By D.R. Tucker on 2/13/2015, 7:35am PT
Oh, so now they want civility?
Ben van Beurden, the head of Royal Dutch Shell, is apparently a little perturbed by those of us who have marched, called, written and worked for strong action to reduce the carbon pollution that is cooking our planet. Now he's asking for a time-out in the discussion over human-caused climate change, and wants (his version of) sane and reasoned voices --- i.e., the voices of his Big Oil brethren --- to weigh in.
The head of Shell has launched a stinging attack on increasingly vocal critics who are calling for fossil fuels to be left in the ground, accusing them of peddling naive and impractical solutions to climate change. Ben van Beurden urged fellow industry leaders meeting in London to be "more assertive" in debates over the future of energy. But Shell's chief executive admitted that the oil sector had its own credibility problem, enhanced by the fact that too many energy industrialists had been slow to acknowledge global warming.
Of course, van Beurden downplays what really happened...
As Brad Friedman, Desi Doyen and writers Ross Gelbspan and Naomi Oreskes (among others) have chronicled, in the late-1980s the fossil fuel industry began a highly-financed, ruthlessly aggressive effort to convince the most gullible members of the public that human-caused climate change was a radical-left hoax. They employed similar --- and, at times, identical --- tactics as Big Tobacco once had to con the world about the dangers of their product. MORE