Ale Griffo

The “Keeling curve” is Charles Keeling’s early research that was able to record the movement of the Earth’s carbon dioxide levels. Charles Keeling’s early research can be found in some documents from the fossil fuel industry that has existed since 1954 and has created some of the world’s most foundational climate science documents. From the Charles Keeling documents that describe his research, it can be found that in December 1954 the oil and car coalition of manufacturing interests gave a generous economic fund of $13,814 which is nowadays equal to $158,000 for financing the “Keeling curve” research that meant a significant social and human progress because Keeling was experimenting in the western USA area the measure of the CO2 levels.

To measure the constant global CO2 levels Charles Keeling went to the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and discovered that his “Keeling curve” experiment was revolutionary because he was noticing that atmospheric carbon was rising due to the climate change crisis. Furthermore, the Air Pollution Foundation, a fossil fuel interests group, with the “Keeling curve” research finally found an explanation for the Los Angeles smog that was often surrounding the city in those years.

It is fundamental to underline that when Keeling was trying to find economic funds for his research experiments, Samuel Epstein, that was his research director decided to write in the “Keeling curve” money research proposal that by having the necessary means to accomplish that type of research and conducting a new carbon isotope analysis, they could have found the possible “changes in the atmosphere” from the burning of coal and petroleum. In November 1954, Epstein, a California Institute of Technology abbreviated “Caltech” researcher decided to give his opinion about Keeling’s goal to find “changes in the atmosphere” from the burning of coal and petroleum and sent the following words to the Air Pollution Foundation: “The possible consequences of a changing concentration of the CO2 in the atmosphere with reference to climate, rates of photosynthesis, and rates of equilibration with carbonate of the oceans may ultimately prove of considerable significance to civilization.”

Today, some experts claim that the “Keeling curve” documents were already in 1954 an official proof that the fossil fuel industry was very close to the kind of climate science and climate crisis research, study, and danger we have nowadays. Geoffrey Supran, a specific expert in historic climate disinformation from The University of Miami valued the previous experts’ thesis by stating the following words: “They contain smoking gun proof that by at least 1954, the fossil fuel industry was on notice about the potential for its products to disrupt Earth’s climate on a scale significant to human civilization. These findings are a startling confirmation that big oil has had its finger on the pulse of academic climate science for 70 years – for twice my lifetime – and a reminder that it continues to do so to this day. They make a mockery of the oil industry’s denial of basic climate science decades later.”