The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
#ShellKnew 30 Years Ago: Documents Reveal Predictions of Extreme Weather, Climate Lawsuits
The documents, unveiled by Dutch newspaper De Correspondent on Thursday, show that the oil giant's researchers flagged that climate change could have major implications for the fossil fuel industry as far back as the 1980s—and predicted that environmental groups could sue following damages from extreme weather.
"With the very long time scales involved, it would be tempting for society to wait until then before doing anything," one 1988 report reads. "The potential implications for the world are, however, so large that the policy options need to be considered much earlier. And the energy industry needs to consider how it should play its part."
As reported by Climate Liability News:
One of the documents, written in 1998, models an eerily accurate scenario of violent and damaging storms hitting the East Coast of the U.S. in 2010.
"Following the storms, a coalition of environmental NGOs brings a class-action suit against the U.S. government and fossil-fuel companies on the grounds of neglecting what scientists (including their own) have been saying for years: that something must be done," the report projects.
Bill McKibben told De Correspondent that the documents show that Shell understood the risks of climate change in the 1980s.
"Had they merely been candid with the world, we could have gotten to work then, and while global warming would not yet be 'solved,' we'd be well on the way," said McKibben.
"Instead they appear to have chosen the path of hedging, minimizing, and diverting—and given the stakes, this was both tragic and immoral. Shell knew. And now we do too."
For a deeper dive:
- Shell's Plan to Save Us From Climate Change Makes a Dangerous ... ›
- Shell CEO: Climate change is our biggest issue - Houston Chronicle ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The federal government is looking into the details from the longest running oil spill in U.S. history, and it's looking far worse than the oil rig owner let on, as The New York Times reported.
By Tara Lohan
When armed militants with a grudge against the federal government seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in rural Oregon back in the winter of 2016, I remember avoiding the news coverage. Part of me wanted to know what was happening, but each report I read — as the occupation stretched from days to weeks and the destruction grew — made me so angry it was hard to keep reading.
A searing heat wave has begun to spread across Europe, with Germany, France and Belgium experiencing extreme temperatures that are set to continue in the coming days.
In the 1980s, a Greenlandic subsistence hunter shot and killed a whale with bizarre features unlike any he had ever seen before. He knew something was unique about it, so he left its abnormally large skull on top of his toolshed where it rested until a visiting professor happened upon it a few years later.