Oil pollution

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

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.

Anything to add? Say it as a comment.


Why not enjoy unlimited reading of UP'? Subscribe from €1.90 per week.

Nous avons un message pour vous…

En octobre dernier nous avons pris l’engagement que UP’ Magazine accordera au dérèglement climatique, à l’extinction des espèces sauvages, à la pollution, à la qualité de notre alimentation et à la transition écologique l’attention et l’importance urgentes que ces défis exigent. Cet engagement s’est traduit par le partenariat de UP’ Magazine avec Covering Climate Now, une collaboration mondiale de 250 médias sélectionnés pour renforcer la couverture journalistique des enjeux climatiques.

Nous promettons de vous tenir informés des mesures que nous prenons pour nous responsabiliser à ce moment décisif de notre vie. La désinformation sur le climat étant monnaie courante, et jamais plus dangereuse qu’aujourd’hui, il est essentiel que UP’ Magazine publie des rapports précis et relaye des informations faisant autorité – et nous ne resterons pas silencieux.

Notre indépendance éditoriale signifie que nous sommes libres d’enquêter et de contester l’inaction de ceux qui sont au pouvoir. Nous informerons nos lecteurs des menaces qui pèsent sur l’environnement en nous fondant sur des faits scientifiques et non sur des intérêts commerciaux ou politiques. Et nous avons apporté plusieurs modifications importantes à notre expression éditoriale pour que le langage que nous utilisons reflète fidèlement, mais sans catastrophisme, l’urgence environnementale.

UP’ Magazine estime que les problèmes auxquels nous sommes confrontés dans le cadre de la crise climatique sont systémiques et qu’un changement sociétal fondamental est nécessaire. Nous continuerons à rendre compte des efforts des individus et des communautés du monde entier qui prennent courageusement position pour les générations futures et la préservation de la vie humaine sur terre. Nous voulons que leurs histoires inspirent l’espoir.

Nous espérons que vous envisagerez de nous soutenir aujourd’hui. Nous avons besoin de votre soutien pour continuer à offrir un journalisme de qualité, ouvert et indépendant. Chaque abonnement des lecteurs, quelle que soit sa taille, est précieux. Soutenez UP’ Magazine à partir d’1.90 € par semaine seulement – et cela ne prend qu’une minute. Merci de votre soutien.

Je m’abonne →

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Previous article

Climate: The French make their revolution without the elites

Climate lobby
Next article

How the European Medef secretly wants to sabotage the climate targets

Latest articles from Climate



Already registered? I'm connecting

Inscrivez-vous et lisez three articles for free. Recevez aussi notre newsletter pour être informé des dernières infos publiées.

→ Register for free to continue reading.



You have received 3 free articles to discover UP'.

Enjoy unlimited access to our content!

From $1.99 per week only.