billion in 1997 to question scientific judgment about climate change, knew full well there was no question. Its own scientists had said as much.

“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied.” The paper — a draft summary– concluded with a short review of some of the contrarian theories about climate change and said:

“The contrarian theories raise some interesting questions about our total understanding of climate processes, but they do not offer convincing arguments against the conventional model of greenhouse gas emission-induced climate change.”

The sweet thing is that the revealing paper, prepared by Leonard S. Bernstein of Mobile Corporation — one of the Coalition partners– came to light because of a law suit against the State of California by the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, another Coalition partner, suing to stop California from imposing stringent requirements for automobile emissions.

Legal discovery unearthed the document, along with minutes of meetings and other treasures.

So now that some of the original partners of the Coalition have begun admitting to the actuality of climate change, and the Coalition itself has disbanded, what judgment can be brought against those who are responsible in large part for a ten year delay in dealing seriously with the issue? Perhaps an extra carbon tax for the estimated about of CO2 that escaped in the lost 10 years.

For the document itself, all 25 pages of it, go here.

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