As a history lecturer at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus, I am not surprised by the Just Stop Oil protest by students. The University of Exeter recently announced a £14,000,000 research partnership with the oil company Shell.

Historical research is now revealing that oil companies and their lobby organisations knew of the environmental effects of their products in the 1960s. As early as the 1970s, some were privately using sophisticated modelling techniques that accurately predicted the impact of global warming and warned it could be disastrous.

Despite this, oil companies chose to help organise disinformation by funding lobby organisations such as the American Petroleum Institute. Shell helped fund climate denialism at a critical time through its membership of the Global Climate Coalition until 1997.

The science underpinning human-caused global warming has been known for many decades. Despite this, half of all industrial era greenhouse gas emissions have taken place in the last 25 years. We should not be surprised that our children and grandchildren now turn and point to our failure to protect them.

Universities have contributed significantly to that failure. By taking oil money, the University of Exeter is still failing its responsibility of care for young people.

Dr Timothy Cooper

Cornwall Campus