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The tobacco industry knew that cigarettes were both addictive and carcinogenic. They sold them anyway, and hired professional obfuscators and lobbyists to bury the truth.
Now we know that the oil industry is the same way. Exxon knew how much carbon was buried in oil reserves. They knew how much carbon dioxide was in the atmosphere. They were able to calculate in 1979 what burning all that oil would do to the carbon dioxide concentration.
originally posted by: rnaa
Global Warming Deniers out there that have been fooled by the fossil fuel industry's lobbying, misinformation campaigns, self serving attacks on the scientific community and public education in general
If smoking was the CAUSE of 80 % of all lung cancers, then why, since the rate of smoking has been decreasing for the last 50 years, has the rate of lung cancer not also decreased.
originally posted by: Bluntone22
So ExxonMobil should have stopped selling oil?
I'm sure chevron , shell and BP would have followed suit.
And people knew cigarettes were bad for them in the 40s.
All you Global Warming Deniers out there that have been fooled by the fossil fuel industry's lobbying
originally posted by: BuzzyWigs
I started college in 1976. We were required to take a science course - I chose Environmental Studies.
People think that 'environmentalists' are a new invention - but they are not. I was raised with the very same concept, and have ALWAYS been a proponent of conservation, recycling, and reduction of pollution.
Excellent and thought-provoking essay!
I am a recovering neo-Malthusian, and having also had the inevitable adolescent flirtation with Marxism (and a minor in Anthropology), I would like to suggest another element that adds to the discussion: millenarianism.
There are only a few studies of environmentalism as a millenarian movement, but it can certainly be characterised as one — a reaction to rapid social change that is perceived as leading to inevitable catastrophe, which only the chosen will survive - followed by the 'sustainable society', true communism, 1000 year Reich, or whatever.
I must say that I have discussed this theme a bit in a book ('Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Environmental Science') and concluded that it is possible to adhere to a modest concern for environmental protection (who's not in favour of a decent environment?), but your essay has led me to at least reconsider this.
You might add to this essay a reference to Robert Proctor's excellent book 'The Nazi War on Cancer' which very much supports your thesis (but also my position) with some good history, good analysis and some great examples – they had an organic garden at Dachau! Rachel Carson's mentor Wilhelm Hueper was a closet Nazi (wrote a fawning letter), etc.