A Free-Market Energy Blog

Is Caroline Dennett Greenwashing Too? (dissing Shell for fame and fortune)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 24, 2022

I could not help but notice that Ms. Dennett is well appointed. I wonder what she would look like without oil-based products like clothing, even makeup? What would her house look like without oil and gas-based products? What would the pharmacy down the street be like?

Here is the news: a contractor in a very public way ends her relationship with an oil and gas company to help save the world.

The good news? She did not glue herself to the Shell Building in protest. She is not on a hunger strike, or worse.

The bad news? She thinks all oil and gas activity should cease for human betterment. She sees herself as some sort of a heroine, which is in itself greenwashing if she travels and lives a nice lifestyle.

“I emailed the Shell Execs and 1400 staff and contractors this morning,” Caroline Dennett said on the way out the door. Here is her parting communication:

Today I’ve ended my 11 year relationship as a safety consultant with Shell. 
I’ve surveyed thousands of Shell employees and contractors around the world to help keep the ‘oil in the pipe’ and prevent harm to people. I hope through this work I’ve helped avoid accidents and spills.
But Shell’s disregard for climate change risks means they are completely failing on their Goal Zero safety ambition to “do no harm”.
Shell is fully aware that their continued oil & gas extraction and expansion projects are causing extreme harms, to our climate, environment, nature and to people. 
I can no longer work for a company that ignores all the alarms and dismisses the risks of climate change and ecological collapse.
Because, contrary to Shell’s public expressions around Net Zero, they are not winding down on oil and gas, but planning to explore and extract much more. 
I want Shell Execs and Management to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they really believe their vision for more oil & gas extraction secures a safe future for humanity.
We must end all new extraction projects immediately and rapidly transition away from fossil fuels, and towards clean renewable energy sources.
Shell should be using all its capital, technical and human power to lead this transition, but they have no plan to do this.
Shell have ben [sic] a major client of my business, and I’ve worked with some really great people.
I don’t know what impact this action will have on my business and career, and it’s possible my reputation may be damaged in the eyes of people I have worked with. However, I feel like there is no other choice I can make.
Join me, and exit the industry if you can.
#jumpship #truthteller @Shell

I commented:

What a bunch of bunk … Just getting ready to cash in on the ‘green’ at the expense of regular people who use oil and gas and want to live better lives. Will you read and debate Alex Epstein on your views and positions?

Most other comments and strongly supportive–‘green’ on ‘green’. But some energy realists weighted in, and the complaints about hypocrisy came from both sides of the climate debate.

Here are some highlights.

Energy Realism

One comment:

Sorry, but this is deluded nonsense. Whether or not to use oil and gas for transportation is one debate. But we will still need hydrocarbons to feed our chemical industries, which, horror of horrors, are need to in turn produce the materials to make all these wonderful new devices that are going to produce green energy. Oh! – and also for all the materials we use in the medical, hospital and pharmaceutical worlds. Frankly, we should be producing as much gas as we can sensibly and economically use. We’ve seen recently what happens when we don’t! Take Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a wake-up call.

And another:

Shell is a great company. It has great people. This extreme position you take is unrealistic and naive. Without fossil fuel for the distant future we cannot generate enough energy to maintain our way of life. Shell is a responsible player and is minimizing its impact on the environment at every turn. I will continue to support Shell and reject your extreme views. You are the problem not the solution you claim to be.  GO SHELL!!!!



Shell has been disregarding climate risks and related issues for years – certainly throughout your time with them – so this kind of virtue signalling post doesn’t really wash does it?

And here:

took 11 years? of good pay and international travel to work out what everyone else knew after 11 seconds. Get down of your high horse please.

And here:

You are always entitled to leave based on your principles. Sliming your employer doesn’t achieve anything. Shell was in the oil business when you took the job. Sounds like there might be more to this story… just sayin.

And here:

It took you quite a long time to realize that oil and gas isn’t what one understands under saving the planet. Usually that’s what you do BEFORE you start working in such an environment. I’m sorry, but this is just ridiculous, but you seem to go a long way for a virtual clap.

Walking the Talk

And here is a comment that gets the award of awards of real belief and, no pun intended, walking the talk:

Although this is admirable, what’s just changed please? We’ve known about Shell and the other companies much longer than 11 years (I’m 52 and have been concerned about this since I was in my teens) and they should have been changing their ways way before that.

In an attempt to reduce my ‘impact’ I bought a Hybrid car 8 years ago, but, that didn’t satisfy my ‘reduction’ enough so 4 years ago I decided to walk into work – 1 hour 10 minutes 1 way and then the same back. When I was then permanent WFH I used my car probably once every couple of months. Not everyone can do this, but, if folks live within walking distance of work many certainly can (difficult if other commitments, child care, school run where distance isn’t possible, etc.)….

In 4 years I’ve filled my car up 3 times. My next challenge is I take up a new job which requires me to drive a distance every day. I have plans though. 1. is to split my week up by staying in a hotel (cost and environmental issues also) a couple of times a week, 2. is that although I travel at 70 on a motorway, reduce to 60, 3. Offset by not using my car very much for leisure activities.

I’m going to do all. We all need to take personal responsibility.

I could not help but notice that Ms. Dennett is well appointed. I wonder what she would look like without oil-based products like clothing, even makeup? What would her house look like without oil and gas-based products? What would the pharmacy down the street be like?


  1. Russ Collins  

    Is that the best you can do, MasterResource – carping that she’s still alive in a world dependent on oil? She’s losing her job, for X sake. You should be praising her courage, and joining other sensible people in signing the petition at https://www.care2.com/go/z/e/A88wi/zXuS/JwX8.


    • rbradley  

      Mr. Collins:

      Please check your premises. Caroline Dennett’s program for quickly ending oil and gas as primary energies is intellectually specious and an affront to the billions of people whose daily lives depend on and are made better by dense, reliable energy. Based on sand, her attempt at glory is greenwashing and false virtue as well.


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