Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What Exxon Knew and When

UPDATE:  Part 2 is now available


A few days ago Eli pointed out that the damaging "Secret Science" was what commercial research had uncovered and then covered up.  Obvious examples were tobacco and pharma, and the Rabett speculated what the fossil fuel industry had done.  At about the same time MT, in a guest post at ATTP (whatsamatter Mike, Eli not good enough for you?) concluded that it was not possible to construct a climate model that did not lead to significant global warming from increased greenhouse gas emissions, because if it was, the Exxon's of the world would have done so and shouted the results from the tree tops.

Today, Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer at Inside Climate News, lift the veil and detail exactly what Exxon knew (a lot), when they knew it, (by 1980 or so) and when they started the cover-up funding climate change denial (late 1980s).

The interesting question that remains is that since they did not disclose their knowledge to shareholders, will some lawyers get rich?

51 comments:

Hank Roberts said...

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime." -- Balzac
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=296588

"Our clients became our clients by thinking of ways to make money that hadn't yet been made illegal." -- a law firm senior partner, around 1980

-------------------------

Aside: if you're using a Google account for verification, they have a new trick. They used to place the automatically selected "keep me signed in" checkbox below the page-down scroll line to hide it. Now, they present the login page twice, with the pre-checked "keep me signed in" box on a second, otherwise identical login page. Click twice and you've given them tracking permission.

Want Google to know everything? They probably do anyhow, but if you want to tell them you'd rather they didn't log everything you do -- try hard to keep signing out whenever you don't actually need them hanging onto your coattails.

William Connolley said...

Is this the same as http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2015/07/18/the-climate-deception-dossiers/ ?

Andy S said...

William, no it's not the same. I was not outraged by the original story, it could have been one or two employees pointing out the risk to the corporation of getting involved in a project with huge emissions. Even if the corporation did not believe the climate science they could nevertheless decided to play it safe. And it seemed to me that it could have been just a few employees who held sane climate opinions within a corporate structure that did not.

This new story is different, it involves a major in-house study that seems to have done good science and come to the right conclusions. Then they buried it. Then they funded denialism and played up doubt when their own work had showed that dire outcomes were likely if emissions reductions policies (which Exxon still lobbies against) were not adopted. This is shameful. At least BP and Shell came clean.

William Connolley said...

> a major in-house study

Do you mean http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/documents/1982%20Exxon%20Primer%20on%20CO2%20Greenhouse%20Effect.pdf ? That doesn't seem terribly exciting (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2015/09/16/what-exxon-knew-and-when/). but then again, its not "a major in-house study" so perhaps you mean something else.

John Farley said...

I hate to brag, but...
I hate to brqg, but......

NAAAHHHH

I ACTUALLY LOVE TO BRAG!

Back in 2012, I reviewed a book on The Inquisition of Climate Science.

In the review, I stated that...

The now-defunct Global Climate Coalition (GCC) included Exxon-Mobil, Amoco, Chevron, American Petroleum Institute, Shell, Texaco, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Chrysler, General Motors, Ford, and the American Forest and Paper Association. The GCC, established in 1989, operated from the offices of the National Association of Manufacturing. The GCC hired a PR firm which produced a video to combat the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. However, some of its member companies left the GCC; they thought it too risky to be publicly identified with global-warming denial, and feared the fate of Big Tobacco; it had ended up losing lawsuits for health-care costs of smokers, ultimately settling for damages of $251 billion. Beset by the defections, the GCC disbanded in 2001.

During its lifetime, the GCC established a research arm, the Science and Technology Assessment Committee, which was staffed by industry scientists. A committee led by Mobil Oil chemical engineer L. C. Bernstein produced a confidential 1995 report which was circulated to the members of GCC: oil and coal companies, electric utilities, attorneys, National Mining Association, etc. In a stunning admission, the Bernstein Report concluded that “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.” The report knocked down one of the most popular contrarian arguments: that global warming could be attributed to changes in the Sun’s brightness. In opposition to the contrarian view, the Bernstein Report stated that changes in the brightness of the Sun were too small by at least a factor of five to cause the temperature change observed in the last 120 years. It pointed out that the deniers had no alternative theory of their own, saying “The contrarian theories raise interesting questions about our total understanding of climate processes, but they do not offer convincing arguments against the conventional model of greenhouse gas emission-induced climate change.”

Thus, while the oil companies and their hired hands were proclaiming in public that global warming was not caused by burning fossil fuels, their own scientists were saying exactly the opposite in private. If you have never heard of the Bernstein Report, you have lots of company. It did not surface until 2007, a dozen years after it was written, during a discovery process in a California court proceeding.

John Farley said...

My previous comment cited the Bernstein Report, prepared in 1995 for the Global Climate Coalition. The new report by Inside Climate News claims that Exxon knew perfectly well that global warming was happening as early as 1980. Which is only 35 years ago !

Tom said...

I don't remember fossil fuel companies claiming that fossil fuels didn't contribute to global warming. I'm sure someone will refresh my memory. Hopefully with links.

E. Swanson said...

Climate change was on the radar scientific community as far back in the late 1970's. I attended yearly AAAS meetings in 1979 and 1980 and there were sessions on the problem back then. William Kellogg's book Climate Change and the Society: Consequences of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide appeared in early 1981. EXXON had the money to pay for research after the Iranian Crisis boosted oil prices, so it shouldn't be surprising that they spent some of those funds on environmental issues.

Sad to say, as time passed, I later joined the Climate Coalition, not knowing that they were an "astroturf" organization. I even attended the first(?) meeting in DC, in which some 600 people in suits appeared. I didn't renew my membership after the first year. Of course, it was quite a shock to later learn that EXXON and other companies had funded the GCC...

Fernando Leanme said...

This is nothing. We knew the greenhouse effect was happening. We saw it in the ice data. I spent a lot of time reviewing the information over 20 years ago, at that time, after sitting with in house experts and outside consultants I saw we had a multitude of factors driving the climate, from pollutants to greenhouse gases, to long term variations in ocean heat transfer, albedo changes, and an orbital variation driving us into an ice age.

Some of the guys wanted to make a bet on arctic warming being significant, which made Arctic oil field development feasible. I was deciding on which design basis to use for Arctic structures and made the call that the data and the models didn't give us the assurance we needed to extrapolate and claim the ice would change enough to justify ignoring the ice conditions we had measured over the previous 30 years. Maybe this is too technical, but the bottom line is we had some saying the ice would disappear, others said it was a slow process, others said the orbital changes could overcome the greenhouse effect.

The fact that some companies were more inclined to believe the ice would be less threatening is seen in the move by Shell into the Chukchi. Others, however, felt it was a crap shoot and abandoned Arctic exploration.

You also misunderstand how these corporate cultures work. We got people signing memos approving the craziest ideas but it doesn't mean everybody buys it. You also misunderstood the mindset. These guys in management are like ants. Their jobs are to make oil. This means they make deals with dictators who treat people as if they were animals

. But so do you. I'm a goddamned refugee from Cuba, spent my life being insulted, trashed, and ignored by the likes of you, and I sit here seething with anger as I read the articles about USA cruise companies and left wing groupies preparing to visit Cuba to enjoy the slaves and see what the monster did to my life as they sing praises to it and shit some more on me.

Toby Joyce said...

Fernando,

You can leave off the victim-bully act.

You are or were consciously part of an organisation busy creating millions of refugees like you once were.

So look at what you were responsible for, and not take your self-pity out on others.

Toby

BBD said...

Tom

I don't remember fossil fuel companies claiming that fossil fuels didn't contribute to global warming. I'm sure someone will refresh my memory. Hopefully with links.

Why are you standing apologist for the indefensible yet again?

I've never believed that you were an industry shill, simply that you were an insufferable idiot, but sometimes even I wonder.

Exxon's public statements and private actions are in conflict.

If you cannot grasp that the industry pays lip service to the science and money to the lobbyists, then you really need to catch up with the reality boat, Tom.

And stop posting useful idiot material on the internet.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Fernando is obviously not an Afro-Cuban nor was his family a poor rural one, else he might have a completely different take on Castro.

Segregation, organized crime, rampant corruption, and the typical colonial system inequalities defined pre-Castro Cuba.

Free education for all, free health care, and the end of class/race discrimination followed Castro taking power.

That Cuba survived on the doorstep of an economic and military superpower that opposed her very existence is a testament to her people - at least those that stayed and didn't flee to Miami.

Yes, let's all long for the good old days of Batista. Not.

Blogger profile said...

Tom, you are a moron without compunction so your claims of what you remember are neither reliable as to what actually happened, nor reliable about your actual memory.

So why did you bother?

You need to build up some bona fides for being reliable witness BEFORE relying on your personal say-so.

Blogger profile said...

Fern is obviously making crap up out of the propaganda he heard from the right wing.

Since they have lots of money, they must be right, as far as he cares.

Blogger profile said...

"And stop posting useful idiot material on the internet."

TomFullerthanadunnywagon IS an idiot. And he wants to be useful. So he finds the opportunity available.

Shilling for the right wing nutcases.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

FL: I sit here seething with anger

BPL: Yes, we can tell. Are you getting any kind of help?

Tom said...

BBD, there's a run in your stockings.

Your link eventually leads here: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/maps.php

It shows that Exxon donated $2.3 million to a variety of organizations and individuals that have numerous concerns, one of which is climate change. They also have influence on things like the level of depletion allowance, tax breaks, regulations and more.

Exxon didn't donate $2.3 million to climate deniers. They donated $2.3 million to conservative politicians who were already advancing a business-friendly agenda that benefited Exxon. They gave them money to keep the ball rolling.

When you lie, don't link to it.

Blogger profile said...

"Exxon didn't donate $2.3 million to climate deniers. "

Funny. Climate denier shill orgs like CEI or HI refuse to disclose their funding. So how do you know that they didn't donate more to climate deniers, BUT KNEW IT WAS SHAMEFUL, so hid it.

"It shows that Exxon donated $2.3 million to a variety of organizations and individuals that have numerous concerns, one of which is climate change"

So they didn't donate to help do something to combat climate change any more than I donate my taxes to keep Julian Assange under watch in London or you pay taxes to pay to fund the EPA investigations of companies flouting laws.

Fullerthanadunnywagon, you only think you had a point because you didn't (can't) think.

Matt M said...

@ Tom

> I don't remember fossil fuel companies claiming that fossil fuels didn't contribute to global warming.

Noone has tried to argue that here. The article illustrates a much broader point. One that is not trivial, unlike yours.

Matt M said...

@ Tom

> I don't remember fossil fuel companies claiming that fossil fuels didn't contribute to global warming.

Noone has tried to argue that here. The article illustrates a much broader point. One that is not trivial, unlike yours.

Blogger profile said...

Of course, being Fullerthanadunnywagon, Tom won't rethink his position if you proved his memory to be contrary to reality:

October 1997: Lee Raymond devotes 33 paragraphs of a 78 paragraph speech at the 15th World Petroleum Congress in Beijing, arguing that climate change was an “illusion” and that there was no need for cuts in CO2.

He says: “Only four per cent of the carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere is due to human activities – 96 per cent comes from nature. Leaping to radically cut this tiny silver of the greenhouse pie on the premise that it will affect climate defies common sense and lacks foundation in our current understanding of the climate system … It is highly unlikely that the temperature in the middle of the next century will be affected whether policies are enacted now or 20 years from now.”

He also warns delegates that “It would be tragic indeed if the people of this region were deprived of the opportunity for continued prosperity by misguided restrictions and regulations.”

One Exxon executive, who had access to Raymond, concedes: “They had come to the conclusion that the whole debate around global warming was kind of a hoax. Nobody inside Exxon dared question that”.


Of course, if he doesn't know that fossil fuels cause AGW, then why is he taking the stance that it's fine to keep burning them? I don't know if that thing in the cupboard with the "DO NOT INGEST" will hurt me, but that doesn't mean I'll chug it down. Or even think about doing anything other than ensuring it is safely away from any chance of contaminating foodstuffs.

Especially since he wouldn't know that doing something about it would affect the prosperity of humanity at all negatively.

BBD said...

Tom

When you lie, don't link to it.

What lie? Exxon funds climate change denial. Fact.

Tom denies this. Fact.

Tom is therefore lying. Fact.

Keep it up, Tom!

BBD said...

Over the years, it has become clear to me that this issue is a litmus test for denialism.

Deniers always either deny or wave away the fact that vested interest funds organised climate change denial and its political enablers.

Denial of matters of fact is pathological.

hypergeometric said...

@William Connolley: re "... a 'major in-house study' so perhaps you mean something else."

I bring your attention to a quote from the story summary:

Of particular significance was a project launched in August 1979, when the company outfitted a supertanker with custom-made instruments. The project's mission was to sample carbon dioxide in the air and ocean along a route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Persian Gulf.

They have a photo of the Esso Atlantic on that page.

Even research vessels steam at US$1 million per month. Are you seriously proposing a couple of crazy guys in the back office could commission such an experiment?

Tom said...

Can I get a litmus? Any one will do.

Vested interests fund organizations with shared aims. Happens on both sides--ask Tom Steyer. Didn't he just spend $800 million to elect politicians who agreed with him on climate change? Isn't that a bit more than $2.3 million?

You may have been in a drunken stupor back in 1997, but Lee Raymond wasn't on another planet when he said what you quoted, BP. In fact, what you quoted was exactly correct on two factual points: The 4% of CO2 being anthropogenic and that it is unlikely that temperatures in the middle of the next century will be effected whether policies are enacted now or 20 years from now.

We know a lot more two decades later. Exxon isn't saying the same thing two decades later. They're not spending their money the same way two decades later.

If that's the worst thing Raymond said--if that's what oil companies were preaching in 1997--then you morons should just go back to bitching at each other about solar panels. One of these days one of you will get it right. Not today... but some day.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

Tom: The 4% of CO2 being anthropogenic

BPL: No. 4% of source emission per year is anthropogenic. But the 96% natural sources are roughly matched by natural SINKS. That's why CO2 has been rising. Of the 400 ppmv now in the air, 120 is anthropogenic, which by my reckoning is 30% of the total. And the relevant fact is the ratio of the present level to the preindustrial level, 400/280 = 1.43, since 5.35 ln (400/280) gives us the present radiative forcing due to CO2, or about 1.9 W/m^2, leading to 1.4 K of warming at climate sensitivity lambda = 0.75 K/W/m^2.

Compared to natural sources, human emissions are small. But human emissions are NEW. It's like a bathtub with a hole in it: as long as the same amount flows in from the faucet as flows out through the drain, the water level remains the same. But add just a tiny extra trickle in--4%, let's say--and sooner or later the tub overflows.

William Connolley said...

> outfitted a supertanker

I was rather hoping to learn what Andy S meant, actually. Perhaps he'll deign to reply some time.

He said "a major in-house study that seems to have done good science and come to the right conclusions". You're talking about supertanker outfitting. You're correct: that would cost lots of money. But, in the grand scheme of things, its only a little experiment and wouldn't come to much in the way of conclusions. AS's "come to the right conclusions" can't be referring to that.

I think that he, like almost everyone else, is taking too much of the article on trust. I'm not convinced that the article writers really know what they're on about.

Lee Raymond>> “Only four per cent of the carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere is due to human activities – 96 per cent comes from nature

Tom> Lee Raymond wasn't on another planet when he said what you quoted

LR is talking std denialist drivel; you ought to know that.

FWIW, I think its clear that Exxon under LR - most likely strongly influenced by his own personal opinions - made a deliberate decision to "tobacco" over GW.

BBD said...

Tom

One of these days one of you will get it right. Not today... but some day.

I did get it right today:

Vested interest funds climate change denial.

You fail the denialism litmus test by trying to wave this away.

Now you once again state that I am wrong, which makes you a liar (again).

QED.

BBD said...

And before I forget:

Happens on both sides

But one side is lying and peddling misinformation. The other is not.

False equivalence is a logical fallacy, so we can draw an thick black line through that bit of your tripe as well.

* * *

In fact, what you quoted was exactly correct on two factual points: The 4% of CO2 being anthropogenic

As for this, well, words fail me. BPL and WMC responded with amazing restraint.

8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...

William Connolley is a fossil fuel corporate apologist.

You are wasting your time. Even ATTP falls all over himself apologizing.

His climate ball buddy just takes that apologist stance to a new level.

Anything but progress on the problem. Look, over there! A squirrel!

Matt M said...

@ Blogger Profile,

Ah but Tom wins on a technicality. LR is indeed spouting std denialist drivel but he didn't say "fossil fuels didn't contribute to global warming" (contribute being anything >0). Tom shifted the goalposts before kickoff.

snarkrates said...

Something I've noticed: Wherever Tom Fuller comments, the dialogue becomes about Tom Fuller. Tom Fuller isn't interesting because wrong is dull.

BBD said...

[number string]

William Connolley is a fossil fuel corporate apologist.

Daftest comment of the week.

Blogger profile said...

"Ah but Tom wins on a technicality. LR is indeed spouting std denialist drivel but he didn't say "fossil fuels didn't contribute to global warming""

He loses on the same technicality.

By concluding that nothing should be done, he IS saying that fossil fuels didn't contribute to global warming. Otherwise his stance is unsupported.

Words have meaning. Otherwise all you need is a typo and you can win any argument of "he said/she said".

Blogger profile said...

"In fact, what you quoted was exactly correct on two factual points: The 4% of CO2 being anthropogenic"

4% EXTRA. Keep adding 4% more for 100 years and you have added 400% more CO2.

Weasels are ashamed.

"and that it is unlikely that temperatures in the middle of the next century will be effected whether policies are enacted now or 20 years from now."

Either 100% wrong or unsupported conjecture against all evidence, therefore to all intents and purposes wrong.

But he, like you, is fuller than a dunnywagon.

Blogger profile said...

Completely called it on the moron deciding to ignore reality for their own purposes, though.

Not that it was on long odds to begin with...

8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...

Says one fossil fuel and nuclear energy corporate apologist about another, to someone who acts upon rather than apologizing for malfeasance. Heckava job. I wish your minimization and misinformation agenda well.

BBD said...

[number string]

Doubles down on teh Crazy.

William Connolley said...

FWIW, on the tanker programme, thanks to M at mine for pointing out there's a sidebar with dox. See http://insideclimatenews.org/sites/default/files/documents/Presentation%20to%20NOAA%20%281979%29.pdf which is quite interesting - they were proposing tanker-based CO2 flux sampling, which would have been a useful addition to the "how much CO2 does the ocean take up" question.

I wonder if they ever ran any? The article does mention Exxon pubs in JGR - anyone look them up?

> William Connolley is a fossil fuel corporate apologist.

One for my collection I think.

8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...

Collecting quotes will be a good hobby for you William, since you don't appear competent in the 'how are we going to solve the problem' domain, and don't appear to be willing to acquire those skills. That just shows me how important you think this problem really is. Ditto BBD.

That's ok, there appear to be others with those skills. They'll just have to solve your problem for you since it doesn't appear to be worthy of your time and effort.

EliRabett said...

Read Part 2. Taro Takahashi used part of the data in a paper published in Science in 1990.

Andy S said...

OK I'll "deign" to reply. (Believe it or not I was just being lazy, not lofty.)

First, "major" study was a bit of an exaggeration, I admit, especially if you compare it to what a governements agency like NASA can do. But they did seem to commit significant funds and manpower over several years. From the first piece:

"Exxon responded swiftly. Within months the company launched its own extraordinary research into carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and its impact on the earth. Exxon's ambitious program included both empirical CO2 sampling and rigorous climate modeling. It assembled a brain trust that would spend more than a decade deepening the company's understanding of an environmental problem that posed an existential threat to the oil business."

And

"Exxon also hired scientists and mathematicians to develop better climate models and publish research results in peer-reviewed journals. By 1982, the company's own scientists, collaborating with outside researchers, created rigorous climate models – computer programs that simulate the workings of the climate to assess the impact of emissions on global temperatures. They confirmed an emerging scientific consensus that warming could be even worse than Black had warned five years earlier.

Esso Atlantic
Between 1979 and 1982, Exxon researchers sampled carbon dioxide levels aboard the company's Esso Atlantic tanker (shown here).

Exxon's research laid the groundwork for a 1982 corporate primer on carbon dioxide and climate change prepared by its environmental affairs office. Marked "not to be distributed externally," it contained information that "has been given wide circulation to Exxon management." In it, the company recognized, despite the many lingering unknowns, that heading off global warming "would require major reductions in fossil fuel combustion." "

The only document I've seen is that "primer", while hardly being of IPCC-level rigour, is not that bad for the time. It seems clear to me that this was not just an oddball in some back office having a bright idea after reading a few papers, but a real research effort that was sanctioned, funded and staffed from high up in the company for a protracted period. But it's also possible that Inside Climate News is hyping this a little, so I ought to reserve judgement until I learn more.

I have worked with Exxon as a partner on several projects over my career. As a corporation, they are very arrogant about their technical knowledge and seem bemused at times that lesser corporations could even presume to compete with them. (Of course, smaller companies see this arrogance as a weakness and take full advantage of it. I gave a talk once at a conference in Houston about acoustic anisotropry in shales and the problems this causes for seismic imaging. An Exxon guy in the audience got up and said that if this was a real problem, Exxon would have solved it by now. I'm not kidding. )

What I mean to get at here is that there is little doubt that Exxon would consider their own in-house research as gospel and superior to anything created outside. So, disavowing or at least ignoring this research later on was an act of cynicism and expediency on the part of their senior management.

William Connolley said...

AS: thanks for the reply. But, I still think you're blurring things.

> From the first piece

Ah, no, quoting the piece is cheating, unless you expect me to trust them, which I don't. You need to quote Exxon.

Your original, with "major" now removed, was

> in-house study that seems to have done good science and come to the right conclusions. Then they buried it.

I don't doubt that the tanker stuff would have been (or was, if they actually did it) good science; and its entirely likely that they committed funds to it, though I haven't seen clear evidence of that yet. But "the right conclusions" didn't come from that study. The conclusions came from a survey of existing literature.

Which is why your "Then they buried it", implying that they kept secret the results of their research, makes no sense. All they kept secret was their own opinions. The results of their literature survey were no different to, say, the Charney report which was already public.

Kevin O'Neill said...

WC - Exxon wasn't just reviewing the literature. They were actively researching. I don't know what percentage of their results were published, but Haroon Kheshgi as been an author on quite a few climate related papers.

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=1CNE2iwAAAAJ&hl=en

Tom said...

So, Kheshgi was author on quite a few climate related papers but they were hiding their research.

Right.

Andy S said...

Yes, William, I was relying for my opinion on the ICN report, but I did say that I should reserve judgement until I learn more. That would include hearing Exxon's response. It sounds like they did more than a literature survey, at least judging for the manpower and time they supposedly put into it.

Once you start supporting a group like the GCC I think there's an ethical obligation to disclose your true position on the science. Maybe there's no legal obligation in a case like this, but big corporations like Exxon don't like to squander their reputations by being seen to be dealing off the bottom of the deck. I assumed that their position on climate science (as expressed by the GCC and their CEO) might have been based on genuine ignorance or at least prejudice. Now, it's hard not to see this as dishonesty. But, to repeat, I don't know all the facts.

In many ways, though, their denialism seems half-hearted, at least in terms of the comparatively modest amount of cash they have reportedly put into it. How much influence they bought behind the scenes to influence regulations in the US political scene is anybody's guess, though.

Hank Roberts said...

> You're talking about supertanker outfitting.
> You're correct: that would cost lots of money.

The supertanker was still working as usual on a revenue route, as described.

"the company outfitted a supertanker with custom-made instruments. The project's mission was to sample carbon dioxide in the air and ocean along a route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Persian Gulf."

Adding some science instruments and a few scientists would be utterly trivial.

Blogger profile said...

" So, Kheshgi was author on quite a few climate related papers but they were hiding their research."

So all the papers were published.

Right....

Fixed Carbon said...

Is fossil fuel company silence on global warming a bit like US Constitution's lack of content on slavery? As Hank Roberts posted, "Behind every great fortune lies a great crime." -- Balzac

Kevin O'Neill said...

Fixed Carbon - the US Constitution addresses slavery three times: Article I Section 2, Article I Section 9, and Article IV Section 2. These are respectively, the 3/5 clause, the slave-trade clause, and the fugitive slave clause.

Everett F Sargent said...

Kevin O'Neill,

DoI ...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

They are, of course only referring to WHITE MEN, or some such. Heaven forbid that they would even remotely consider substituting 'people' for 'men' as that thought would NEVER have crossed their minds at that time. Time for those conservatives on the SCOTUS to return to the original intent, or some such.

Three-Fifths Compromise
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Fifths_Compromise
The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise reached between delegates from southern states and those from northern states during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention.

Consensus requires compromise.

One down, two to go?