SCIENCE

Facebook posts falsely claim US oil magnate coined term ‘fossil fuels’ to introduce ‘idea of scarcity’, boosting oil prices

Published on 23/11/2020 at 06:00

Multiple Facebook posts shared hundreds of times claim that a late US oil magnate, John D. Rockefeller, coined the term “fossil fuels” in order to “induce the idea of scarcity, allowing for the increase on the price of oil.” The posts go on to claim that hydrocarbons do not come from “from fossils, nor from the transformed remains of long dead organisms”. The claims are false; experts credit 18th century German scientist Caspar Neumann for coining the term “fossil fuel” and say they do in fact originate from ancient dead organisms.