We want to share with our supporters some hopeful news, and some not quite so hopeful. The hopeful news suggests the era when we depend on fossil fuels for energy is coming to an end.
First to Norway. Statoil’s Chief Executive, Eldar Saetre, told a meeting of senior industry executives that the industry cannot ignore climate change and must help curb its effects through a carbon tax. He suggested a tax of $65 per ton of CO2. He warned that if the industry did not take action on climate change “we risk becoming an industry that neither gets access not acceptance.“
Footnote: In September 2014, Statoil put a multi-billion development of the tar sands on hold, some months before the drop in the world price of oil made it uneconomic. Another Statoil executive said that the decision to invest in the tar sands probably wasn’t a good idea.
Second, executives of other large fossil fuels companies, such as BP and Total, have frequently urged their industry to stem climate change.
A word of caution: major oil companies have to protect their business, and that means protecting their future. When oil company executives support measures against climate change, are they being completely candid, or is it their public relations strategy?
To understand the perspective of oil companies as seen by their crticis, read these comments by the President of Shell.
And then, for the other side of the issue, read this response to them comments by John Ashton: Shell’s climate change strategy: narcissistic, paranoid, and psychopathic .
For a shorter read try this commentary: The Problems with Shell’s Pragmatism
Footnote: Remember that Shell is among the most active companies exploring for oil deposits in the Arctic Sea.
Third the not-so-hopeful: a recent Angus Reid poll confirmed that more Canadians believe Stephen Harper is the best political leader to deal with climate change issues. Thanks to his strong support in two of the Western Provinces his approval was better than any other leader.
Footnote: The approval of Mr. Harper was very roughly the same percentage who decided climate change would not be a factor in the next Canadian election. A person who does not think climate change is a concern would probably support Mr. Harper and approve his casual treatment of the issue.
4RG acknowledges the right of Statoil as holder of the copyright in the image used in this blog.