Don’t Tell Mr Barroso That!

All the big oil companies claim to be aware of global warming and all claim to be fighting it in their own ways. It is good publicity for them. The truth, of course, is that all oil companies want to see their businesses prosper and unfortunately if we were to do anything to reduce emissions their businesses would fail, or else reduce in size quite considerably. It should therefore come as no surprise that Shell have been lobbying the European Union very aggressively and it seems persuasively to reduce renewable energy targets. This was part of the negotiations which led to an EU wide climate agreement in October 2014 which the then European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, said was “real progress” in the fight against climate change. Continue reading

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water…

A year ago most of us were concerned by the 4.9 million barrels (205.8 million gallons) of oil spillage in the Gulf of México. Today there is little news on the spillage. The Gulf has absorbed much of the oil, much of it has been dispersed by chemicals and much cleaned up from the sea shore. It seems some of the marine life is safe and prospering; although in certain cases there has been irremediable damage to the environment. Continue reading

Oil, Ogoni and Shell

Oil damages the environment, not just by the burning of it creating climate change but in other more noticeable ways. Since 1958 oil companies have been extracting oil from the Ogoniland region of Nigeria. This is a flat tropical wetland, where the local population have fished and farmed for centuries, interrupted by events such as slave trading and, in its modern form, oil exploitation. Both slavery and oil exploitation have features in common where oil is recklessly taken out of the land, without care as to whether the process beggars or enslaves the local population. Continue reading

The world’s worst environmental vandalism

For the first time in three months it seems that the Deepwater oil rig is no longer leaking crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. This episode has had all the features of a melodrama with a tragic ending. There have been cover ups, lies, incompetence, political grandstanding, recriminations and generally a simplistic view of the financial and environmental damage done and the sufferings caused with an even more simplistic misunderstanding of the responsibilities. Continue reading

Poisoning the Niger Delta and Shell’s Corporate Responsibilty

While millions of people in the Balkans and Eastern Europe have to cope in the bitter cold of a European winter without being able to burn natural gas for fuel gas, due to a dispute between Russia and the Ukraine, natural gas is being wasted thousands of miles away in Africa in the Niger Delta. Just as the cold weather is causing hardship and exacerbating ill health in Eastern Europe, so the wasteful burning of natural gas in Nigeria is damaging the health of many Nigerians. Continue reading

Corporate Climate Change leaders provide poor advice

The United Kingdom Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change is a body sponsored by the Price of Wales and they are concerned with climate change.  They believe that there is an urgent need to establish new and long term strategies for dealing with climate change. They are right. There is such a need. These “leaders” agree that incremental change is not going to work, and that action would benefit business by creating new opportunities so they think we need a cross party consensus on policies to cut emissions. Continue reading