about the danger of fossil fuel emissions. They worked with the Bush administration to rewrite federal research papers to undermine existing research on climate change.
“They weren’t focused on doing research or on improving the oil industry’s impact on pollution,” said James Nelson, the former leader of the API’s Climate and Energy Task Force. “They were less interested in pushing the envelope of science and more interested in how to make it more advantageous politically or economically for the oil industry. That’s not meant as a criticism. It’s just a fact of life.”
Other facts of life: 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history, with “sea levels rising faster every year,” and the “most severe El Niño ever observed.” Slate calls it “already a worldwide disaster,” with Los Angeles stockpiling sandbags and San Diego calling for a pre-emptive state of emergency ahead of torrential rains.
Small island nations, like the Marshall Islands, are disappearing, while coastlines around the world are in danger of going underwater if current trends continue, which would lead to a mass displacement of people and millions of refugees around a world already struggling with displaced populations and resource scarcity.
These phenomena were predicted years ago by some of the best research oil companies commissioned, reviewed, buried and then spent decades denying. Appalling as these activities are, denying one’s own scientific research isn’t illegal, and there are likely to be neither prosecutions nor consequences.
Outside, that is, of an increasingly inhospitable planet.