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Climate Disinformation Leaves Lasting Mark as World Heats

A lone plant grows from the dry soil next to a flare venting hydrocarbons in the Permian Basin in Pecos, Texas, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. Each day the sun’s energy enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Some is absorbed and some bounces back into space. The accumulation of carbon dioxide and methane in the blanket of gases encircling the Earth is holding more heat in. And there is now nearly three times as much methane in the air than there was before industrial times. The year 2021 saw the worst single increase ever. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A lone plant grows from the dry soil next to a flare venting hydrocarbons in the Permian Basin in Pecos, Texas, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. Each day the sun’s energy enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Some is absorbed and some bounces back into space. The accumulation of carbon dioxide and methane in the blanket of gases encircling the Earth is holding more heat in. And there is now nearly three times as much methane in the air than there was before industrial times. The year 2021 saw the worst single increase ever. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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(AP) -- In 1998, as nations around the world agreed to cut carbon emissions through the Kyoto Protocol, America's fossil fuel companies plotted their response, including an aggressive strategy to inject doubt into the public debate.

“Victory,” according to the American Petroleum Institute's memo, “will be achieved when average citizens ‘understand’ (recognize) uncertainties in climate science... Unless ‘climate change’ becomes a non-issue... there may be no moment when we can declare victory."