Big oil knew about greenhouse gases and their impact on climate change more than half a century ago – but instead of sharing the information, they lied and undermined its veracity. That’s according to a newly published book THE PETROLEUM PAPERS by investigative journalist Geoffrey Dembicki. The book documents how, as far back as 1959, renowned physicist Edward Teller warned Robert Dunlap and other oil executives, about the global impact that greenhouse gases would have on temperatures, melting ice caps, rising oceans and largescale environmental destruction. Even while Exxon’s own scientists were warning of the catastrophic effect that climate change would cause around the world, their executives were spending millions of dollars “trying to convince people the emergency wasn’t real”.
Geoff Dembicki is an investigative climate change journalist based in Brooklyn. His new book The Petroleum Papers: Inside the Far-Right Conspiracy to Cover Up Climate Change, was named one of the 2022’s top 10 books by the Washington Post.
Alyssa Johl, Vice President, Legal for the Center for Climate Integrity will discuss the various litigation battles which are currently underway. Several State Attorney Generals and countries, including the Philippines, have taken law cases against oil companies for the damage inflicted by global warming.
Delta Merner is lead scientist for the Science Hub for Climate Litigation at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She provides timely, scientific evidence to support legal cases that hold fossil fuel companies accountable for climate-related damages. Merner reviews legal communications for scientific accuracy, and leads trainings for scientists working at the intersection of climate science and law.
What price can be levied on big oil for the damage they have caused to the planet and its populations – especially if they were aware of the impending threat?