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Artificial intelligence shows ExxonMobil’s role in climate change fades

Artificial intelligence shows ExxonMobil’s role in climate change fades


1977 to In 2014, 80% of ExxonMobil’s internal research supported the following view: Human activities are the cause of climate change. But in the same period, 80% of the public statements of oil and gas suppliers cast doubt on whether climate change is caused by humans, or even by humans in the first place.

To reach this conclusion, Harvard University researchers Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes used machine learning to review more than 200 internal documents, peer-reviewed research, and ExxonMobil’s public statements. Newly published papers, “The Rhetoric and Framework Analysis of ExxonMobil’s Climate Change Newsletter,” Exposing decades of public statement models, these models have purified the company’s role in promoting CO2 emissions.

Oreskes and Supran use machine learning analysis to support both claims. First, ExxonMobil has engaged in a dialogue around climate change in a way that minimizes its own responsibilities. Second, although the company publicly questioned the imminence of climate change, it funded research but ignored the findings that climate change is a direct result of human activities.

“It is very important for us to understand the importance of false statements and misleading claims and how they operate,” Oreskes said. “Our purpose in writing this paper is to try to better understand the language used by ExxonMobil in order to produce a very misleading picture, even if they are not useless.”

Oreskes hopes that this paper will serve as a kind of “translation”, revealing the underlying information behind public statements. She is also ” Doubtful businessman An inspiring book 2014 documentary The same name is the role of scientists themselves in disseminating misinformation in the climate.

The company’s continued use of the term “climate change risk” is misleading. Computational analysis found that after the merger of Exxon and Mobil, phrases such as “legal long-term risks” or “potential long-term risks” were increasingly used in 2000. Between 2000 and 2014, this emphasis on “risk” appeared in almost every “advertiser” of Exxon Mobil and paid editorials in major publications such as The New York Times.

Lead researcher Oreskes explained: The term “risk” is used very cleverly, because on the one hand, people understand the problem, but at the same time it pushes it into the future. “This makes it speculative… rather than saying that climate change is a real problem.”

Similarly, ExxonMobil often quotes “energy demand” or “energy use” to explain its continued dependence on fossil fuels. Oreskes calls it “the language of blame transfer,” which shows that the company is a passive supplier, responding only to public demand, rather than driving oil and gas production. This is in contrast to ExxonMobil’s peer-reviewed research, which mostly started with the basic premise of man-made climate change. When the company began to publicly recognize man-made climate change, Mid 2000s, Oreskes and Supran found that as early as 1978, ExxonMobil’s academic research used “fossil fuel combustion” as a source of carbon dioxide.

Over the years, ExxonMobil’s public statements have claimed that natural gas has the potential to become “clean” or “clean burn.”Although at the same time, this supports peer-reviewed research that recognizes Technical difficulties of carbon capture Biofuels, while fascinating, have not yet reached the scale necessary to prevent climate change. ExxonMobil realizes that this is not an alternative in the near future. (“If you see the term “clean” used by fossil fuel companies, you can replace it with “dirty,” which is a joke of Oreskes.)

Researchers say this sentence is an example of green cleaning, which overly distracts the company’s role in exploring alternatives to cleaning. “The business models of these companies make us committed to continuing to use fossil fuels for the foreseeable future and beyond,” Oreskes said.


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