Reader's View: No defense for choosing profits over the earth

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Since the 1970s, scientists at Exxon documented that burning fossil fuels leads to global warming, which changes the earth’s climate and endangers the future of every person on earth.

Exxon management had to make some choices in response to the research. Should they continue with their profitable fossil-fuel business, or should they remake the business to develop new energy technologies to protect the climate and the people of the earth? Should they continue to fund climate-change research, or cut back on the research and actively dispute the findings of their own scientists?

We know Exxon chose to continue the production of fossil fuels and has profited immensely. The company’s research on global warming was also cut, and it joined with the American Petroleum Institute to run a campaign denying that climate change is happening and that humans have any influence on it. Millions of dollars were paid to “independent experts,” think tanks, and politicians to spread this misinformation.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s suit aims to make Exxon, the API, and Koch Industries, another partner in the misinformation campaign, pay for their misrepresentation of their product’s potential for harm and for the mounting damages to Minnesotans that have occurred since the 1970s (“ Ellison files lawsuit against fossil fuel giants for 'campaign of deception' on climate change ,” June 24).

When you hear the highly paid defenders of the fossil-fuel industry attack the state’s lawsuit, just remember that Exxon, the API, and Koch chose profits and deception over the future of every person on this earth. There is no defense for that.


Jay Lieberman


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