June 18, 2004

Oil Industry Chairman Worries About Global Warming

Ron Oxburgh, chairman of Shell, expressed great concern about global warming. In an interview with Guardian, Oxburgh said that he feared for the future of the world if humans did not stop putting so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and he believes that we urgently have to find a way to recapture the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. This statement sets Shell apart from the MobilExxon, the most influential oil company in the US where even the notion of human causes for global warming have been disputed. Shell has considerable investments in alternative energy.

As critics pointed out, Oxburgh did not discuss what could be done to slow the use of hydrocarbons, but rather focused on how technology could be developed to sequester carbon dioxide.

In an interview in today's Guardian Life section, Ron Oxburgh, chairman of Shell, says we urgently need to capture emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, which scientists think contribute to global warming, and store them underground - a technique called carbon sequestration.

"Sequestration is difficult, but if we don't have sequestration then I see very little hope for the world," said Lord Oxburgh. "No one can be comfortable at the prospect of continuing to pump out the amounts of carbon dioxide that we are pumping out at present ... with consequences that we really can't predict but are probably not good."

His comments will enrage many in the oil industry, which is targeted by climate change campaigners because the use of its products spews out huge quantities of carbon dioxide, most visibly from vehicle exhausts.

His words follow those of the government's chief science adviser, David King, who said in January that climate change posed a bigger threat to the world than terrorism.

"You can't slip a piece of paper between David King and me on this position," said Lord Oxburgh, a respected geologist who replaced the disgraced Philip Watts as chairman of the British arm of the oil giant in March.

How long do you think it will be before the US petro-dinosaurs will figure out there is a problem?

Posted by Mary at June 18, 2004 03:04 PM | Environment | Technorati links |

They'll figure out there's a problem when Florida is part of the Caribbean, the Manhattan skyscrapers are sticking up out of the Atlantic and Bangladesh ceases to exist as a country.

In other words, when it's far, far too late.

Posted by: Frank at June 19, 2004 06:30 PM