In 1991, Shell Produced This Alarming Video Warning About Climate Change Dangers

The oil giant then ditched its own concerns and spent decades lobbying against action instead.

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A 1991 public documentary produced by Shell, in which the oil giant acknowledged the dangerous effects of climate change and the fossil fuel industry’s role in accelerating “ferocious” climate patterns globally, has resurfaced this week.

“Faced with such a disturbing scenario, governments are having to consider their response,” the narrator said in the film. “Global warming is not yet certain, but many think that the wait for final proof would be irresponsible. Action now is seen as the only safe insurance.”

The documentary also explored the power of alternative energy sources, including wind and solar powers, while predicting the devastating consequences manmade global warming might have on flooding, climate refugee populations, and more.

The video, which was obtained by the Correspondent, a Dutch online journalism platform and shared with the Guardian, calls into question why the company continued to heavily invest in controversial drilling projects and lobby against environmental protections, despite the prescient warnings presented in its film.

The video also adds to growing evidence of how early the oil industry knew about the serious dangers surrounding global warming. In 2015, previously unseen documents revealed ExxonMobil attempted to cover up its own scientific findings confirming the existence of climate change. The research programs were followed by decades of climate denial and the intense lobbying by the oil giant against emissions regulations.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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