For many decades, the American tobacco industry dodged evidence that their products were linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease. That effort was enhanced by pseudo-scientists whom they hired to debunk the conclusions of the medical community. Eventually, they were forced to acknowledge the risks of using their products and to discontinue advertising in the public media. Nevertheless, tobacco use persists in the U.S. and the export of their products has exploded across the globe.
In like manner, Big Oil has managed to resist scientific evidence that fossil fuel consumption is primarily responsible for global warming. While their own studies confirmed that evidence, they have used "experts" to argue against the link between climate change and the Industrial Revolution. No doubt, the shift from coal to natural gas is beneficial but to deny their contribution to global warming by engaging in a disinformation campaign is a dangerous ruse.
Of course, unlike tobacco, we all still depend on fossil fuels for most of our energy production, including that used to heat our homes, provide electricity and fuel transportation. While we cannot deny that dependence, many of us want a more open and honest approach to dealing with climate change; to deny that it is a serious problem, linked to our use of fossil fuels, does not serve that purpose and, worse yet, diminishes the public's faith in legitimate scientific research.