ExxonMobil Defies Kochs – Warns Governments Must Intervene To Prevent Climate Catastrophe

While many Americans are stocking up on guns and ammunition to kill other Americans of the “wrong” religion, or the “wrong” sexual orientation, or “all the wrong” races, they are sleeping through the second greatest threat to their existence after the Republican Party. Of course, part and parcel of Americans’  ignorance of and opposition to four decades-old data warning that man-made carbon emissions pose the greatest economic and national security threat to Americans is the oil industry’s deceit in pursuit of profits. A significant reason Americans dismiss the impending climate catastrophe is due to being cognitively incapable of connecting historic droughts, severe storms, deadly flooding, and wildfires to climate scientists warnings about historic droughts, severe storms, deadly flooding and increasingly intense wildfires due to carbon emissions. To make matters worse, there has been a four-plus decade-long oil industry crusade to portray global warming as a nasty liberal hoax to destroy America.

Chief among the groups that learned in the 1970s that man-made carbon emissions would have “catastrophic” effects on the Earth’s climate was ExxonMobil. Instead of warning Americans, ExxonMobil took the lead in funding massive misinformation campaigns and attacking climate scientists. Then the Koch brothers got serious and began issuing monumentally-large checks for Republican science deniers and oil industry ‘experts’ to contradict climate scientists empirical data and research.

It is important to reiterate that besides real independent climate scientists’ research in the 70s, it was ExxonMobil’s own scientists’ data and research warning the oil giant that climate change was “anthropomorphic” (man-caused), and that without immediate government intervention global temperatures “will reach catastrophic levels” and threaten the Earth’s population. Obviously, ExxonMobil, like the Kochs a couple of decades later, concealed the 1970’s science warning the climate is doomed; it is likely why today there are only 10 or 11 people among 300 million aware that climate scientists were screaming about global climate catastrophe over forty years ago.

Now though, in a break with the Koch brothers and all but a literal handful of Republicans, ExxonMobil’s scientists warned the Washington Post that “with no government action, average temperatures are likely to rise by a catastrophic 5 degrees Celsius (9-degrees Fahrenheit) with rises of 6, 7 (12, 13 F) or even more quite possible.” Climate scientists, even those denying anthropomorphic global warming, have predicted for a couple of decades, and issued dire warnings, that a rise in Earth’s temperature of 2 degrees Celsius is the deadly tipping point and “game over for the climate.”

It is certain that the Kochs, whose own scientists’ research agrees with climate scientists and ExxonMobil’s, and their dirt-stupid puppets in Congress and state legislatures nearly fainted when ExxonMobil used science to prophecy the climate’s demise. However, it is more likely that their heads exploded and their bowels emptied when ExxonMobil counseled what the government should initiate immediately to save the climate and billions of human lives.

According to the Washington Post’s “centrist” editorial page editor seeking some means of alerting Americans to just how “dangerously extreme the Republican Party has become on climate change,” Fred Hiatt wrote that “Republicans’ ideologically based denial is dangerous and cowardly.” Hiatt then noted that ExxonMobil is the polar opposite of an environmental group like Greenpeace, but unlike the national GOP leadership, congressional Republicans and presidential candidates, “ExxonMobil believes climate change is real, that governments should take action to combat it, and that the most sensible action would be a revenue-neutral tax on carbon that taxes fossil fuels like coal and oil and returns the money to taxpayers.”

Although ExxonMobil just advised the federal government to take  action to save the climate with a tax on carbon, the “carbon tax” was preemptively blocked by Grover Norquist and Koch brother Republicans in the Senate last March. There is no way in hell Norquist, or the Kochs, will allow Republicans to aid in saving the climate or Americans with any kind of tax, but particularly a tax on anything related to the GOP’s precious “fossil fuels;” materials that are as sacrosanct to Republicans as their devotion to fascist oligarchy and guns.

ExxonMobil is the second leading oil corporation to finally admit, in public, that climate change is real.  So real, in fact,  that last March Shell Oil admitted the climate is doomed and the company is planning for a 4-degree C  rise in the Earth’s temperature. Shell also acknowledged that the 4-degree C rise eclipses the climate-killing 2C threshold and certain disaster.  The oil giant began planning for a “planet-wide catastrophe replete with massive flooding, global famines, and desertification” in previously temperate zones. The “massive flooding” Shell is planning for is “sea water as sea levels will rise between 2.5 and 3.5 feet leading to widespread coastal flooding, animal and plant extinctions, and the near-decimation of global agriculture.”

Shell’s planning document, similar to ExxonMobil, did not waste time advising any government solutions because the corporation’s leaders accept the reality that Republicans will block any government effort to curb carbon emissions. Shell’s internal document said what a few Americans already know; “We do not see government taking any steps now that are consistent with 2 degrees C threshold scenario,”  the tipping point of game over for the climate.

An optimist may believe that after two giant oil corporations weighed in, albeit too late, on the catastrophic temperature rise from carbon emissions, Republicans would give attention to an existential threat to Americans. However, despite pleas from the Vatican to address climate change as a humanitarian issue and 200 world leaders gathering to devise a planet-wide solution, Republicans remain steadfast in willful denial. And it appears that no amount of devastating weather events, droughts, wildfires, or flooding creating economic and national security havoc will affect Republicans. Despite mounting threats to civilization and corporate acknowledgment that action is required immediately, Republicans have ramped up their assault on President Obama’s efforts to address climate change.

It is a travesty, but as Paul Krugman noted last week, “the awesome, terrifying reality is that we’re looking at a party that has turned its back on science at a time when doing so puts the very future of civilization at risk. That’s the truth, and it needs to be faced head-on.” On the other side of the political spectrum, a member of the right wing anti-science echo chamber,  opinion columnist David Brooks, made a different argument to come to the same conclusion as Krugman. Brooks explained that Republicans’ problem with climate change is that,

The G.O.P. has come to resemble a Soviet dictatorship — a vast majority of Republican politicians can’t publicly say what they know about the truth of climate change because they’re afraid the thought police will knock on their door and drag them off to an AM radio interrogation.”

That “commie dictatorship and thought police interrogation” will come down from the Koch brothers and their substantial corporate media sycophants, not oil industry giants. Still, even though ExxonMobil and Shell Oil are predicting a planet-wide climate catastrophe without concerted government intervention, Republicans will continue doing the Koch’s bidding and as Paul Krugman said last week; doom the Earth’s population.