I have had some communication with Shelly and with Beepy, the characters from the oil industry mentioned in the last post.
First of all, I would like to say sorry publically to the two of them, as I should have given them the opportunity to comment on the post before it went live. They are friends whose trust I have abused which I regret. Shelly likened the episode to tabloid journalism, and Beepy thought the post was inaccurate and biased.
I have changed some of the wording in the last post in light of their comments – to correctly attribute a quote, and also to make it more clear that the direction of my ire was towards the decision makers at the big oil companies, and not Shelly or Beepy themselves. I will change it further once I understand from Beepy how the article was biased or inaccurate.
The main points that Shelly wanted to make in return was the economic reality of the stance that Shell have relates to the need to remain competitive in the market, and that among the oil companies Shell are leading as much as they can. I will write a further post with more detail on their points.
I’d like to thank the two of them also, as I believe there is a more fundamental lesson for me here.
Earlier today, while walking along the canal tow-path near where I live, I was thinking about Shelly’s comments. I realised that my reason for writing the previous post, and for not checked it with them, was because I was looking for someone to blame for the hole that we’re in with our changing the climate: a hole that we seem intent on digging deeper.
I thought maybe I would write a further post on it. In a few decades time, who will be held responsible? The politicians for not regulating or providing the right incentives? Big business for seemingly not having a conscience? The media for misleading the public? The public for being causing the ultimate demand for fossil fuels? Activists for unintentionally antagonising and pushing people into entrenched positions? Scientists for not giving us a straight answer?
Truth is that we are never going to solve the problem by looking for someone to blame, or taking the blame ourselves. All of the above are very unfair statements to make.
Maybe a more productive direction is to ask a very different question: Who is in possession of the solution?
In all likelihood there is no one solution out there waiting to be found. In fact there many possible solutions, and all of the scientists, activists, public, business, politicians and media are in possession of the clues to the combination lock that will take us forward.
Maybe my contribution to finding the answer is to help change the question.