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Shell Knew, Too: New Docs Show Oil Giant's Scientists Secretly Warned About Climate Threat Decades Ago


Shell Knew, Too: New Docs Show Oil Giant's Scientists Secretly Warned About Climate Threat Decades Ago

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

Royal Dutch Shell's scientists warned the oil giant about the threat that fossil fuel emissions pose to the planet as early as the 1980s, according to a trove of documents obtained by a Dutch journalist and published Thursday at Climate Files.


Everybody has known. Scientists have theorized global warming from greenhouse gases since the 1800s. This is no surprise at all. Lets hold these companies liable for the lies they have told that continue to keep us as a planet behind.


It’s a crime, isn’t it…??


Exactly – scientists knew immediately at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
The Global Warming model was being shown to the public here by 1957.

And certainly the OIL Industry would have had the best scientists looking at the relationship to oil and other fossil fuels.

NY Times is also complicit in this propaganda of Exxon/Mobil lying to the public as they allowed them to use their OP-Ed page to publish their lies which couldn’t be responded to via the NYT by any means because it was considered an “ad-editorial.”

HOWEVER, the article doesn’t mention how our natural resources were immediately privatized by Our Founders and turned over to Elite-patriarchy for their personal profit.

Or that since then, our natural resources have remained under control of and been used for the personal profit of private interests/corporations. American natural resources should be “naturalized.”

How is it that our scholars have refrained from making clear that ALL the nation’s wealth and natural resources were privatized by Our Founders?

Everyone should also know, if they don’t already …
That there was a 50 year gap before we actually began to feel the effects of Global Warming.
In other words, at this moment we are only feeling the effects of the harm done to the planet up to about 1968.
From there and the additional harm done after that time, we can only conclude that the effects of Global Warming that we feel right now will speed up and become more severe.
And, again, our scientists have made clear from the beginning that there is “no way to say how all of this compound.” Global Warming is capable of changing natural weather systems.


Could you imagine being one of the Executives of one of these oil companies, knowing FULL WELL for decades that the business that you run is literally destroying the earth, and will be responsible for the deaths of millions of human beings and other species over a span of centuries - and yet just continuing your day-to-day business-as-usual routine and saying “fuck it, not my problem, I don’t care.” I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. And - as a believer in God and an afterlife - I would constantly be in fear of burning in hell for eternity for my contributions to these monstrous crimes against humanity.

As for all of the tens of millions of moronic MAGA idiots who jumped on the climate-change-denial bandwagon because your Orange Christ says so, you all share the guilt of the oil companies. If there IS a hell - and I believe there is - you will all hopefully be swimming in fire someday.


The year 1981 is only a few years before James Hansen went before Congress and said global warming due in large part to the burning of fossil fuels is happening. There were also a number of popular books on global warming that came out in the 1980s. Certainly the scientific community was well aware of the link between burning fossil fuels and global warming in the 1980s. So basicially, whomever in Shell did not know about this in 1981 would have found out shortly later from the media. The first !PCC report came out in the early 1990s and pretty much established the accepted scientific view on the subject. The disinformation campaign by the fossil fuel companies in the 1990s started at about the same time that the extreme right wing began it takeover of the Republican Party starting with the Gingrich revolution. At that point the doubts about global warming raised by the oil companies were compatible with the extreme right wing creating an alternative right wing universe to sell over Fox News and other types of media outlets.


Thank you for pointing that out. That “lag” of around 50 years is important. Even if all fossil fuels were eliminated today, global warming and its disastrous effects would continue onwards for decades because of what has gone before. Of course, fossil fuel usage will not be eliminated, or most likely even reduced significantly, within our lifetimes, so try to imagine what our grandchildren are going to have to contend with, or our great grandchildren.


dissent –

Has anyone ever asked Trump what his denial of Global Warming is based on?
Is Trump a scientist?
Who regularly informs him about the science of Global Warming?

I’d also add that sometime in the early 80’s, or a bit earlier, the NY Times carried an
article which was reporting that Saudi Arabia was requesting that … “when the time
came where they would have to cut back on oil production due to Global Warming” …
“that they would like to be SUBSIDIZED for their losses.”

Even if Royals have nothing to sell, they expect to be subsidized.


Greenwich, that’s an excellent question. It has been postulated by many that Trump really doesn’t have any solid “positions” on anything, aside from his love of himself and absolute power; that he simply jumps from idea to idea and position to position based on nothing more solid than a whim or what he views on Fox or what the last person in the room happened to say to him. As he has the intelligence and attention span of a coffee table, that’s probably accurate. But I would love someone to ask him that question.

I did NOT know about that 80’s article about Saudia Arabia - very interesting! Thanks for sharing.


Excellent, important points. Here’s what i wrote a few minutes ago in one of the Facebook threads here:

The ownership construct of capitalism provides the political-economic foundation.

Human capacity for ego, greed and malice produces the societal foundation.

In order to give less power to ego, greed and malice, we must transform, re-construct the ownership construct of capitalism.

Why does it have any credibility at all for Facebook to claim to “own,” and to buy / sell / trade, my personal data?

Or in an equally or more menacing construct, for Monsanto to “own” genetic information, DNA, life itself?

Why is the “limited-liability, investor-owned corporate person” legitimized at all? Let alone serve as the fundamental engine and shaper of human economic life?

We can organize life, society, “the economy,” very differently, more humanely.

To do so at this stage of human social and cultural evolution, requires a struggle, a wrenching struggle of consciousness and culture, as well as a material struggle against entrenched power.

If we do not focus our attention on these questions – How is “ownership” constructed in society and the economy? What are the outcomes of these constructs? What are different constructs that might produce different outcomes? How do we get from here to there? – we will find ourselves forever at the mercy of greedy, ego-driven profiteers who claim to “own” everything. And at the mercy of the machines they build to serve their greed and ego, including Artificial Intelligence.

This construct is currently dismantling the ecology of the Earth, as well as becoming ever-more sophisticated at bamboozling and manipulating our human consciousness and desires.


McKibben correctly cites “immorality.” But such a nasty conundrum: To the corporation per se, immorality is irrelevant. The corporation per se is immune to a charge of immorality. That is why it gets away with so much, so very frequently.


The research demonstrates that the oil industry was explicitly warned of climate risks in the 1960s. Significantly, much of this research was carried out as part of a broader industry effort—dating from the 1940s—to use industry-funded research to spur public skepticism of pollution science and environmental regulations.

Through industry histories and other documents, CIEL traced the genesis of the industry’s collective climate research to a meeting of oil and gas industry executives in Los Angeles in late 1946. Faced with growing public concern about air pollution, the industry embarked on what would become a well-funded, carefully coordinated, multi-decade enterprise of funding scientific research into air pollution issues.



Of course they knew.

In elementary school, in the 1960s, i watched “The Unchained Goddess,” a short science documentary directed by the great director Frank Capra, in the “Bell Laboratory Science Series.” In “Unchained Goddess,” “Dr. Research” talks about the science of weather and climate. The film includes a brief segment on global warming, in which in an animation, future tourists view the submerged ruins of Miami “through glass-bottomed boats.” “Unchained Goddess” was produced in the late 1950s.

In the early 1970s i read “The Closing Circle” by the great Barry Commoner. Commoner wrote “Closing Circle” in direct response to the naive positivity of the original Earth Day in 1970. “Closing Circle” includes a chapter on global warming.

The concept of increases in atmospheric carbon generating climate warming is pretty straightforward. It was never any great mystery. There has never been any great scientific controversy. The entire fake “scientific controversy” has been intentionally generated by fossil fuel and related industrial profiteering interests.


I wish I could say I was surprised but I am not. It seems to me the real story would have been if they “hadn’t” known. These corporations by their very nature take on the behavioral patterns of psychopaths.


And that is why we must dismantle the construct of the “limited-liability, investor-owned corporate person” as the basic engine of economic activity.


Thanks for the reminder that schools actually once functioned as educational institutions. Seriously.


The 50-year gap or whatever the number of years, is the time it takes for the warming to come to equilibrium. We are feeling the effects of emissions currently being emitted because the more greenhouse gases are emitted the more heat is trapped. However, if we held the level of carbon dioxide to where it is now, around 410 ppm, we would not get the full increase in temperature from that level for several decades, I think because the oceans absorb so much of the initial heat and then slowly transfer some of the heat to the atmosphere. The additional warming would probably be something like 0.5C after equilibrium is reached.


I don’t know if the 50 year lag between carbon emissions and effect is correct. I’ve heard it can be closer to twenty five to forty years. I have no sources but would love a clarification as to the correct lag time. Anyone? Anyone?


Web –

One overall response that immediately comes to my mind is that gradually
the values of our societies have been changed by Elites.
Everything is controlled from the top down.

Once corporations destroyed the electric trolleys and bus services after WWII,
we were headed for trouble – only increased by the move to the suburbs
subsidized by government via new railroads, etal.

Nor did they have any interest in upgrading existing housing in cities, nor in
building new housing in cities.
The gasoline-driven AUTOMOBILE could be the only answer for Americans
from that point on.
Notice even now, that what is left of mass transportation remains under heavy
attack from our corporate-fascist government. Whether RR’s or Buses – and
Boston continues to be an example of attacks on their trolleys.
Anything that works is a threat to the domination of Elites/corporations.

True that “property” was endowed by Our Founders to white males here – and
only they were given the right to vote. Everyone else was made second/third
class citizens.

If we look out at the world today, I wonder how many of us see ourselves in those
trying to deal with US/CIA “illegal wars of aggression” which has created the
refugee program in the Middle East.

The only message you can take from this is that you can only own what you can
carry in your own head/knowledge – and physically, you can only own what you can
carrying. That’s the final message, imo.

Agree on restructuring society – and fairly recently I asked a question which in
summary is kind of – “What is our real WORK in this world?”

Is it reporting every day to work with a computer, keyboard, phone - pen and paper.
Or is it our responsibilities to nature, our communities, our families?
To ensuring that any government that exists is fair and just?
To stick our noses into the business of every day LIFE – from energy to what we eat?

We can organize life, society, “the economy,” very differently, more humanely. :slight_smile:

We also have to get more honest about what Our Founders actually did in creating an
Elite-Patriarchy and privatizing the wealth and natural resources of the nation.
All of which pretty much disappeared what they called the “people’s government.”


Exactly. Industrialization, capitalism and their consequences are all part-and-parcel of what has become the global political-economy. And yet there are a critical mass of adults who continue to speak/think/act like children who talk about 'reforming" capitalism and ‘regulating’ carbon-based pollution, nuclear waste, plastics, weapons and toxic chemicals as ‘first steps’ towards a 'better world". These are the last steps toward oblivion. Science and the biosphere do not ‘compromise’ on some issues. The are ‘radical extremists.’