Decades ago, oil companies like Exxon were already studying the science of Climate Change. According to an investigation that uncovered internal documents from the 1970s, senior scientist James Black of Exxon warned the management committee, “In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels,” Black continues, “present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to 10 years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.”
That was in 1977. Since then, a review of climate models developed during the 1970s has shown that scientists were, in fact, correct in their predictions about the changing climate.
The impact of burning fossil fuels is undeniable – even from within fossil fuel companies. The good news is that some of these companies are now making an effort to shift to providing energy from greener sources. But we still have a long way to go in a short time.
How do we reduce the output of carbon and other greenhouse gases in a way that encourages big corporations to act with haste without the burden of saving our future falling on the shoulders of those with the fewest resources?
Guest: Henry Jakubowski, Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus CSB/SJU
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