They called themselves the "Global Climate Coalition," a group of climate experts who represented the fossil fuel industry and their message was clear: "The role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood."
But, within their closed ranks they understood well enough to write this in an internal memo from 1995: "The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied.”
Cannot be denied, it seems, was subject to interpretation depending on who was paying and how much. From The New York Times:
The coalition was financed by fees from large corporations and trade groups representing the oil, coal and auto industries, among others. In 1997, the year an international climate agreement that came to be known as the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated, its budget totaled $1.68 million, according to tax records obtained by environmental groups.
Throughout the 1990s, when the coalition conducted a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign challenging the merits of an international agreement, policy makers and pundits were fiercely debating whether humans could dangerously warm the planet.
Today, with general agreement on the basics of warming, the debate has largely moved on to the question of how extensively to respond to rising temperatures.George Monbiot, a British environmental activist and writer, said that by promoting doubt, industry had taken advantage of news media norms requiring neutral coverage of issues, just as the tobacco industry once had.
“They didn’t have to win the argument to succeed,” Mr. Monbiot said, “only to cause as much confusion as possible.”
They weren't mistaken. They knew the truth, knew it was undeniable, and then proceeded to line their pockets by denying it. Who can tell just how much damage these bastards have done, how many lives will be needlessly lost to their perfidy, how much suffering they and their patrons have inflicted.
Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&em