By Mike Small and Chloe Farand – DeSmogUK: There can be no mistake: as early as 1981, big oil company Shell was aware of the causes and dangers of climate change.
These documents show Shell walking backwards. In the 1980s it was
acknowledging anthropogenic global warming. Then, as the scientific
consensus became more and more clear, it started introducing doubt and
giving weight to a “significant minority” of “alternative viewpoints” as
the full implications for the company’s business model became clear.
Shell commissioned a study about the greenhouse effect in 1981 by the
Climate Research Unit and Dr T.G Wigley, which was published by the US Department
of Environment in 1984. Then in 1988 the confidential report “The
Greenhouse Effect” is prepared for the Shell Environmental Conservation
Committee. From other source documents we can then follow as senior
figures and publications veer between defence of climate science denial
positions, faith in technological solutions and “efficiency”, the belief
that countries should just adapt to a changing world, and questioning
the validity of the scientific process.