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Documents show that since the 1980s, oil tankers have been knowingly slaughtering the climate

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Confidential documents from Shell and Exxon, dating from the 1980s, have recently been updated and analysed by a Stanford University researcher, Benjamin Franta. The reading of these documents is chilling. The tankers describe in black and white, in detail, the climatic disturbances we are seeing today.
 
Dn the 1980s, the oil companies Exxon and Shell made estimates of the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from fossil fuels and assessments of the global consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2090, CO2 levels would have doubled compared to the first years of the 19th century, and that this would lead, according to the scientific knowledge available at the time, to an increase of about 3° Celsius in average global temperatures.
 
A few years later, in 1988, an internal Shell report anticipated similar effects, but concluded that CO2 levels could double earlier, around 2030. « Internally, these companies did not question the links between their products, global warming and ecological disaster. On the contrary, their research confirmed the correlations " wrote Benjamin Franta.
 
Shell's estimates predicted a 60 to 70 centimetre rise in sea level, and indicated that warming could also lead to the disintegration of the ice sheet in West Antarctica, this time resulting in a global sea level rise of "five to six metres", enough to submerge entire countries at too low altitudes.
 

"The changes may be the greatest in history."

Shell analysts also warned of the "loss of local ecosystems and destruction of habitat" and predicted increased "runoff, destructive flooding and flooding of low-lying farmland", so, they wrote, "new sources of drinking water would be needed" to compensate for changes in rainfall. Global changes in air temperature would "radically change the way people live and work. In total, Shell concluded, "the changes may be the largest in history.
 
Exxon, for its part, warned that "potentially catastrophic events must be taken into account. Like Shell experts, Exxon scientists predicted a devastating rise in sea levels, and warned against turning the U.S. Midwest and other parts of the world into deserts. Rather looking on the bright side, the company said that surely "this problem is not as serious for humanity as a nuclear holocaust or a global famine.
 
 

Breathtaking cynicism

These documents show breathtaking cynicism. Refusing to take any responsibility, Shell claims that the "primary burden" for tackling climate change rests with states and consumers, not the energy industry. The argument might have made sense if oil company executives, including those of Shell and Exxon, had not subsequently lied about climate change and actively discouraged states, by campaigns of relentless lobbying, to put in place policies that promote clean energy.
 
While the details of global warming were still foreign to most people in the 1980s, the companies that contributed most to it were among the few organizations that had a clear picture of it. « Beyond the scientific uncertainties, the main thing is that the oil companies knew that their products were contributing to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, understood that this would lead to warming and had calculated the probable consequences. They then chose to accept the risks, on our behalf, at our expense and without our knowledge. " wrote Benjamin Franta.
 
The oil industry's secret climate change predictions are becoming a reality, not by chance. Fossil fuel producers have deliberately led us into the dark future they themselves feared, by promoting the use of their products, deliberately lying about their effects, and defending their share of energy markets tooth and nail. « As the world warms, elements of our planet - its ice caps, forests, air and ocean currents - are being irretrievably degraded. Who has the right to foresee such devastation and deliberately fulfil the prophecy? "rebels the author.
 
And while the planet is melting and the very future of mankind is being called into question, the oil tankers continue to go on and on. World oil production has just broken records. Never before has so much oil been consumed. In August 2018, the 100 million barrels per day mark was crossed. In spite of the global awareness, the COPs and the One Planet Summit, the marches, the debates, the efforts of everyone, the fossil fuel sector seems deaf and cynically continues its farandole towards a programmed disaster.
 
 

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