ExxonMobil Seeks to Make Individuals Responsible for Climate Change

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A new paper from Naomi Oreskes and Geoffrey Supran, Harvard science historians, demonstrate in a new study that ExxonMobil’s rhetoric is used to make individual consumers share the responsibility for climate change. Oreskes and Supran processed the rhetoric in 180 of ExxonMobil’s company documents, including studies written and conducted by ExxonMobil scientists. Oreskes’ and Supran’s research suggests that the ExxonMobil is downplaying its role in the climate crisis and, in doing so, undermines environmental litigation, regulation, and activism.

Supran tells Vox American news website, “never before has it been proven that fossil fuel propaganda is demonstrably one source of where this [consumer- and demand-focused] mindset has originated from.” ExxonMobil’s strategy is quite simple: deflect from the fact that the company supplies fossil fuels and draw attention toward consumer’s demand for their products. If consumers are to blame for fossil fuel use, then industries like ExxonMobil are effectively absolved. We can not let any major energy conglomerates excuse themselves from moral responsibility. Taking accountability will be the only motivation for energy producers to take part in decarbonization and green-future initiatives.

By establishing fossil fuels as an inevitable cornerstone in energy, ExxonMobil has shaped the way the policymakers and the public view consequences associated with nonrenewable energy. Instead of publicly acknowledging the research and studies that suggest that climate change if of certain detriment to human safety and infrastructure, Exxon Mobil Corporation consistently chooses to keep quiet on the matter. To boot, ExxonMobil casts doubt on the mounting threat of global warming. This makes responding to climate change more difficult, battling misrepresentation of the issue makes education on the matter a more complicated pursuit. Still, its worth mentioning that the Harvard Researchers have shared immensely important findings; climate activism is better off for their discoveries.

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