- NOTE: It is not lost on me that air travel overall accounts for 3.5% of global warming activities, but it’s mostly due to a minority of very frequent flyers, and I’m optimistic that electric commercial aircraft and other greener options will be forthcoming.
Now that climate change’s effects are blatantly obvious and undeniable to everyone (even the oil industry itself), more Americans are finally getting concerned about the movie, “Waterworld” becoming a documentary.
But too many people still act like climate change is relatively recent news, even though scientists predicted that America’s fossil fuel-based economy would warm the planet at least as far back as the 1912 (see newspaper article at right).
Bell Labs predicted climate change way back in 1958.
In his free-to-stream climate change documentary, Before The Flood, Leonardo DiCaprio shows a video clip from The Bell System Science Series, six films directed by Frank Capra in 1958 where the man we all knew as “the science guy” (before Bill Nye stole the name), warned us of climate change in no uncertain terms:
“Even now, man may be unwittingly changing the world’s climate through the waste products of his civilization. Due to our release, through factories and automobiles every year, of more than six billion tons of carbon dioxide, our atmosphere seems to be getting warmer…it’s been calculated that a few degrees rise in the earth’s temperature would melt the polar ice caps.”—Dr. Research, 1958
Why would the polar ice caps melting be bad? It acts as a “global air-conditioning system” that stabilizes temperatures—by reflecting sunlight and trapping methane gas that would otherwise accelerate the problem. But what the polar ice caps mainly trap is sea-water—so much of it that, if it all melted, the resulting sea-level rise would erase whole nations from the earth. Yeah, that would be bad.
Even Cary Grant knew about climate change when he was 54.
Climate change was even mentioned in mainstream movies of the ’50s and ’60s, like “Indiscreet,” a romantic comedy starring Hollywood royalty, Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.
In this critical scene, the two lead characters (Philip and Anna) have recently met and are out on their first date. To break the tense, awkward silence during an elevator ride, the two attempt to make casual small talk.
It’s unusual for the weather to be so muggy this time of year.
Yes, I read an article the other day that claimed the world’s weather was changing.
Really? That’s interesting.
Yes, isn’t it?
Yes, Philip, it is interesting. And you should’ve shared that article with Anna’s brother-in-law, the diplomat. Then we might not all be in this situation…Philip!
Big Oil screwed the planet, and it should pay to fix it.
The world’s five largest, investor-owned fossil fuel producers—ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, and British Petroleum (BP)—have long misled Americans about what their cheap (thanks, government subsidies!), dirty energy was doing to our planet.
Geoffrey Supan, report co-author and a Harvard researcher, told the Los Angeles Times:
“For 60 years, the fossil fuel industry has known about the potential global warming dangers of their products. But instead of warning the public or doing something about it, they turned around and orchestrated a massive campaign of denial and delay designed to protect profits.”
Through a concerted effort to deny that the problem existed, Big Oil used tactics ripped from the tobacco industry playbook to cast doubt on the science.
Hill & Knowlton need to pay up, too.
As early as 1956, the oil and tobacco industries both hired the morally bankrupt PR agency, Hill & Knowlton.
“From the 1950s onward, the oil and tobacco firms were using not only the same PR firms and same research institutes, but many of the same researchers.”—Carroll Muffett, CIEL President, in Scientific American
Why would these companies need to pay a PR agency and their researchers? Because:
“The purpose of this [disinformation campaign] has been to confuse the public and decision-makers in order to delay climate action and thereby protect fossil fuel business interests…”—George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication report
The Oil Industry is trying to walk away from the damages its products have caused, while still keeping the profits. This cannot stand. Thankfully, more and more organizations are suing fossil fuel companies for denying and downplaying the effects of climate change, as well as the societal costs to correct the problems.
There must be real, financial consequences—not just fines, I’m talking full replacement costs—for the actions and decisions that may ultimately end all life on this planet.