ExxonMobil misled the public about the climate crisis. Now they’re trying to silence critics | Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes
Newly leaked documents reported by Bloomberg News show that ExxonMobil’s climate dishonesty is even worse than we thought
In 2017, we published the first peer-reviewed analysis of ExxonMobil’s 40-year history of climate change communications. We found that the company and its parents, Exxon and Mobil, misled the public about climate change and its severity. Central to this conclusion was the contrast between what Exxon and ExxonMobil scientists said in internal reports and scientific articles versus what Exxon, Mobil, and ExxonMobil told the public in non-peer-reviewed publications and in “advertorials” – paid advertisements dressed up to look like opinion pieces – in The New York Times.
Newly leaked documents, reported recently by Bloomberg News, show that ExxonMobil’s climate dishonesty is even worse than we thought. While the company privately has an internal “plan for surging carbon emissions…by as much as the output of the entire nation of Greece,” according to Bloomberg, ExxonMobil executives “shield their carbon forecasts from investors.” In other words, ExxonMobil drew up plans to expand fossil fuel production, internally calculated how much this would increase their carbon dioxide emissions, then failed to disclose those estimates to investors. Indeed, the company has never publicly disclosed its emissions forecasts. In response to the Bloomberg report, ExxonMobil claimed that the leaked documents were not up-to-date, but declined to provide “any details on the new projections,” according to Bloomberg.