Activists who have been targeting ExxonMobil’s climate research have apparently moved on to campaigning against oil producer Shell Oil.
Environmentalists scrutinized Shell this week after a Dutch blogger obtained a 1991 video, “Climate of Concern,” produced by Shell warning of the possible consequences of so-called global warming. The video prompted activists to accuse the company of ignoring the situation so it could rake in record profits.
Infamous activist Bill McKibben suggested the video indicates that Shell Oil, like Exxon, is responsible for moving forward on oil production despite knowledge about climate change.
“The reason for that endless deceit is clear,” he wrote on the 350.org website last week. “The early shock about global warming soon gave way, at Shell and other powerful institutions, to a more urgent fear: the fear that something might endanger next quarter’s profits.”
Shell took a “good long look at climate change,” McKibben wrote, “and then went back to looking for oil.”
Other environmentalist groups have mirrored his complaints.
“Exxon knew. Shell knew,” Greenpeace activist Desiree Llanos Dee said in a statement shortly after the Dutch website The Correspondent aired the video. “Now we must get to the bottom of what other fossil majors know and what they plan to do to avert catastrophic climate change.”
Energy analysts, meanwhile, believe including Shell in the so-called ExxonKnew campaign is ridiculous.
Katie Brown, spokeswoman for the industry group Energy in Depth, told reporters that 350.org and Greenpeace’s new tactic is borne out of desperation. She thinks the ExonKnew campaign has been a dud.
“With their campaign in shambles, activists are desperately trying to hit the reset button. But this effort against Shell isn’t going anywhere,” Brown said in a press statement after the video’s release. The video credits government agencies for working with companies on ways to reduce greenhouse gasses.
She said the video shows that Shell “worked publicly” to address climate change, she noted, which “runs completely counter to the narrative being peddled by activists.”
The decision to hype up the Shell video comes on the heels of a months-long investigation against Exxon.
Activist-generated probe is partially the result of a September investigation of Exxon conducted by InsideClimate News. The investigation found Exxon had allegedly played fast and loose with information concerning global warming.
InsideClimate News also alleges that Amoco, Phillips, Texaco, Shell, and others joined Exxon in misleading the public about the supposed effects global warming has on sea levels.
Wealthy oil families, ironically enough, helped bankroll the campaign. The Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF), for one, donated $25,000 to the outlet’s coffers so it could target Exxon, a company formed by the family’s wealthy lineage, oil baron John D. Rockefeller.
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