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Exxon Believed Deep Dive Into Climate Research Would Protect Its Business

Outfitting its biggest supertanker to measure the ocean's absorption of carbon dioxide was a crown jewel in Exxon's research program.

Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song, David Hasemyer

Sep 21, 2015

In 1981, 12-year-old Laura Shaw won her seventh-grade science fair at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Cranford, N.J. with a project on the greenhouse effect.

For her experiment, Laura used two souvenir miniatures of the Washington Monument, each with a thermometer attached to one side. She placed them in glass bowls and covered one with plastic wrap – her model of how a blanket of carbon dioxide traps the reflected heat of the sun and warms the Earth. When she turned a lamp on them, the thermometer in the plastic-covered bowl showed a higher temperature than the one in the uncovered bowl.

Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago

Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.

By Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

Sep 21, 2015

At a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity.

Water Source for Alberta Tar Sands Drilling Could Run Dry

New research finds the Athabasca River might not be a sustainable source of water oil companies need for the tar sands.

Sep 21, 2015

The source of water used for drilling in the Alberta tar sands could dry up in the coming decades, according to new research released Monday. The questionable future of the Athabasca River threatens the longevity of fossil fuel extraction in the world's third-largest crude oil reserve.

Olympic Glory? South Korea Clear-Cuts a Forest to Build Ski Slopes

Environmentalists protest the razing of 500-year-old trees to build facilities for the downhill skiing events at the 2018 Olympics.

By Phil McKenna

Sep 20, 2015

Organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympics are clear-cutting part of an ancient forest that includes 500-year-old trees on a protected mountain near Pyeongchang, South Korea.  

Activists are calling on the International Olympic Committee and the government of South Korea to stop the felling of trees at the site and are urging Olympic organizers to find another venue for the four-day downhill skiing event.

Lessons Learned From Trying to Save the Developing World

A Q&A with John McArthur of the UN Foundation on the renewed global effort to fight poverty, inequality and climate change.

Sep 18, 2015

Facing a growing rift between developed and developing countries, the United Nations' 189 member states did something a bit drastic at the turn of the 21st century: They adopted a set of eight lofty (perhaps idealistic) goals to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, reduce child mortality, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and improve healthcare—all in the next 15 years.

Exxon Researched Climate Change in 1977

A short FRONTLINE film about Exxon's early research into climate change produced in collaboration with InsideClimate News.

Sep 16, 2015

Read the first story in the InsideClimate News Investigation, Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago.


New Web Tool Aims to Help You Divest from Fossil Fuel Stocks

A nonprofit is launching a website to help investors scour their 401k plans for stocks in fossil fuel companies and other assets at odds with the climate.

Sep 15, 2015

If you ever wondered how much of your future fortune––your retirement fund––is tied to the fortunes of fossil fuels, now there’s an app for that too.

President Obama Urged to End Fossil Fuel Leases on Public Land

More than 400 organizations have joined together, calling for the president to marry his statements about protecting the climate with policy.

Sep 14, 2015

A coalition of more than 400 groups have signed a letter to President Obama they will send on Tuesday urging him to stop the sale of new oil and gas drilling leases on public land to combat climate change. The signees include indigenous groups, labor unions, scientists, religious leaders and environmental organizations.

Woe, California: Sierra Nevada Snowpack Hits a 500-Year Low

The epic drought reaches a low-water mark (literally) for the snows that provide much of the state’s water in the spring and summer.

Sep 14, 2015

The Sierra Nevada snowpack—the source of more than one-third of California's water supply—is the lowest it has been in 500 years.

Migrant Crisis: 'If We Don't Stop Climate Change...What We See Right Now Is Just the Beginning'

A Q&A with Frank Biermann, a Dutch researcher who led a controversial 2010 study on climate refugees, who fears crises like Europe's will only get worse.

By Phil McKenna

Sep 14, 2015

The surge of people fleeing to Europe from the Middle East highlights how quickly mass migrations can occur. It may also offer a glimpse of what's to come as climate change makes some regions around the world unlivable, according to a leading researcher on the human effects of climate change.