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Doing the climate grovel

08 Jul 2020 | OP ED Watch

If there’s one group of people routinely blamed for climate change denialism, it’s oil companies. But as with so much in this debate, those who make the claim seem to be in a state of denial about the facts. Oil companies are actually very much on board with the idea that they are destroying the planet, and only seek a brief stay of execution on the basis that other oil companies are worse. As Churchill rightly said, “Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last.” Guess what, though. The crocodile has a very big stomach.

In June the CEO of Suncor lashed out at Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, built on oil, for blacklisting four Canadian energy firms on climate change grounds, specifically their involvement in the oil sands. But he didn’t say CO2 doesn’t drive temperature or anything bold of that sort. Oh no. He said “There was no acknowledgement that Canada, with the oil sands, is the first jurisdiction and the only jurisdiction that I know of on the surface of the earth that’s extracting carbon from the barrel and putting it back into the ground before it ever becomes an emission”. And that his firm is spending billions installing “low-carbon power cogeneration units” expected to reduce its emissions by 2.5 megatons a year. Then he said “We need companies and leaders to stand up”. OK. Do it. Stand up to climate extremism instead of praising yourself for the firmness with which you surrender.

You can also watch former BP CEO Bob Dudley, now with Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, boasting of how members of this entity are doing their best to stop emitting carbon. (Lately BP has been doing especially well, having just laid off 10,000 people due to declining sales, and slashing capital expenditure.) And consider this statement:

“Climate change is a reality facing us all that requires a consistent and dedicated approach. The most successful responses to this pandemic around the world reveal how collaboration and solidarity are essential when facing global issues. This serves to reinforce the value of our collective effort to address the climate challenge through the collaboration among governments, businesses, civil society and the broader population. Advances in technology, more effective policy and infrastructure investments will all be needed to address the scale of the climate challenge.”

If you’re wondering what politician burbled that fatuity, it’s actually OGCI, which has learned the language, but not the strategy, of its enemies. As evidenced by the way it fails to realise that by using its enemies’ language it empowers them and ensures their eventual success.

So when you hear from alarmists about oil companies funding deniers, well, you might give them our address. But actually they’re not on our side. Nor are the “gnomes of Zurich” like the IMF with its calls for ever-higher carbon taxes to strike down the oil companies, their consumers and the world economy. They’re just bickering over who’s next on the menu.

Of course you should not assume corporate leaders are complete fools even when they appear in fright wigs with red putty noses. The UN Environment Program and its fellow travellers say something like $1 trillion invested in alternative energy to deal with COVID-19 (yes, really – to someone with a hammer everything looks like a nail) is way too little and even $3 trillion would be stingy, and the companies might figure it’s a lot easier to prosper by riding that gravy train than all that tedious mucking about with petrochemicals and protestors.

If so, their groveling is hypocritical. Which many people would not consider an improvement.

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