AI Shows ExxonMobil Downplayed Its Role in Climate Change

According to a new paper, the company’s own research showed that human activity was a contributor, but public statements suggested otherwise.

Between 1977 and 2014, 80 percent of ExxonMobil’s internal research supported the idea that human activity was a contributor to climate change. But during that same period, 80 percent of the oil and gas provider’s public statements instead expressed doubt whether climate change was caused by humans—or even real in the first place.

To draw this conclusion, Harvard researchers Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes used machine learning to review more than 200 internal documents, peer-reviewed research, and public statements from Exxon Mobil. The newly released paper, “Rhetoric and frame

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