JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Banned by Big Oil — Jo Nova’s Christmas speech for geologists cancelled by Woodside

So much for being “funded by fossil fuels” — they not only don’t fund me, Big Oil won’t even let me speak

It’s all sweetness and light on the Woodside’s “part-of-the-solution” home page. But a ton of industrial bricks are coming for those who dissent.

Part of what solution?

In March I was invited to present the FESAus Christmas function in December this year. They’re the Formation Evaluation Society of Australia, a non-for-profit volunteer organisation for Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts. A niche technical club of experts. It was unpaid, but I was happy to help make it a fun and push some buttons. “Hot” graphs, cartoons and all.

But in June, suddenly it became controversial to make jokes about climate change. Committee members started resigning, and dummy-spit declarations were made that “a discussion about climate was stupid”. People were shaken. The chips were on the table, the members said “yes” but the committee was split. When decision time came, the key committee meeting was hijacked by an outsider from Woodside who turned up by surprise and darkly threatened that all funding or support for the professional organisation and all future speakers from Woodside would be withdrawn if that [...]

Big Oil, Big-Gas lobby against coal. Shell leans on World Bank to nobble the competition

Well, well, well. When Big-Oil fund skeptics, they’re evil polluters. When Big-Oil pay green lobbyists, they’re just being good citizens (see the ads, right?). Naturally Royal Dutch Shell are concerned about the environment, families, rare marsupials and what not. They wouldn’t just be green for the profit would they… oh, wait. Shell is one of the six gas “super majors” and all gas providers profit when coal is unfashionable. In terms of resources, Shell is now more of a gas company than an oil company.

Big-Gas loves wind turbines. Wind farms are fickle and coal power can’t ramp up and down quickly to fill in the gaps, but the more expensive gas can. No wonder Shell are lobbying actively against coal, and for wind.

Thanks in part to Shell’s campaign, the poor family in the Shell Ad are going to have to pay more to stay warm this winter. Meanwhile the marsupials will manage without Shell lobbyists like they have for the last 100 million years, and the environment won’t notice any effect from a carbon tax.

As with all cut-throat business deals, Shell (and others) are doing what they are supposed to do: make money. There is nothing [...]