Vail Daily letter: Promote clean energy |

Vail Daily letter: Promote clean energy

It turns out that Exxon/Mobile has known since the early 1980s that fossil fuel combustion would change the earth’s climate. In fact, Exxon scientists had been doing cutting edge research on climate change since the late 1970s. Exxon, instead of using its technological and research capability to explore alternative paths to profits, chose to embark on a disinformation campaign. Exxon lied to the public about what its own research showed. It funded organizations and individuals to cast doubt on the increasingly convincing evidence of global warming presented by climate scientists.

Recklessness and deception are pretty much what we have come to expect from large corporations, but I have been astounded by the number of people who fell for this particular lie. With huge majorities of physical scientists saying that climate change is real, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, and dangerous to our civilization, why would people choose to believe a vocal minority with ties to the fossil fuel industry?

The only thing that Exxon will be accused of under the law is lying to its shareholders. Systematically deceiving the general public, lying to Congress, and buying politicians are all generally acceptable behavior, it seems.

Had the big energy companies started bending their efforts towards alternative energy technologies — some of which, like enhanced geothermal, use skill sets they already have — they could have been creating sustainable jobs for the past 30 years. They chose to promote a path that they knew would ultimately be disastrous instead.

I believe that humans are clever enough to curb carbon dioxide and methane emissions, but we need to promote clean energy and stop subsidizing fossil fuels. If this doesn’t happen very, very soon, the damage to our environment and our civilization may become irreversible and intolerable. Obviously there are very powerful and very unethical organizations and politicians who will lie to the end about this issue. They’ve wasted enough of our time already.

Cynthia Lepthien