Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Four Stage Policy of Climate Change Denial

A series of stories in the LATimes has been explaining how EXXON knew very early that fossil fuel use was causing potentially catastrophic climate change and how they decided to cover it up and tell the public nothing was wrong.

This bit of dialogue from a BBC political comedy sums up the trick that’s been played on humanity by the oil companies and their Republican stooges.

Sir Richard Wharton: In stage one we say nothing is going to happen.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.

Sir Richard Wharton: In stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there's nothing we can do.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it's too late now.

Meanwhile our tax dollars subsidize the oil giants with billions of dollars a year and their shareholders pocket trillions of dollars of profits year by year. By the time the oceans rise and global food production collapses they will be beyond prosecution and their riches will be safely stashed somewhere beyond our reach. Because of what they knew all along their offshore bank will not be on a Caribbean island but Switzerland.

Here's Bill McKibben's damning article about what EXXON knew, in the New Yorker.

And in The Nation, again by Bill McKibben.

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