1/ How did Big Oil lose control of its climate misinformation machine?

It’s one of the longest and most consequential efforts to undermine mainstream science by an industry. And it is now becoming more extreme.

@neelaeast unwinds the story: bit.ly/2kX2zUb
2/ Oil companies began developing strategies to sow doubt about science that could lead to regulation long before global warming became an issue. For example…
3/ Remember how smoggy it used to be America's major cities? This is #LosAngeles in 1955.
4/ This is biochemist Arie Haagen-Smit.

When he discovered in the early 1950s that oil was the cause of dangerous smog shrouding #LA, the American Petroleum Institute counter-attacked by funding scientists who rebutted his research and disparaged him personally.
5/ The oil industry claimed smog science was too uncertain to justify regulations. 🙄
6/ But soon industry's own researchers would confirm Haagen-Smit’s findings. And then oil companies began campaigns claiming smog controls would cripple the economy.

Industry continues to fight attempts to tighten smog standards for ground-level ozone with considerable success.
7/ Industry's response to smog unfolds like a rough draft of the strategy it deployed 40 years later to deny climate science.
8/ In 1968, the industry's main pollution-control consultants warned that it should pay close attention to carbon dioxide emissions. By the mid-1970s, Exxon began to take carbon pollution seriously.
9/ In 1977, Exxon's senior scientist James Black told top executives carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels would warm the atmosphere and endanger human life. The company launched a rigorous climate research program.

Other fossil fuel companies followed Exxon's lead.

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More from @insideclimate

Aug 7, 2018
1/ Nuiqsut is the only town in Alaska's prolific North Slope oil region, which is poised for another drilling boom.

The community has long been concerned about industry air pollution. There is reason to be anxious.

@shankman reports from the #Arctic: insideclimatenews.org/news/01082018/…
2/ "I was really stunned when I was up there in July [2017] to hear the fears that are so pervasive in the community that it even impacts the teenagers," said Barbara Trost of @alaskaDEC.
3/ More than three-quarters of Nuiqsut residents still live a traditional subsistence life, off the fish they catch, the whales they harvest and the caribou they hunt.

And they've found themselves on the frontlines of a modern crisis.
Read 17 tweets
Aug 1, 2018
1/ Why didn't America act on climate change way back when?

You've read the historical reconstruction in the @NYTmag of the 1980s, the decade when the science was becoming clearer and there was some bipartisan political momentum to act.

There's more to this story.
2/ The tale of U.S. climate inaction spans 70 years and it continues to this day. insideclimatenews.org/content/climat…
3/ Denial of mainstream climate science has developed into a core message of the Republican party, now in control of the White House and Congress. The narrative of how we got here is complicated.
Read 39 tweets

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