Everyone Knew: Story On Automakers Reaffirms Broad Understanding Of Climate Change

Automakers are the latest to be named to a growing list of major industries, companies and groups who activists claim apparently knew about climate change individually but hid that information from the public. Yes, that’s right. First Exxon Knew, then Shell knew, then the utilities knew. But this begs the question, if “everyone knew” then how does the same iteration of this story keep getting written up as a new controversy?

Monday’s story in E&E News reports that scientists at General Motors and Ford had realized the connection between fossil fuel emissions from automobiles and climate change back in the 1960s, but, in learning that information, both companies undermined the connection in public reporting for years for fear of business disruption,

That fired up the usual #ExxonKnew echo chamber as activists quickly seized on the moment as further proof that energy companies should be held liable for climate impacts. The reporter behind the story even tweeted that she was given much of the research for the “monthslong investigation” from two well-known activists in the climate litigation campaign against energy companies, Carroll Muffett and Kert Davies.

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