Bill McKibben calls for civil disobedience… Because climate change.

Bill McKibben calls for civil disobedience… Because climate change.

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Guest hit by David Middleton

Talk about the poster child for irrelevance…

Climate politicking isn’t working. We need climate civil disobedience

By BILL MCKIBBEN
OCT 09, 2018 | 12:45 PM

The small town of Bagley, Minn., looked set to be the scene for one of the nation’s most interesting airings of the climate controversy this week. Three people went on trial there on Monday for shutting down a pipeline from Canada’s tar sands in 2016 — one of them, after warning the company, turned the valve that shut the pipe, and then they sat and waited for the police to arrive. They were arrested and charged with felony destruction of public property.

The judge had originally signaled that they would be allowed to mount a full “necessity defense,” and argue that climate change presented such a severe threat that they had little choice but to break the law. On Friday, however, he decided not to allow the team of expert witnesses — including me — to testify about the main points at issue: the danger of global warming, the lack of alternatives to civil disobedience and the effectiveness of direct action. Then on Tuesday, after a jury had been selected, the judge dismissed the case, announcing that the activists’ actions didn’t meet the seriousness of the charges.

I’m glad the protesters in Minnesota aren’t facing 10 years in prison, but it’s almost too bad. The case for climate activism needs to be made. If I’d had the chance to testify, here are the points I would have tried to impress on the jury.

[…]

LA Times

  • A bunch of misfits vandalize a pipeline.
  • They’re “charged with felony destruction of public property.”
  • Then “the judge dismissed the case, announcing that the activists’ actions didn’t meet the seriousness of the charges.”
  • Bill McKibben gets upset because he wasn’t allowed to testify as an “expert witness.”
  • Bill McKibben calls for more misfits to get arrested for civil disobedience.

Maybe Mr. McKibben should go protest an Exxon station.

Hey Billy-Boy! Did you walk or ride a bike to the Exxon station?

McKibben ratchets up his irrelevance

As if this wasn’t a sufficient demonstration of his irrelevance, Mr. McKibben went on to become a Walter Mitty of climate civil disobedience…

Lastly, much of what progress has been made toward mitigating climate change has largely come through protest. When demonstrators went to jail in record numbers against the Keystone XL pipeline, they not only stopped its construction but fired up people around the world to take similar steps against every new piece of fossil fuel infrastructure: Kayakers blocked Shell’s drilling rigs in the Seattle harbor, for example, which led to the company’s retreat from plans to open the Arctic to oil drilling.

Sorry Billy-Boy, but the intrepid Kayakers were even less relevant that you are.  Shell retreated from its offshore Alaska drilling program for four reasons:

  • Regulatory malfeasance of the Obama maladministration
  • Disappointing results of their first (and only) exploration well in the Chukchi Sea OCS
  • High costs of operating in such a challenging environment, worsened by post-Macondo regulatory malfeasance.
  • Oil prices were in a free-fall from June 2014 through January 2016

Business

Shell halts $7 billion Alaska oil exploration campaign

Rakteem Katakey and Winnie Zhu
September 28, 2015

LONDON _ Royal Dutch Shell Plc will halt exploration in the U.S. Arctic after $7 billion of spending ended with a well off Alaska that failed to find any meaningful quantities of oil or natural gas.

[…]

“This is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome,” Marvin Odum, director of Shell’s Upstream Americas unit, said in a statement. While indications of oil and gas were present in the Burger J well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, they weren’t sufficient to warrant further exploration, the company said. Shell will now plug and abandon the well.

Shell had planned a two-year drilling program starting this July. The company was seeking to resume work halted in 2012 when its main drilling rig ran aground and was lost. It was also fined for air pollution breaches. The Anglo-Dutch company first discovered oil and gas in the region in the late 1980s.

The company continues to see potential in the region and the decision not to explore further in Alaskan waters “reflects both the Burger J well result, the high costs associated with the project, and the challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska,” according to the statement.

[…]

Chicago Tribune

But Billy-Boy didn’t stop thumping his sunken chest there…

Pension funds and endowments worth $7 trillion have begun divesting their holdings in fossil fuel companies — Shell said in a recent report to shareholders that that movement had become a “material risk.”

In other words, protest has weakened the very industry that has made political progress on climate change all but impossible. It’s the long campaign of deceit and misinformation by the oil industry, above all else, that is responsible for our governments’ inaction.

That’s a flat-out lie.  This is what was written in the Shell report to shareholders…

Additionally, some groups are pressuring certain investors to divest their investments in fossil fuel companies. If this were to continue, it could have a material adverse effect on the price of our securities and our ability to access equity capital markets.

Shell said that the divestment movement “could have a material adverse effect on the price of our securities and our ability to access equity capital markets,” if such a movement actually materialized.  Shell never stated that this had become a “material risk” or that it had “weakened” the industry.  It was buried in a long list of “risk factors” that most major oil companies encounter in conducting their operations.  Small and medium sized oil companies also fact many of the same risk factors.

Risk factors

The risks discussed below could have a material adverse effect separately, or in combination, on our earnings, cash flows and financial condition. Accordingly, investors should carefully consider these risks.

[…]

We are exposed to fluctuating prices of crude oil, natural gas, oil products and chemicals.

[…]

Our ability to deliver competitive returns and pursue commercial opportunities depends in part on the accuracy of our price assumptions.

[…]

Our ability to achieve strategic objectives depends on how we react to competitive forces.

[…]

We seek to execute divestments in the pursuit of our strategy. We may not be able to successfully divest these assets in line with our strategy.

[…]

Our future hydrocarbon production depends on the delivery of large and integrated projects, as well as on our ability to replace proved oil and gas reserves.

[…]

The estimation of proved oil and gas reserves involves subjective judgements based on available information and the application of complex rules; therefore, subsequent downward adjustments are possible.

[…]

Rising climate change concerns have led and could lead to additional legal and/or regulatory measures which could result in project delays or cancellations, a decrease in demand for fossil fuels, potential litigation and additional compliance obligations.

[…]

Additionally, some groups are pressuring certain investors to divest their investments in fossil fuel companies. If this were to continue, it could have a material adverse effect on the price of our securities and our ability to access equity capital markets.

[…]

Our operations expose us to social instability, criminality, civil unrest, terrorism, piracy, cyber-disruption, acts of war and risks of pandemic diseases that could have a material adverse effect on our business.

[…]

We operate in more than 70 countries that have differing degrees of political, legal and fiscal stability. This exposes us to a wide range of political developments that could result in changes to contractual terms, laws and regulations. In addition, we and our joint arrangements and associates face the risk of litigation and disputes worldwide.

[…]

The nature of our operations exposes us, and the communities in which we work, to a wide range of health, safety, security and environment risks.

[…]

A further erosion of the business and operating environment in Nigeria could have a material adverse effect on us.

[…]

Production from the Groningen field in the Netherlands causes earthquakes that affect local communities.

[…]

Our future performance depends on the successful development and deployment of new technologies and new products.

[…]

We are exposed to treasury and trading risks, including liquidity risk, interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk, commodity price risk and credit risk. We are affected by the global macroeconomic environment as well as financial and commodity market conditions.

[…]

We have substantial pension commitments, funding of which is subject to capital market risks.

[…]

We mainly self-insure our risk exposure. We could incur significant losses from different types of risks that are not covered by insurance from third-party insurers.

[…]

An erosion of our business reputation could have a material adverse effect on our brand, our ability to secure new resources and our licence to operate.

[…]

Many of our major projects and operations are conducted in joint arrangements or associates. This could reduce our degree of control, as well as our ability to identify and manage risks.

[…]

We rely heavily on information technology systems for our operations.

[…]

Violations of antitrust and competition laws carry fines and expose us and/or our employees to criminal sanctions and civil suits.

[…]

Violations of anti-bribery, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws carry fines and expose us and/or our employees to criminal sanctions, civil suits and ancillary consequences (such as debarment and the revocation of licences).

[…]

Violations of data protection laws carry fines and expose us and/or our employees to criminal sanctions and civil suits.

[…]

Violations of trade compliance laws and regulations, including sanctions, carry fines and expose us and our employees to criminal sanctions and civil suits.

[…]

The Company’s Articles of Association determine the jurisdiction for shareholder disputes. This could limit shareholder remedies.

[…]

Shell

It makes me wonder if Billy-Boy ever had a real job?

Is “environmental activist” a real occupation? Wikipedia

All businesses face risk factors.  That’s how the relationship between risk and reward functions.  As it relates to the risks of oil and gas operations, Billy-Boy and his misfits rank right up there with a gnat on an elephant’s @$$.

Superforest,Climate Change

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