Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Back in 1991, Shell Oil released a public documentary video which raised serious concerns about anthropogenic global warming. This hasn’t prevented The Guardian from trying to claim it is all part of the oil industry coverup.
‘Shell knew’: oil giant’s 1991 film warned of climate change danger
Public information film unseen for years shows Shell had clear grasp of global warming 26 years ago but has not acted accordingly since, say critics.
The oil giant Shell issued a stark warning of the catastrophic risks of climate change more than a quarter of century ago in a prescient 1991 film that has been rediscovered.
However, since then the company has invested heavily in highly polluting oil reserves and helped lobby against climate action, leading to accusations that Shell knew the grave risks of global warming but did not act accordingly.
“They knew. Shell told the public the truth about climate change in 1991 and they clearly never got round to telling their own board of directors,” said Tom Burke at the green thinktank E3G, who was a member of Shell’s external review committee from 2012-14 and has also advised BP and the mining giant Rio Tinto. “Shell’s behaviour now is risky for the climate but it is also risky for their shareholders. It is very difficult to explain why they are continuing to explore and develop high-cost reserves.”
Shell also tried to contribute to the education of future climate researchers, by meeting representatives of the high profile British Climatic Research Unit;
Climategate email 0962818260.txt
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2000 13:31:00 +0100
Cc: ***@uea.ac.uk, ***@uea.ac.uk
Had a very good meeting with Shell yesterday. Only a minor part of the
agenda, but I expect they will accept an invitation to act as a strategic
partner and will contribute to a studentship fund though under certain
conditions. I now have to wait for the top-level soundings at their end
after the meeting to result in a response. We, however, have to discuss
asap what a strategic partnership means, what a studentship fund is, etc,
etc. By email? In person?
I hear that Shell’s name came up at the TC meeting. I’m ccing this to Tim
who I think was involved in that discussion so all concerned know not to
make an independent approach at this stage without consulting me!
I’m talking to Shell International’s climate change team but this approach
will do equally for the new foundation as it’s only one step or so off
Shell’s equivalent of a board level. I do know a little about the Fdn and
what kind of projects they are looking for. It could be relevant for the
new building, incidentally, though opinions are mixed as to whether it’s
within the remit.
Mick Kelly Climatic Research Unit
University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ
Tel: *** Fax: ***
Original source available from Wikileaks
What went wrong?
As the Guardian points out, Shell went on to fund Tar Sands in Canada and other carbon intensive industries, though as recently as May 2016, the Guardian were celebrating Shell’s ongoing commitment to renewables.
Shell’s firm interest in renewables suggests they would really like to find a renewable future for the world’s energy needs.
But that isn’t going to happen with current technology.
The inescapable conclusion is current generation renewables are not fit for purpose. Only the engineering challenged think otherwise.
For now, we need oil – a commodity which Shell is providing.
One thing for sure – the attempt by Greens to paint the oil industry as the bad guys, covering up their historical concerns about climate issues, has descended into utter farce. I suggest releasing a public documentary about climate concerns is above and beyond, in terms of attempting to disseminate information to the public. The sooner The Guardian and other greens stop embarrassing themselves with their nonsense conspiracy theories, the better.