Like with the tobacco companies, the oil industry knew about the link to climate change and potential devastating environmental repercussions to the mass release of carbon into the atmosphere, as early as 1977. Because they have so many scientists on their payroll, they knew about this before anyone, really. And like the tobacco companies their first impulse was to cover up, deny and obfuscate what their own research showed. They started colluding to influence (again, cover up, deny and obfuscate) the public discussion of smog and pollution as early as 1946!
In 1968, a pair of scientists from Stanford Research Institute wrote a report for the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association for America’s oil and natural gas industry. They warned that “man is now engaged in a vast geophysical experiment with his environment, the earth” — one that “may be the cause of serious world-wide environmental changes.”
The scientists went on: “If the Earth’s temperature increases significantly, a number of events might be expected to occur including the melting of the Antarctic ice cap, a rise in sea levels, warming of the oceans and an increase in photosynthesis.”
They’re already the devil, so no, they can’t be more evil than we thought. The point is they’re evil and have no credibility on public safety issues where their profits are impacted. So you need government to step in and take the side of the public. And when they don’t, it’s generally because somebody became a corporate whore.
Oops, that term again. I’m not civil.