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Oil Company Hears Alarm Of Global Warming

Wed., May 21, 1997

Breaking with other oil industry leaders, a senior British Petroleum executive has acknowledged that scientists have reached a consensus about global warming and that to ignore concerns over climate change “would be unwise and potentially dangerous.”

John Browne, group chief executive of the British oil company, said Monday at Stanford University that in tackling the issue of global warming, about which the oil industry has long expressed skepticism, it is time “for change and for a rethinking of corporate responsibility.”

Although the oil industry has long held that scientists have yet to prove a link between global warming and auto emissions, Browne said a consensus has formed that is strong enough to persuade him of the need to act.

Within the environmental community, Browne’s comments were seen as a break as stunning as that which shook the tobacco industry two months ago when the Liggett Group acknowledged that smoking causes cancer and heart disease.

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