An old shell on the beach

The Guardian reported today that an interesting shell has been discovered on the beach. A twenty-six minute documentary film produced by Shell Oil Company in 1991 has been rediscovered. This prescient film was made for educational purpose for students discussing the key concerns over climate change.

In the film, Shell scientists speak about sea level rise, flooding, drought and forest fires due to climate change. The reporters for The Guardian note the film is highly relevant today and was made twenty-five years ago.

The article also notes the lack of business ethics of Shell that led them to double down on fracking and off-shore drilling since that time. This is not dissimilar to the activities of Exxon-Mobil who is under investigation for securities fraud in misrepresenting the impact of climate change on their business to shareholders. Like Shell, Exxon-Mobil has been aware of their impact on climate change for quite awhile.

The past actions of these two fossil-fuel companies are extremely relevant. They both have known the concerns of climate change for many years. Their knowledge flies directly in the face of the arguments of climate change deniers. And, with respect to Exxon-Mobil, if it is proven that they misled shareholders, that is a crime whether it was intentional of not.

A key reason I left the Republican Party in 2006 is their failure to admit and speak to one of the greatest threats to our planet in climate change. The World Economic Forum cites the failure to address climate change as the second greatest risk (following our global water crisis) over the next ten years.  Doubling down on fossil fuels as advocated by our President is extremely poor stewardship.

18 thoughts on “An old shell on the beach

    • Janis, your reference to cigarettes is related in more ways. The same PR firm that advised the tobacco industry advises the oil companies. The tobacco industry knew as early as 1964 that nicotine was addictive and found ways to add more to cigarettes. Then, eight CEOs denied this all in a row in speaking with Congress.

      The similarities for the fossil fuel industry to hide what is in their files about climate change is concerning. Yet, in the case of Shell and Exxon, their information is more in public, which should run afoul of later climate change denial. Keith

  1. Corporate greed, human greed … with no thought for tomorrow. On a smaller scale, but still relevant … with warmer temps, I have (somewhat) resumed my daily walks at the county park behind my house. To my dismay, there is broken glass all over the track, and garbage alongside … tons of garbage … discarded gallon milk jugs, water bottles, paper towels, food, boxes, wrappers. More evidence of the ‘society of me’ and ‘live for today, to heck with tomorrow’. I was saddened beyond belief, and my granddaughter and I donned gloves, and took a broom and several trash bags to clean up part of our park. This made me think of coal companies dumping sludge into streams, and mining operations that destroy the earth, as well as, of course, the oil industry and the destruction they are bringing to our atmosphere. My only point, I guess, being that if we, as individuals, do not care enough to cherish and protect our own backyard, is there any hope that we will be effective in lobbying for more stringent environmental protections? 😥

    • Jill, your example is not isolated. The number one risk facing the planet over the next ten years per the World Economic Forum is our global water crisis. This issue is not discussed at all in Washington and certainly not by this President. So, ouor solution is to allow coal companies to dump into the streams and allow fracking which takes an inordinate amount of water. Keith

      • Jill, excellent point. There is data that shows these pipelines do have breaches. I have seen industry leaders say they do not, but those are false statements. So, running a pipeline under a river is not without risk. When a wind mill fails, there is no spill. Keith

      • Jill, you would think they would be truthful with verifiable information, but the same could be said about our President. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: Today, our President signed an order to continue a stay of a court decision which holds up governance by the EPA on smaller waterways. Adding this to the earlier order that permits coal companies to dump more waste, our dear water resources are in greater jeopardy. I guess the President has not heard of our global water crisis.

  3. As you know I taught Business Ethics for years. I did considerable research during that time and came to realize that the publicly owned companies, almost without exception, will do whatever it takes to increase profits. The privately owned companies are not quite as bad. But the bottom line is what it is all about. This is why Federal regulating agencies came into being — to regulate those companies that were unwilling to regulate themselves. Now Trump wants to eradicate those agencies. It is pretty clear what the consequences will be!

    • Hugh, you hit upon a clear distinction. Public companies manage quarter to quarter to make their numbers – you may remember a reference to dialing for dollars at quarter end. Private companies can manage longer term. As for DT, companies would like to be devoid of regulations. While we must routinely monitor their efficacy, many regulations are needed, especially with unethical leaders like our President has shown to be his entire history. Keith

  4. Dear Keith,

    Thanks for this post.

    To my way of thinking, the three top topics for us who are active in this resistance movement are the ACA. climate change, and infrastructure investment because these are issues that even DT’s supporters who are not part of the Alt-right can agree needs to addressed in a competent manner.

    I have already stated that I am convinced that climate change is our #1 national security issue.

    Ciao, Gronda

    • Agreed. The Department of Defense agrees with your assessment of climate change. By the way, while he was more conciliatory and conventional in his speech, there were about five or six large misstatements of facts of using information out of context. It is hard to solve problems when you lie about what is wrong. Keith

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