The false, wasteful crusade of anti-capitalist, anti-energy deep ecologists needs to be demoted. And Chris Tomlinson needs to get off the hate train as energy density continues to drive the world market.
Climate change is a political issue. A business issue. The climate does not need to be saved; in fact, humankind needs to be saved from a political and intellectual elite pushing authoritarian climate policy.
Perhaps Chris Tomlinson should get fired, not the oil executives and ministers that promote their products in the face of climate alarmism and forced energy transformation. And perhaps it is Tomlinson who needs to take his blinders off and start over with his understanding of energy and of government intervention, not to mention climate science (or the lack thereof).
The Houston Chronicle business editorial writer has long been prone to hyperbole and astringency. He assumes and does not debate. And he is married to a prominent renewables’ executive, which should be a red flag for his employer and readers.
The angst and anger of Tomlinson is on display this week with Houston’s hosting the 23rd World Petroleum Congress (the “Olympics of oil”). And all the writers at the Houston Chronicle (no conservatives or libertarians allowed) are on their climate hobby-horses.
In “Long Time Coming,” (December 6, 2021), an introductory piece ends:
“Looming over the industry and the congress is the question of the long-term viability of fossil fuels as climate change becomes a greater threat to humanity.” [Speculation posing as fact.]
Then comes Tomlinson in “Big Oil is Still Avoiding Tough Truths“, making statements such as:
“The industry’s most talented propagandists will offer advice on burnishing petroleum’s image as resentment toward fossil fuels grows.” [Alex Epstein and Robert Bryce in particular]
“What is not on the official program, but fills the nightmares of those in attendance, is how to manage the industry’s contraction. Which companies will provide the petroleum products the planet will always need, and who will abandon the field and offer clean energy to meet growing demand?” [Nightmares? I doubt it–just a political problem]
“But while their program is rich with conversation about efficiency, they fail when it comes to talking about sustainability.” [Fossil fuels are more efficient and sustainable than wind, solar, and batteries upon close examination]
“Most people taking the stage make their fortunes by peddling oil and gas, and they are primarily interested in attracting investment and expanding their businesses.” [And who are you married to, Chris?]
“They don’t want to discuss winding down their industry, even if that is the only sustainable and efficient future for the planet.” [The challenge now is to ramp up the industry to meet urgent here-and-now demand]
Tomlinson gets worse in “CEOs still arrogant in the face of climate disaster.”
“Deciding which chief executive gave the most arrogant, regressive and defensive speech at the World Petroleum Congress is difficult, but Exxon Mobil’s Darren Woods and Saudi Aramco’s Amin Nasser top the list.”
“Try as he may, Woods did not appear on board with his new directors’ demand that Exxon tackle the climate crisis. He couldn’t finish one sentence acknowledging the need to slash greenhouse gas emissions without adding a ‘but’ followed by a paragraph about ‘striking balance.’… Exxon’s board should fire Woods for his [imperious performance].”
“’While the fight to mitigate the risk of climate change is vitally important, so is the work to meet the growing needs of people around the world,’ Woods said, still hedging by calling it a risk. ‘The growth of emissions free energy is good for society and an objective our company supports, at the same time, as the world transitions to a lower energy system, it is critical to strike the right balance.’”
“Woods remains focused on oil and gas, even though tapping all the company’s reserves would threaten the global goal of zeroing-out carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. He dismissed proven zero-emission technologies while hyping his company’s unproven carbon-capture initiatives.” [Pie-in-the-sky technologies looking for government subsidies are as futile as synthetic fuels in the 1970s.]
“Woods’s speech was weak sauce from a weak leader. If Exxon isn’t looking for a new CEO, it should start now.” [Maybe the Houston Chronicle needs an open-minded business editorial writer, to be equally blunt.]
“Humanity, though, needs visionary business leaders committed to supplying reliable, affordable and clean energy. We don’t need unimaginative hacks looking for ways to keep pumping oil and gas with bolt-on technologies that benefit their business plans but not the planet.” [Fossil fuels are affordable, reliable, and ‘clean’ compared to dilute, intermittent, expensive alternatives. Green too when the benefits of CO2 are added in.]
“Shareholders need innovative and creative leaders, too. Without them, incumbent corporations will sink into obscurity. Better to take a gamble and risk saving the world than watching the status quo devalue a great corporation into nothing.” [Shareholders need honest, tell-it-like-it-is executives, not greenwashers or rent-seekers. Meeting underlying consumer demand is Job 1]
Chris Tomlinson is angry. And it is going to only get worse. His problem is that the world has called the alarmists’ bluff. “Code Red” and “one minute to midnight” and “existential threat” did little to arrest energy reality at COP26. Meanwhile, the U.S. and world is in a tripartite boom with oil, natural gas, and coal. Energy reality reflects energy necessity.
Climate change is a political issue. A business issue. The climate does not need to be saved; in fact, humankind needs to be saved from a political and intellectual elite pushing government intervention via climate policy.
The false, wasteful crusade of the anti-capitalist, anti-energy deep ecologists needs to be demoted. And Chris Tomlinson needs to get off the hate train as energy density continues to drive the world market.