Dear Editor:

If you have a hard time believing that climate change, or global warming, or climate chaos, is real, you are not alone and there is good reason for that. Since the 1970s, the oil and gas industries have deliberately misled the American public about the reality of climate change and its cause. 

We have all been denied the right to be correctly informed about the risks of carbon use.The tactics the industry has used for decades, such as fake experts and conspiracy theories, came directly from the tobacco industry’s playbook. 

The actions of the fossil fuel industry have kept the public in the dark about the truth and lowered the support for climate action. Exxon Mobil is now on trial in New York state for deliberately misleading the public, as evidence will show that the industry knew the climate science as early as 1950s-‘80s. Evidence such as internal documents and ads placed in the New York Times will show that they used public relations strategies to create doubt about climate science and to deliberately mislead their investors and the public.

Eunice Foote, in the 1850s, was the first scientist to show evidence that greenhouse gases were warming the earth. Since the late 1980s and early ‘90s, a consensus among thousands of independent scientists all around the globe has grown to bring clear and strong knowledge that burning fossil fuels causes global warming, just as we now know that smoking tobacco causes cancer. The current trial will help bring out the truth, that fossil fuel companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars confusing the public and delaying life-saving action. Their legacy is the death, destruction, and injustices of irreversible global warming.

Yet much can be done to reverse this trend, if we act soon. Search on the Internet for “America Misled” to find more information. Attend the next NE Iowa Citizens Climate Lobby meeting on Nov. 4 from 5:30-7 p.m. at 119 Winnebago, the Peace and Justice Center, or email

 Learn about a bill currently in Congress, HF 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. 

And for an update based on Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, attend Jen Sand Canales’s talk this Saturday, Oct. 26, at 10:30 a.m. at the Decorah Public Library meeting room downstairs.

Leslie Sand