Series: Big Oil Knew - The Years Project

Big Oil Knew

#BigOilKnew is a new series of videos informing the public about what the oil industry knew about the dangers of climate change and when they knew it.

The Years Project in collaboration with The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) has released #BigOilKnew, a new series of videos informing the public about what the oil industry knew about the biggest challenge to face mankind and when they knew it.

Ground-breaking reporting by CPI’s Jie Jenny Zou found that the American Petroleum Institute (API), the oil industry’s most powerful trade group, first became aware of climate change as early as 1959, nearly 60 years ago.

What the group did next was astonishing. After studying the problem of climate change for another decade, API then decided to embark on a science disinformation campaign that continues to this day.

The #BigOilKnew videos detail a strategy that will be familiar to anyone who remembers Big Tobacco: deny the science, sow doubt among the public, and try to avoid any liabilities from the use of your product.

But just like with tobacco, the science on climate change is more robust than ever. Climate scientists now predict we have but a few years to radically transform our energy system and phase out use of fossil fuels. It is entirely doable. The technology is there and so is the capital. Only the fossil fuel industry, particularly the more powerful oil industry, stands in the way, as they have for half a century.

We hope that by bringing greater awareness of what #BigOilKnew to the public, we can begin to hold the industry to account for its responsibility in bringing our planet to the brink.

So we ask that you please watch these videos and share them with your friends, family and colleagues. Then tell us what you think by leaving a comment. This needs to be talked about –– so it can become part of the national conversation.

You should also read CPI’s full report on API and the cozy relationship that U.S. government has had with the oil industry for close to a century. It will put into further perspective why we are where we are on climate.

Thank you for watching and thank you for your support. Climate change is something we can solve, but only if we inform ourselves, spread the word and act.