Sunday, June 29, 2008

Intimidated oilmen

Speaking of "deniers" and intimidation, Lawrence Solomon recently gave a speech to intimidated oilmen at the Petroleum Club and tried to salve their guilt and stiffen their backbones:

James Hansen ... wants you in court. "CEOs of fossil energy companies ... should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature."

Come to think of it, David Suzuki also sees those who abet CO2 emissions as criminals.

And you know what, I bet some of you see yourselves as criminals — or something close to it — because there’s something in human nature that makes us feel guilty, even for crimes we didn’t commit, let alone for non-crimes. And I bet some of your friends and associates might look at you sideways. And your children may be teased and made to feel guilty about what their dad does for a living.

But on the global warming issues, based on the evidence to date, you have nothing to feel guilty about. Albertans have nothing to feel guilty about either. No crime has been committed. No known harm has occurred. You’ve been had.

Even more, you’ve been cowed into silence. Instead of making your case to the public, instead of defending yourselves and your industry, you’ve thrown in the towel, or tried to be greener than green, hoping to avoid recrimination.

Not only is there no consensus, the scientists who are skeptics — the deniers — have extraordinary credentials, people at the very top echelons of the scientific establishment. They are the Who’s Who of Science.

Not only do they disagree with the UN conclusions, they often value CO2 for the benefits it provides the planet.

On global warming, the science is not settled. You have the facts on your side. But facts will count for naught as long as you see the battle as lost.

Great stuff. We need a lot more of the likes of Lawrence Solomon and Rex Murphy in the mainstream media. In my local press I'm inundated with climate hysteria and harassment from green freaks, including my government who this week sent me a "Climate action dividend" cheque for $100 along with a long list of bullcrap suggestions for nice green things I should do with it (hint: It's going straight into my gas tank!)


Anonymous said...

The head of the Petroleum Association and CEO's involved in the oil sands development should take out full page ads and compare producing ethanol with developing oil from the oil sands. Guess which is less green!

JR said...

I'm no expert on this but as I understand it, burning the equivalent of one barrel of oil yields roughly 2 barrels from oil sand but only 1.3 barrels of ethanol from corn.

If that's the case the oilmen should not be shying away from saying so.

Halfwise said...

The execs are in a tough spot. One accepted PR rule is that you can not make your bad image better by pointing to someone else's worse image. (Remember Ed Stelmach's comment about wind turbines killing more birds than oilsands tailings ponds? It was true, earned him no points and made him look heartless.)

The Greenpeaces of the world have put the industry into a tight corner. Lots of oil company employees WANT their employers to sound (and act) concerned. Some staff that I know even seem to like executive hand-wringing in environmental matters. Money and talent will be spent on carbon capture that should be spent on making existing equipment more reliable.

CAPP has a big role to play in
industry-supportive messaging because individual companies risk alienating some of their own staff. So too do groups like Tim Ball and Tom Harris' NRSP.

JR said...

I tend to agree, Halfwise. The oilmen are in the same tough spot that the politicians are. They dare not speak against the apparent prevailing climate orthodoxy for fear of enraging the environmentalists, the media and a heavily brainwashed public.

This all goes to prove how effective the environmentalists have been at intimidating "deniers" and suppressing contrary evidence and opinion. So effective that I'll bet that many of the target execs and pols have been converted to the alarmist point of view. And those that haven't will pretend they have and hope it all blows over.

I'd like to know how the Petroleum Club audience reacted to Solomon's speech. They may not have liked what they heard but someone has to try to educate them beyond the one-sided hysteria and the "certainty" of impending doom. So, more power to Solomon.