Chrome skull with a cigarette.

Grandes petroleras, grandes tabacaleras, grandes mentiras

BOSTON –  Durante los últimos años, un número creciente de personas han estado examinando seriamente lo que está ocurriendo con nuestro planeta – sequías sin precedentes históricos, aumento del nivel del mar, inundaciones masivas – y dichas personas reconocieron, finalmente, que la actividad humana es la que impulsa un rápido cambio climático, Pero ¿adivinen qué? Exxon (ahora ExxonMobil) ya tenían una leve idea de todo esto, incluso en el año 1978.

Y, a principios de la década de 1980, los científicos de Exxon tenían mucho más que una leve idea. Ellos no sólo entendían la ciencia detrás del cambio climático, sino que también reconocían el propio papel superlativo que desempeñaba la empresa en lo que respecta a impulsar el fenómeno. Al darse cuenta que los efectos potenciales eran “catastróficos” para una porción significativa de la población, instaron a los altos ejecutivos de Exxon para que estos tomen medidas. Pero en lugar de actuar como se les recomendaba, los ejecutivos ocultaron la verdad.

Puede haber un aspecto positivo en esta irritante historia: la reciente investigación que puso al descubierto los engaños de Exxon podría terminar catalizando la acción necesaria para abordar la crisis climática que amenazantemente se avecina. Al fin de cuentas, revelaciones similares relativas a la industria del tabaco – sobre qué era lo que las  principales compañías de cigarrillos conocían y cuándo lo llegaron a conocer – han transformado el panorama de la salud pública.

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