This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
“Exxon knew.” Thanks to the work of activists and journalists, those two words have rocked the politics of climate change in recent years, as investigations revealed the extent to which giants like ExxonMobil and Shell were aware of the danger of rising greenhouse gas emissions even as they undermined the work of scientists.
But the coal industry knew, too — as early as 1966, a newly unearthed journal shows.
In August, Chris Cherry, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, salvaged a large volume from a stack of vintage journals that a fellow faculty member was about to toss out. He was drawn to a 1966 copy of the industry publication Mining Congress Journal; his father-in-law had been in the industry and he thought it might be an interesting memento.
Cherry flipped it open to a passage from James R. Garvey, who was the president of Bituminous Coal Research Inc., a now-defunct coal mining and processing research organization.
“There is evidence that the amount of... Read more