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Top Fossil Fuel Industrty Documents

These go toward answering the glacier riddle, why are Earth's glaciers melting on a planet that should be cooling?

1982 Glaser file - 1996 Global Climate Coalition (propaganda organization) -1988 Shell Confidential Greenhouse Effect

This is not a complete list and it will change - - Audio reading included

A total of 201 such documents are linked to on the Fossil Fuel Index page. The Climate Files web site is the source of these documents; some, most, or all of these files are available in the University of Texas Library's Exxon Archives. Some of these documents are said to be "damning" and a stain on corporate business and environmental ethics.


Top Fossil Fuel Documents

1982 Memo to Exxon Management about CO2 Greenhouse Effect - Glaser


November 12, 1982 Exxon’s M.B. Glaser, manager of the Environmental Affairs Program, sends a memo to Exxon management on the CO2 greenhouse effect intended for the management staff to familiarize themselves with the subject. Glaser includes the April 1, 1982 “CO2 Greenhouse Effect: Technical Review” report. In Glaser’s summary to management, he writes that the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere now stands at 340 ppm and that fossil fuel combustion along with clearing of virgin forests are the contributions to the trend. Glaser writes, “our best estimate is that doubling of the current concentration could increase average global temperature by about 1.3 degrees celsius to 3.1 degrees celsius.” Glaser acknowledges that there is “considerable uncertainty” about the impact this warming will have on society and that there is “currently no unambiguous scientific evidence that the earth is warming.” Glaser writes that greenhouse effect could be detected by 1995 or 2020 if the climate models are exaggerating.

Glaser writes that mitigation of the greenhouse effect will require reductions in fossil fuel combustion, and that the warming might not be reversible. On page A15, Glaser calculates the total carbon dioxide emitted from burning “primary fossil fuels.”

1996 Global Climate Coalition: An Overview


This November 1996 document provides an overview of the Global Climate Coalition’s (GCC) position on climate change, providing insight into their lobbying and government engagement efforts.

The Global Climate Coalition opposed greenhouse gas regulations through direct lobbying and front group funding from 1989 to 2002. Its members included the National Association of Manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute, Ford Motor Company, and fossil fuel companies.

This document shows the GCC evading the realities of climate change, despite acknowledging it explicitly a year before. Here, the GCC claims that too much uncertainty exists to show that climate change is more than “part of a natural warming trend which began nearly 400 years ago.”  As in other GCC publications, it cherry picks statements from credible scientific sources to create doubt and yet promotes business involvement in the solution to climate change.  See this New York Times article for more context about the GCC.




These help to explain the growing Killer Oceans problems faced by current and future generations.

1988 Shell Confidential Report “The Greenhouse Effect”


This 1988 Shell report, discovered by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent, shines light on what the company knew about climate science, its own role in driving global CO2 emissions, the range of potential political and social responses to a warming world.

The confidential report, “The Greenhouse Effect,” was authored by members of Shell’s Greenhouse Effect Working Group and based on a 1986 study, though the document reveals Shell was commissioning “greenhouse effect” reports as early as 1981. Report highlights include:

A thorough review of climate science literature, including acknowledgement of fossil fuels’ dominant role in driving greenhouse gas emissions. More importantly, Shell quantifies its own products’ contribution to global CO2 emissions.
A detailed analysis of potential climate impacts, including rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and human migration.
A discussion of the potential impacts to the fossil fuel sector itself, including legislation, changing public sentiment, and infrastructure vulnerabilities. Shell concludes that active engagement from the energy sector is desirable.
A cautious response to uncertainty in scientific models, pressing for sincere consideration of solutions even in the face of existing debates.
A warning to take policy action early, even before major changes are observed to the climate.
In short, by 1988 Shell was not only aware of the potential threats posed by climate change, it was open about its own role in creating the conditions for a warming world. Similar documents by ExxonMobil, oil trade associations, and utility companies have emerged in recent years, though this Shell document is a rare, early, and concrete accounting of climate responsibility by an oil major.