Amidst all the news, noise, and nonsense that is being broadcast on radio and television these days, human-caused climate change continues to loom in the future. But that topic is rarely discussed in the media. Yet it is already manifesting itself in many horrific ways around the planet. Deadlier storms, shrinking ice caps, rising sea level, mass extinctions, unforgiving heat waves, desertification of land areas, and coral reef-destroying ocean acidification are but a few.

Yet there are still many powerful, self-centered, and deluded individuals – often politicians – who continue to deny the threat’s existence. Even worse, they promote its denial, thereby prolonging immediate action.

From the 1930s to the 1950s, German and American scientists convincingly established that cigarette smoking is a direct cause of lung cancer. Nevertheless, back in the 1950s and 1960s the tobacco industry spent vast sums of money on lobbyists whose primary aim was to promote doubt about their products.

Throughout the 1990s “Big Tobacco” became the target of several lawsuits which culminated in 1997 when the tobacco companies and state attorneys general announced a $368.5 billion settlement. Sadly, it didn’t help the deceased.

In 1979 Exxon released a confidential document which stated, “(the) present trend of fossil fuel use will lead to dramatic climatic changes within the next 75 years.” And in 1986 Shell released a report stating that changes to our planet, “…could be larger than any that have occurred over the last 12,000 years.” Yet for decades, those same oil companies spent many millions of dollars on “think tanks” whose sole purpose was then, and continues even today, to spread doubt about global warming.

Today, Exxon is the target of investigations by attorneys general and the city of Boulder, Colorado for its long-time campaign of sowing doubt. Let’s hope that wisdom and honesty eventually prevail.

— Mike Kamandulis, Kersey

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