Oliver Milman at the Guardian has seen evidence that:
“The oil industry’s knowledge of dangerous climate change stretches back to the 1960s, with unearthed documents showing that it was warned of “serious worldwide environmental changes” more than 45 years ago.”
The evidence flies in the face of the energy industry’s regular denials that climate change was real or that they had anything to do with it.
The US government has also been aware of the issue for the best part of 50 years according to Milman:
“API, the peak body for the oil industry in the US, knew about the dangers of climate change at least 20 years before the issue was brought into mainstream public discourse via the former Nasa scientist James Hansen. Former US president Lyndon Johnson also received an early warning about climate change, with scientists explaining the mechanism of the greenhouse effect in 1965.”
The documents seen by Milman are likely to be used in civil action brought against the energy companies for their complicity in man-made climate change. The Center for International Environmental Law says it has documents dating as far back as 1946, in which companies were aware of concerns relating to air pollution from burning oil.