Thanks to President Trump and his transparent and perverse desire to enrich his golfing buddies in the fossil fuel industry and to accelerate the climate crisis, the U.S. is the most notorious climate criminal in the world right now. But the Aussies are giving us a run for our money. Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone Magazine.
More damning evidence against the fossil fuel industry for lying to the world about coals role in climate change. They knew!
“Exxon knew.” Thanks to the work of activists and journalists, those two words have rocked the politics of climate change in recent years, as investigations revealed the extent to which giants like Exxon Mobil and Shell were aware of the danger of rising greenhouse gas emissions even as they undermined the work of scientists.
But the coal industry knew, too — as early as 1966, a newly unearthed journal shows.
In August, Chris Cherry, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, salvaged a large volume from a stack of vintage journals that a fellow faculty member was about to toss out. He was drawn to a 1966 copy of the industry publication Mining Congress Journal; his father-in-law had been in the industry and he thought it might be an interesting memento.
Cherry flipped it open to a passage from James R. Garvey, who was the president of Bituminous Coal Research Inc., a now-defunct coal mining and processing research organization.
“There is evidence that the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is increasing rapidly as a result of the combustion of fossil fuels,” wrote Garvey. “If the future rate of increase continues as it is at the present, it has been predicted that, because the CO2 envelope reduces radiation, the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere will increase and that vast changes in the climates of the earth will result.”
“Such changes in temperature will cause melting of the polar icecaps, which, in turn, would result in the inundation of many coastal cities, including New York and London,” he continued.
"Almost 8,000 new private jets are expected to be bought by multinational companies and the super-rich over the next decade, each of which will burn 40 times as much carbon per passenger as regular commercial flights,"#ActOnClimate #ClimateChange https://t.co/x9yP0toVSS
— Paul Dawson (@PaulEDawson) November 20, 2019
Even then this was old news. The dangers of climate change literally made the front pages of newspapers as far back as 1912 – more than 100 years ago – and was written about even in the popular press as far back as the mid-19th century.While our scientific understanding of many of the processes involved in climate change has no doubt evolved hugely over the last 150 years or so, it’s clearly been known for an incredibly long time that burning coal produces CO2 that traps heat in the atmosphere and warms the planet. Case closed.
An Adani coal mine threatens a sacred forest grove in India. If they can’t operate responsibly in India what will be different in Qld? https://t.co/YZBwAjvP6e
— Oliver Yates (@_Oliver_Yates) October 31, 2019
Given the unfortunate, public realities of pollution from burning coal, in the conclusion of his discussion piece, the Peabody engineer Jones wondered: “What can an individual with a personal stake in the future of the coal industry do?”Among the answers, he offered this.“Be a ‘one-man’ public relations emissary for the coal industry,” Jones explained to his industry colleagues.“Tell your neighbours, friends, and the general public how important coal is to their every-day existence. Also tell them about the all-out cooperative efforts of the coal industry to reduce air pollution.”Sound and timeless advice, you might say. At least, for somebody with a personal stake in the future of the coal industry.
Traditional owners banned from entering Adani site
Mr Burragubba, Mr McAvoy and other W&J mine opponents have been order by the Qld Supreme Court not enter the Adani mine site without Adani’s consent!https://t.co/UtnWbnj5OK
— blakandblack (@blakandblack) October 23, 2019
Climate change is many things — a moral issue, a question of intergenerational justice, an economic threat, and now a daily and terrifying reality.
But it’s also a math problem, a point I’ve been trying to make for awhile now. Let’s run some new numbers.
First: 11,000, as in the number of scientists who just signed a manifesto that declares the world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society. “We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,” the manifesto, released earlier this month, states. “To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live. [This] entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.”
Is that straightforward enough?
These are not scientists warning about something that will happen — these are scientists rushing out of their labs in their white coats and waving their arms and trying to do what they can to bring us to our senses. “The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity.” Eleven thousand, by the way, is another way of saying essentially all scientists who study this field — the tiny cadre of deniers shrinks annually, and is not being replenished by young climatologists.
We have little chance of preventing more than 1.5C of global heating unless existing fossil fuel infrastructure is retired
Instead the industry intends to accelerate production, spending $5tn in 10 years on developing reserves
It is committed to ecocide https://t.co/i6Gp5xeQOO
— Paul Dawson (@PaulEDawson) November 27, 2019