Hurricane Matthew Is Why It Matters That #ExxonKnew

by Naomi Ages

October 11, 2016

For 30 years Exxon scientists have known that burning coal, gas, and oil would have catastrophic impacts. But it helped create and fund a massive climate denial scheme to seed doubt among the public and investors. That’s potentially fraud.

© Rex Curry / Greenpeace

Like you, I was worried about my friends and family as Hurricane Matthew hit Florida and moved up the Atlantic Coast. Thankfully, they are all right and people are coming together to make sure those in need have food and shelter. Here’s how you can help out.

Now, the immediate danger has passed and I’m thinking about tragically killed by the storm more than one thousand people in the Caribbean and at least 24 in the US.

I’m infuriated that more and bigger storms will come while leaders keep ignoring the big issue: burning coal, gas, and oil is changing our planet and fueling bigger, more devastating storms.

The problem is that companies like Exxon continue to use their massive power to create the false debate while reaping huge profits from the fuels that change the climate. It’s time our leaders investigate its climate denial scheme.

Tell the Department of Justice to investigate Exxon! Exxon knew the science of climate change but continued to spread doubt, committing what could be the most dangerous act of fraud in human history. We can’t let it off the hook.

It makes me furious every time I say it, and it’s only worse when huge storms hit: Exxon’s scientists have known about the catastrophic impacts that burning fossil fuels would have on the climate for thirty years.

Executives made decisions to protect their business based on that climate science, all while creating and funding a massive climate denial scheme — politicians, think tanks, front groups, and lobbyists — to seed doubt among the public and investors. That’s potentially fraud.

And it has allowed Exxon to continue polluting the climate and delaying serious climate action for a generation.

Enough is enough. The New York and Massachusetts Attorneys General are already investigating Exxon. It was just reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation.

We have to use this momentum. If we speak out in massive numbers we can ensure that Exxon is held accountable at the highest possible level — an investigation by the Department of Justice.

From chasing Shell out of the Arctic to stopping Keystone XL, we’re already winning huge battles against the fossil fuel industry.

These investigations could signal once and for all that the fossil fuel industry’s influence over our political system — and its stifling of climate solutions — is no longer acceptable.

But I won’t wait until the next storm. We need climate solutions now.

Demand a federal investigation into Exxon’s climate denial right now!

Naomi Ages

By Naomi Ages

Naomi Ages is a senior political strategist with Greenpeace International.

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