Readers React: What big oil companies knew about climate change, and when they knew it
To the editor: Plaudits to The Times for its series illuminating the gap between Exxon Mobil’s public position and its internal planning on the issue of climate change. (“Big oil companies united to fight regulations – but spent millions bracing for climate change,” Dec. 31)
Perhaps the most outrageous element of this institutionalized hypocrisy in the 2000s before 2010 was the millions of dollars Big Oil donated to organizations championing climate-change skepticism; that’s not to discount huge sums it spent securing politicians’ support.
It’s as if the petroleum industry’s titans, as captains of the foundering Titanic, proclaimed that the ship wasn’t sinking while they readied lifeboats to save themselves.
Gloria Martel, Los Angeles
To the editor: “Big Oil” is a loaded term focus-group tested for maximum pejorative effect, truth be damned. Can someone even define what it means?
In economic terms, all oil is a fungible commodity, so this term Big Oil is meaningless. Nobody sets prices except markets. While oil companies want to sell their product for the most they can get, so does the shoe company and the carrot farmer.
Michael J. McKinney, Cerritos
To the editor: These companies are complicit in the climate change-related deaths of hundreds of thousands per year, the vast majority of which are children, according to the World Health Organization.
Deniers in Congress strive to cripple our national efforts to pivot to clean energy even today, aided by the “cheerful recklessness,” to use Pope Francis’ term, of the voters.
Jan Freed, Los Angeles
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