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How to Fight Back After Decades of Exxon Climate Misinformation by ClimateYou Senior Editor George Ropes

The article in the Guardian, How Exxon’s Climate Change Trial Became a Battle Over Numbers  is about how Exxon has misled Americans on climate change for decades. The authors are John CookGeoffrey SupranNaomi OreskesEd Maibach and Stephan Lewandowsky 

This Guardian piece is good on the misleading that Exxon has done on climate change. Unfortunately it is quite weak on how to fight back, other than, “Get educated” both about the tactics Exxon and other fossil fuel companies used to disseminate misinformation, and as a counterweight, to learn the scientific facts that 97% of all climate scientists agree on — combusting fossil fuels emits greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) which trap the sun’s heat, thus raising the Earth’s temperature.

To combat climate change :

  • We’ve got to stop using fossil fuels
  • We’ve got to hold the fossil fuel companies responsible for the damage their products have caused.
  • We’ve got to tax carbon so it’s real cost is reflected in its price.
  • Governments have to stop subsidizing the coal, oil, and gas companies with billions of dollars each year.
  • Pension funds, mutual funds, asset managers, sovereign wealth funds, and other financial institutions must join those that have already divested trillions of dollars from those companies.
  • Banks must cease funding oil and gas exploration and extraction projects, just as they mostly already have stopped funding coal projects. At least they can charge higher interest rates to reflect the very real climate risks such projects face.
  • Individually, we all can purge our portfolios of Big Oil stocks to the extent possible (they’re hidden in index funds so we’ll all have to decide whether to keep them or not).
  • We can tell our elected representatives — repeatedly — that we care deeply about the climate and that we expect them to vote accordingly, because we will hold  them accountable on election day.
  • We can join a pro-climate activist group and march, demonstrate, or protest (without breaking the law or destroying property). By showing you care, responsibly, others become more aware of your concerns, come to sympathize with them, and may even join the cause.

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