Friday, November 22, 2019

The Coal Industry also knew about climate change as early as 1966 (and check out info on Peabody and Fred Palmer)

We talked about the problem that Peabody gives money to WUSTL to say "clean coal" but it is also involved in climate science denialism, although new evidence suggests that Peabody knew about climate change tied to CO2 as early as 1966.

Also, the article details Fred Palmer and Peabody's lies about CO2 in more detail (as we discussed in class in past lectures).  This is the kind of associate WUSTL is dealing with while it says it is a leader in sustainability.  Both false and shameful.

From the article:
"While Peabody Energy, the largest private-sector coal company in the world and the largest producer of coal in the U.S., now acknowledges climate change on its website, it has been directly and indirectly involved in obfuscating climate science for decades. It funded dozens of trade, lobbying and front groups that peddled climate misinformation, as The Guardian reported in 2016
As recently as 2015, Peabody Energy argued that carbon dioxide was a “benign gas essential for all life.” 
“While the benefits of carbon dioxide are proven, the alleged risks of climate change are contrary to observed data, are based on admitted speculation, and lack adequate scientific basis,” the company wrote in a letter that year to the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
At the heart of big coal’s denial campaign was Fred Palmer, who served as Peabody’s senior vice president of government relations from 2001 to 2015. In 1997, Palmer founded the Greening Earth Society, a now-defunct industry front group that argued that burning fossil fuels was good for the planet. The group was based in the same office as the Western Fuels Association, a consortium of coal suppliers and coal-fired utilities that Palmer also ran. 
“Every time you turn your car on and you burn fossil fuels and you put CO2 into the air, you’re doing the work of the Lord,” Palmer told a Danish documentary team in 1997. “That’s the ecological system we live in.”