Shell gas station in Houston (Getty Images)

During hurricane Harvey Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden wrote a compassionate post on his LinkedIn profile about the resilience of his company and its employees. 

I, and many of my climate buddies, couldn’t help noticing the disturbing absence of any mention of man made climate change. So I couldn’t help myself and had to react. Feel free to do the same. 😉

Thanks for your compassionate post. On a human level you hit all the right notes and sound sincere. I do not doubt that you do care about your employees. After all, they are what makes your company.

But at the same time you might have noticed that your post caused quite a stir. This, in my opinion is due to the complete absence of you mentioning, man made climate change, and owing up to your companies contribution to said climate change. Hurricanes have been a recurring thing in the area but due to climate change hurricanes will become stonger with heavier rains.

Your company is among the 90 companies that produced two thirds of global warming emissions. “Between them, the 90 companies on the list of top emitters produced 63% of the cumulative global emissions of industrial carbon dioxide and methane between 1751 to 2010, amounting to about 914 gigatonne CO2 emissions, according to the research. All but seven of the 90 were energy companies producing oil, gas and coal. The remaining seven were cement manufacturers.

The list of 90 companies included 50 investor-owned firms – mainly oil companies with widely recognised names such as Chevron, Exxon, BP , and Royal Dutch Shell and coal producers such as British Coal Corp, Peabody Energy and BHP Billiton.”

Full article in the Guardian.

So dodging responsibility is not an option. You have been investing in a green image over the last couple of years and trying to get kids onboard with that image. (seeing that they are the influencers of the future) Prime example in the Netherlands: Generation Discover. If you look up greenwashing in the dictionary there will be a picture of Generation Discover right next to it. Because that is what it is. As long as not even 1% of your annual budget is spend on renewables (read: pr) you are nowhere near to a credible voice.

As for people saying we shouldn’t talk about the root cause of this crisis I’d say: if not now, when? And let Naomi Klein do the rest of the talking on that. “It’s also a hard truth that the window for having these debates is vanishingly small. We won’t be having any kind of public policy debate after this emergency subsides; the media will be back to obsessively covering Trump’s tweets and other palace intrigues. So while it may feel unseemly to be talking about root causes while people are still trapped in their homes, this is realistically the only time there is any sustained media interest whatsoever in talking about climate change. ”

Full article in The Intercept.  

And for these people saying, but you contribute to climate change as well, I, as I always do, refer to this article in The Stranger with the great headline: Yes, We Protest Shell Oil with Products Made from Oil. Duh. Now Join Us.

“We all get that we’re part of the fossil-fuel economy. No one’s trying to be sanctimonious about it. We’re not going to make the transition overnight. We don’t need to blame ourselves for living our lives. We don’t need to forsake all fossil-fuel usage tomorrow. We need to put one foot in front of the other toward a clean energy future. This is an echo of the fossil-fuel industry’s attempts to get everyone to blame themselves… That’s exactly the fossil-fuel industry’s game—to make us internalize that weak point of view..”

Full article in The Stranger.

To not let Shell get away with greenwashing and influencing schoolkids we (people from The Dutch Climate movement) are organising a march on the 30 of September in The Hague: Ontmasker Shell Klimaatmars 

Feel free to join us and make your voice heard!