Summary of Drilled

Drilled summary
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  • Eye Opening
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


The scientific community is nearly unanimous on the reality of human-triggered climate change. In the United States, however, the issue has become deeply politicized. Whether someone today accepts climate change as a reality has less to do with the person’s understanding of the science than with the person’s political affiliation. Yet climate denial is a relatively new phenomenon. A fascinating eight-episode investigative report by award-winning journalist Amy Westervelt details how the oil industry systematically went about discrediting the validity of climate research and shaping public opinion around fossil fuels and climate change in its favor through an orchestrated disinformation campaign starting in the 1980s. This podcast will infuriate those worried about climate change, might make some skeptics think again – and will fill anyone in the business of influencing minds and manipulating opinions with awe.

About the Podcast

The eight-episode podcast Drilled presents an overview of the fossil fuel industry’s role in spreading climate denial. The show's reporter Amy Westervelt is a California-based freelance journalist, writer, editor and podcaster.



The Oil Industry as a Leader in Climate Science 

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Americans shared a strong faith in America’s ability to solve almost any problem through innovation. The country’s large corporations echoed these sentiments. When oil industry leader Exxon started to learn about climate change in the 1970s, it set up a climate modeling group to investigate the phenomenon further.

At the time, solid data existed on rising CO2 concentrations at the poles, where cold water was absorbing CO2 at an increased rate. Yet scientists knew little about how CO2 might get re-released into the atmosphere in warmer ocean water. Exxon thus got together with leading US laboratory Lamont Doherty Atmospheric Research to launch the “tanker project,” which measured air- and waterborne CO2 concentrations from a ship that sailed across the Atlantic. None of the Exxon scientists had any doubt that climate change was real. What their research projects sought to answer was the question of how severe the impacts of climate change would be. When a 1981 internal Exxon document predicted the effects of...

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