Courtesy of The Guardian:
The oil giant Shell issued a stark warning of the catastrophic risks of climate change more than a quarter of century ago in a prescient 1991 film that has been rediscovered.
However, since then the company has invested heavily in highly polluting oil reserves and helped lobby against climate action, leading to accusations that Shell knew the grave risks of global warming but did not act accordingly.
Shell’s 28-minute film, called Climate of Concern, was made for public viewing, particularly in schools and universities. It warned of extreme weather, floods, famines and climate refugees as fossil fuel burning warmed the world. The serious warning was “endorsed by a uniquely broad consensus of scientists in their report to the United Nations at the end of 1990”, the film noted.
“If the weather machine were to be wound up to such new levels of energy, no country would remain unaffected,” it says. “Global warming is not yet certain, but many think that to wait for final proof would be irresponsible. Action now is seen as the only safe insurance.”
A separate 1986 report, marked “confidential” and also seen by the Guardian, notes the large uncertainties in climate science at the time but nonetheless states: “The changes may be the greatest in recorded history.”
The predictions in the 1991 film for temperature and sea level rises and their impacts were remarkably accurate, according to scientists, and Shell was one of the first major oil companies to accept the reality and dangers of climate change.
Of course after this very accurate film was produced for public consumption Shell then apparently had a change of heart and spent millions essentially fighting back against the facts shared in the video, undermining renewable energy policies, and spending billions to conduct tar sand drilling.
It should also be noted that uncovered emails, going back as far as 1981, demonstrated that oil giant Exxon was also well aware that Climate Change was a real danger and that it was man made.
Essentially this just demonstrates that these oil companies have known for decades that Climate Change is caused by their own activities as fossil fuel companies and that they have aggressively worked to keep that knowledge out of the hands of the public while continuing to negatively impact our environment.