Guest essay by Eric Worrall
BHP climate executive Fiona Wild has left Paris, after her face appeared on series of “Wanted” posters. BHP denies that Ms Wild left because of concerns about personal security, though the Financial Times claims that she was upset by the personal nature of the campaign.
According to the Financial Times;
The BHP Billiton executive in charge of climate change has cut short her stay at the United Nations climate talks in Paris after her face appeared on “wanted” posters plastered by environmental activists outside upmarket hotels in the French capital.
Fiona Wild, who is BHP’s vice president of environment and climate change, was one of seven people to appear in a campaign organised by green activist group Avaaz on Sunday night. Their photos appeared on more than 1000 wanted posters that described them as “climate criminals”. Avaaz volunteers also handed out leaflets featuring the head shots to commuters at metro train stations near the conference.
“These lobbyists have come to Paris to sabotage a global deal for ambitious climate action, despite over 3.6 million citizens around the world calling for 100 per cent clean energy,” Avaaz’s acting executive director, Emma Ruby-Sachs, said in a statement. “Ministers must listen to their people, not polluters, and refuse meetings with climate criminals who want to derail a deal the whole world wants.”
It is understood Ms Wild was upset by the personal nature of the campaign – which was reported around the world in publications such as The New York Times and Huffington Post – and elected to leave the summit before its scheduled conclusion on Friday afternoon. Ms Wild had hoped to stay for the full two weeks of the conference. A BHP Billiton source denied speculation Ms Wild had cut short her stay because of security concerns.
As someone who witnessed a major terror attack in London, I understand Ms Wild’s alleged upset at being personally targeted by a hate campaign.
I’m not suggesting the Avaaz activist group responsible for the poster campaign actually meant any physical harm to Ms Wild. But their campaign in my opinion is utterly irresponsible. Given the heated rhetoric surrounding the climate issue, repeated claims this is the last chance to save the world, and given that real terrorists have in the past added their support to green claims, would anyone really be surprised, if some hothead or fanatic decided to take matters one step further?
Belief in imminent catastrophe, regardless of whether that belief is well founded, is a moral slippery slope. History is full of good people who were seduced into doing evil, because they thought they were serving the greater good. If a good person truly believes the world is on the brink of total destruction, what atrocity, what crime couldn’t be justified in their mind, to prevent such a horror?