The climate cover up – big oil’s campaign of deception | DW Documentary

The climate cover up – big oil’s campaign of deception | DW Documentary

For decades, oil companies have known that burning fossil fuels impacts the climate. Why have they been keeping this information hidden?

Donald Trump has a different view on climate change to his predecessors in the White House. It’s good news for major oil companies such as Exxon and Shell, which for the last 60 years have been funding studies and campaigns to dismiss the threat to the environment. New documents confirm that these companies have known since 1957 that burning fossil fuels impacts on the climate. Big oil has been deceiving the public for the past 60 years. Confidential research conducted decades ago by the oil majors shows that global climate change caused by human behavior is reality. In addition, engineers working for Exxon and Shell have been using that knowledge for future planning. Rising sea levels and the increasing frequency and severity of storms prompted the firms to make their oil rigs taller and more stable. At the same time, pipelines in the Arctic have been given reinforced foundations due to permafrost thaw. Geophysician Edward Garvey worked for Exxon between 1978 and 1983. He regrets that action wasn’t taken 30 years ago to combat climate change. Instead the oil companies commissioned counter-studies to be used by lobby groups. According to Carroll Muffett from the Center for International Environmental Law in Washington, they consciously funded surveys with the aim of discrediting the results. He calls it “the greatest scandal in human history.” Two district attorneys and a range of county authorities in the US have now launched proceedings against Exxon and other oil companies. This documentary examines the campaign of deception, and follows up on evidence of similarly dubious studies being published in Germany too.
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