“Assaad Razzouk needs to dial back the alarmism and comprehend the twin, inherent, fatal drawbacks of wind and solar: diluteness and intermittency. The scholarly work of Vaclav Smil, who has entered the mainstream as a voice of realism, is a great place to start.”
The business social-media site LinkedIn has an active traffic in energy and climate opinions. There can be legitimate debate, and some good first-hand knowledge about energy technology is imparted. “People are the best University” applies.
Recently, one Assaad Razzouk, Chief Executive Officer at Gurīn Energy, posted on greenwashing. In the climate alarmist camp, he wants radical energy transformation (government enabled, of course) and not the stuff we see all around us that qualifies as “look green” and get-the-tax-favors.
His new book, Saving the Planet Without the Bullshit, “clears a path through the clutter surrounding our daily efforts to do the right thing.” The abstract:
Have you heard that you should go vegan to save the planet? Or carbon offset your flight to mitigate its effects? Or invest in an ethical pension plan?
What if you were told that such actions make little difference at all? Assaad argues that for too long green activism has been unfocused and distracted, trying to go in too many directions, focusing on individual behavior.
But all these things are dwarfed by the one big thing that simply has to happen, very soon: namely, massively curtailing the activities of the hydrocarbon and petrochemicals industry…. [emphasis added]
His post follows:
US congressional hearing released 226 pages of e-mails and documents from Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP – and deserves so much more airtime: they are full of gems showing how they’re pretending they’re in an energy transition while in fact they want to sell more & gas forever
– BP’s internal documents show how carbon capture and storage (CCS) is, for them, a PR tool to “enable the full use of fossil fuels across the energy transition and beyond”
– Shell is at it too: internal email discussing carbon capture and storage warns executives “to be careful to not talk about CCUS as prolonging the life of oil, gas or fossil fuels writ large”. Because “prolonging” is exactly what it’s about, it’s best not to talk about it
– Shell also disparages its very own “Sky scenario” to deliver net-zero by emphasizing internally that it’s “not a Shell business plan” and has “nothing to do with our business plans”. It doesn’t stop there of course
– Shell really doesn’t care: its internal guidance says “Please do not give the impression that Shell is willing to reduce emissions to levels that do not make business sense”. It doesn’t matter what the consequences are: they couldn’t be clearer that they just don’t care
– Shell’s own people think they are “gaslighting” us. After a Tweet asking the public what they would do to reduce emissions, a Shell exec explained: “We are, after all, in a tweet like this implying others need to sacrifice without focusing on ourselves”
– Also: “be cagey about project specifics” (internal Shell talking points on carbon capture and storage). Of course: carbon capture and storage is a fossil fuel con
– My favorite: Exxon spent $68m advertising algae-based biofuels even though Exxon’s own notes say this is “still decades away from the scale we need”. Exxon spent $300m on algae research (4X the ad spend), vs. $391b in capex on oil & gas. That’s greenwashing on steroids
– There are so many examples, here’s 1 more: Exxon scrubbed a statement about a speech at a private conference to delete a reference to a plan to increase production in the Permian basin by “1000% within 5 years”
– It’s hard to read the congressional reports and evidence without concluding that the oil & gas industry is beyond reform. It’s impossible to believe anything they say, and everything they do is about ensuring more and more fossil fuels are used, and forever
– This won’t change without legislating new oil & gas out first; pricing their environmental externalities and making them pay for these; many more climate lawsuits in every part of the world; and ultimately prosecutions – all driven by citizen climate action at scale
Assaad Razzouk needs to dial back the alarmism and comprehend the twin, inherent, fatal drawbacks of wind and solar: diluteness and intermittency. The scholarly work of Vaclav Smil, who has entered the mainstream as a voice of realism, is a great place to start.
Mr. Razzouk should also understand political or government failure in the quest to correct alleged market failure. The world wants and needs fossil fuel energies, and the politicians are fine with “greenwashing” as part of the exchange.