Shell Knew? No (outlier climate prediction exaggerated)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 19, 2023 1 Comment

“Shell, ExxonMobil, and other companies should defeat these frivolous lawsuits against fossil fuels, which are more a complaint against high-energy civilization than the defendants. The plaintiffs should be ordered to pay all court costs, as well as the opportunity cost for the company having to litigate rather than find energy for the masses.”

A DeSmog piece by Matthew Green, “Lost Decade: How Shell Downplayed Early Warnings Over Climate Change,” reports on a smoking gun that is more like a broken, discarded water pistol.

“Newly discovered documents from the 1970s and early ’80s show that Shell knew more about the ‘greenhouse effect’ than it let on in public,” reads the subtitle. The article continues:

A confidential October 1989 Shell publication titled “SCENARIOS 1989 – 2010” outlines a high-emissions “global mercantilism” scenario in which average global temperatures rise by “considerably more” than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Continue Reading

In Search of the “Greenhouse Signal” in the 1990s (and when did they know?)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 21, 2023 3 Comments

“As for using proxy data to detect a man-made greenhouse effect, I don’t think we’re ever going to get to the point where we’re going to be totally convincing.” – Thomas Wigley, National Center for Atmospheric Research, (April 28, 1998)

When did the “greenhouse signal” become recognized and “settled science”? Despite the 35th anniversary of James Hansen’s June 1988 testimony to a Senate subcommittee, the historical record should be clear that detection was not in 1988. Or 1991. Or 1995. Or 1998.

And “Exxon Knew“?


Here is some history from the used-to-be newspaper of record, the New York Times, and its global warming scribe, William K. Stevens.

In early 1991, Stevens reported that scientists were not ready to pronounce evidence of man-made global warming: 

most scientists are far from ready to announce that greenhouse warming has arrived, since the warming recorded over the last decade could also be part of a natural climatic change.

Continue Reading

The Fossil Fuel Era: Still Young

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 13, 2023 2 Comments

Ed. Note: This post draws upon yesterday’s post, The Liberating Theory of Resourceship.

“[Darren] Woods’ comments indicate that ExxonMobil is very close to developing the technologies that will keep the United States the world leader in hydraulic fracturing and enable the U.S. to remain the world’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer for decades.” (Ed Ireland, below)

Peak Oil and Peak Gas beliefs never really die. They just go underground. Remember The Oil Drum website (2005–2013)? This central meeting place of the resource neo-Malthusians went kaput in the face of the oil and gas hydraulic fractionation boom. Such has been, is, and will be the case in a high-energy world not paralyzed by government intervention.

Rise and Fall

A Reuter’s story in mid-2013, “The Oil Drum Website Set to Close as Peak Oil Fears Vanish,” recounted the cycle of interest and decline.…

Continue Reading

The Liberating Theory of Resourceship

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 12, 2023 No Comments

Ed. Note: The subtle, insightful concept of resourceship is back in the news given ExxonMobil’s new-generation hydraulic fractionation technology, discussed tomorrow. The expanding hydrocarbon age, still young, is overwhelming political attempts to disrupt it at the expense of consumers, taxpayers, and liberty.

“If resources are not fixed but created, then the nature of the scarcity problem changes dramatically. For the technological means involved in the use of resources determines their creation and therefore the extent of their scarcity. The nature of the scarcity is not outside the process (that is natural), but a condition of it.”

– Tom DeGregori (1987). “Resources Are Not; They Become: An Institutional Theory.” Journal of Economic Issues, p. 1258.

“Those in the mineral-resource world think in terms of proved, probable, and speculative quantities. Should another category be added–resourceship–that would make such supply open-ended?

Continue Reading

Energy and Environmental Review: June 5, 2023

By -- June 5, 2023 No Comments Continue Reading

Memorial Day 2023: Let’s Go!

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 26, 2023 No Comments Continue Reading

Energy and Environmental Review: May 22, 2023

By -- May 22, 2023 No Comments Continue Reading

Carbon Capture & Storage: ExxonMobil’s Big Political Play

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 7, 2023 1 Comment Continue Reading

ExxonMobil Cans Algae (greenwash failure)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 6, 2023 No Comments Continue Reading

The ‘Energy Transition’: Learning and Retreat at BP

By -- February 22, 2023 1 Comment Continue Reading