Climate contrarians are some of the most mislead people that have ever existed. A popular point climate contrarians make to disprove climate change is that climate science is too young to be reliable. The reality is that this statement is not true. There have been at least two prominent scientists who have published findings on the existence of climate change and the greenhouse gas effect. The first scientist was Eunice Foote, who is largely overlooked in the history of science. Foote, in her pivotal paper, noticed that when a cylinder was filled with carbon dioxide it was much slower to cool down than a cylinder without CO2, when removed from light. This finding may sound very familiar, that’s because it’s the greenhouse effect. Humanity knew about the effects of climate change as early as 1856 because of Foote. The other scientist is John Tyndall, who is a very recognized figure. Tyndall is well known for being a multi-talented scientist and human being, but he’s largely contributed to being the father of climate science (even though Foote preceded him). In 1861, Tyndall released his finding, which effectively proved the existence of the natural greenhouse effect.
So, when did private industries know about climate change? Surprisingly, they have known for a while. In 1965, the Mining Congress Journal released a paper detailing the dangers of sulfur and particulates, but hidden in that paper is a section that talks about how CO2 might be dangerous. This paper was published by an executive of a company that produced pollution controlling devices, so there might be a conflict of interest. But, that realization does not discredit the fact that the private coal industry knew about greenhouse gases in the 1960’s! Let’s move onto everyones’ favorite company, ExxonMobil. Exxon is infamous for causing multiple disasters through accidents and failures, but did you know that Exxon knew about the harm of fossil fuels as early as 1977? Exxon conducted their own experiments, many of their findings being revolutionary in the field of climate science. Those findings mirror that of what humanity knows about global warming at this point in time. What did Exxon do with those findings? They covered up the dangers of burning fossil fuels, maybe even creating climate contrarians.
Why hasn’t there been any political action done? There actually has been political action, but sadly the US did not take part in it. The reason why the US doesn’t take part is the influence of the fossil fuel industry. Lobbying and challenging climate science are something that the fossil fuel giants have heavily invested in.