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Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City would divest its pension funds from fossil fuels and that the city would sue the big five oil companies. The reason? To collect damages for the cost of coping with the effects of climate change on city infrastructure.

The irony here is that much of what we now know about Exxon Mobil, and the company's awareness of how fossil fuel affects climate change, is based on journalism that was funded, in part, by descendants of John D. Rockefeller, the man who founded Standard Oil in 1870. 

Reeves Wiedeman, contributing editor at New York Magazine, followed the story of the modern Rockefellers and how the family that made its fortune off the oil industry came to oppose it.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

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Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal