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Exxon’s ‘Excellent Scientists’ Knew Back in 1982 Exactly How Bad Climate Change Would Be Now

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A former Exxon scientist just testified before Congress that, not only did Exxon know that the fossil fuels it was selling would torch the world, the company knew back in 1982 exactly how bad climate change would be in 2019.

“We were excellent scientists,” the former employee, Martin Hoffert, told lawmakers Wednesday.

The hearing before the House Oversight Committee was brought together to assess the extent to which Exxon knew decades ago that the core of its business — extracting and selling fossil fuels — was making the world hotter.

It’s long been known that Exxon knew, as early as the late 1970s, that fossil fuels were contributing to climate change. The company also actively made an effort to try to get the public to think fossil fuels weren’t contributing to climate change through elaborate and expensive PR campaigns.

By the early 1980s, scientists there had developed predictions for how much carbon would be in the atmosphere, if fossil fuels continued to burn, and how hot that would make the world — and they were accurate.

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