Lack of Environment

A blog on the politics and psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems

Arctic 1, Shell 0

with 20 comments

I know I did not post anything about this particular facet of Greenpeace’s campaign against Shell drilling in the Arctic (and any company associated with Shell). However, I did post it on my Facebook page.

After Greenpeace launched just such a “guilty be association” campaign, 40,000 people emailed Waitrose asking them to re-consider their decision to link their brand with Shell. As a result, Waitrose has now declared its support for an Arctic Sanctuary; and are putting their plans to co-habit with Shell petrol stations on hold.

However, Greenpeace still need to stop Shell actually drilling for oil in the Arctic. Therefore, if you have not done so already, please sign up now to Save the Arctic!

Written by Martin Lack

13 December 2012 at 00:02

20 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Shell found there was still too much wandering ice for drilling in peace while respecting some regulations. Thus it decided to wait for next year, when the warming should have made the ice less bothersome. Why not? With Rice as Sec. Of State, regulations ought to be looser too!

    Oh, by the way, congratulations for not hesitating (in your Doha post just before) for using the sort of conceptology some have been known to reproach me, namely that we are presently fostering a catastrophe that will make Nazism look like child play. I am not been sarcastic. I am genuinely happy to see that the sun of deep enlightenment is rising for you too.

    Once again, let me attract the attention on Ms. Rice. Not only is she, arguably, atrocious, but, I claim this very appearance of atrocity is an attempt to habituate us to atrocity as fully routine. It is… pedagogical! Let’s be led by a dictator praising, XL pipeline owning never elected, security council at 30 year of age, outrage!

    Patrice Ayme

    13 December 2012 at 00:20

    • Thanks for providing some useful context, Patrice. However, Waitrose (supermarket chain) did not defer their decision to co-locate their stores in/at Shell fuel stations because of the weather – they acted in order to end the adverse publicity. This (naming and shaming those willing to associate themselves with things like this that should become socially unacceptable) is a very effective Greenpeace strategy, which is having numerous positive effects (i.e. changing corporate policies).

      However, for the record, I think there is some (very cold, dark and low albedo) clear water between us: You frequently compare people and their actions to Hitler/Nazism; whereas all I have done is point out that not dealing with climate change is likely to have the unintended consequence of killing at least 100 times more people than died in the Holocaust.

      On the subject of Obama signing his “We don’t need no stinkin’ carbon taxes” into Law – if you weren’t I am now – future generations will probably judge this as one of the last great acts of a declining superpower that did not notice that the tide of history and science had turned… You are perfectly justified in being angry and/or astonished by such short-sighted and narrow-minded stupidity on the part of someone with a very good speechwriter; but no discernible backbone.

      Martin Lack

      13 December 2012 at 10:37

      • Good points made here. I agree that frequent references by PA to the German Nazis are both bizarre and irrelevant. What is relevant, to a degree unprecedented in the history of humanity, is how the peoples of this planet respond NOW!

        My guess is that we are headed for a massive depopulation and a return to a much more primative lifestyle. To which I will add that this will be brutally obvious by 2020.

        Historic times indeed.

        Paul Handover

        13 December 2012 at 14:44

        • Thanks Paul. In other words, you accept the high probability of humanity validating Dr Samuel Alexander’s medievalist prognosis – by virtue of your oft-quoted Law of Unintended Consequences. Unfortunately, so do I…

          Martin Lack

          13 December 2012 at 14:56

        • “Bizarre and irrelevant?” Analyzing madness is bizarre and irrelevant? In this particular case Martin said something I myself said many times before, for years: the destruction of the biosphere by heat trapping gases puts us in a situation that would be worse, in the number of people killed, by two orders of magnitude (as, in the worst possible case, most of humanity will die, in the case of a run-away greenhouse). I was GENTLY teasing Martin.

          To call me nuts (that’s basically what Paul’s weird and irrelevant statement boils down to), without rolling out a specific statement of mine is typical of the sort of treatment I am used to. So let me repeat very slowly: Germany was seized by a madness, which culminated in an extreme political movement which took decisions adverse to most non-Germans in the neighborhood. The madness was supposed to improve the German way of life. Somehow, the stupid nationalistic arguments seemed wise.

          It seems to me that the war in Kivu (5 million dead), to procure Coltan for making cell phones, a deliberate strategy followed for 20 years, or the outlawing of the European carbon law in Europe are acts of war. Some fail to see that making war for one’s comfort, and building a whole rationalization to do so, presents deep analogy to the particularly grotesque events in Germany, a century ago. So they resort to insults.

          Insults are easy, thinking is hard.

          What both Paul and Martin do not seem to agree with is that the politics of the USA now is a deliberate action, towards a greater superpower status than ever, disguised as a lack of action and understanding. What Paul takes for lack of action is a deliberate pattern, at the Federal level, to surf the greenhouse disaster (local states, such as California, do not agree, though, and California is adopting many of the European actions, thus showing that it can be done, from DIRECT democracy, and thus that, if the Washington oligarchy does the opposite, it’s deliberate).

          Within years, the USA should be, by far, the world greatest fossil fuel producer. Trust Paul to describe that as a lack of response, NOW!

          Patrice Ayme

          13 December 2012 at 16:18

      • The USA does not see refusing a carbon tax as a declining act, quite the opposite. The worst: it is probably true, as military facts trump the chorus of the intellectuals.

        I do not “frequently compare people to Hitler”. This is an insult. I am not a primitive calling everybody a Nazi.I compare systems of thought and mood, and try to explain how they came to be. The most unsavory they are, the more important.

        Obsessing about NOT mentioning the darkest systems of thought and moods, and the worst facts attached to them, is antinomic to the Christian and Western tradition, and reflects a pathology of avoidance of discomfort at the cost of intellectual rectitude. As Saint Augustine said: “Hope has two beautiful children: anger against the world’s injustice and the courage to get rid of it.”

        Those who refuse to learn from injustice, deny anger, and thus, hope. Those who refuse to get rid of infamy, lack the courage, and thus also deny hope. Start with eyes, and the mind may follow.

        Patrice Ayme

        13 December 2012 at 16:39

        • Patrice, I’m afraid that your response utterly misses the point that I was making. Forgive me for not having the time to respond in detail to the elements of your replies, perhaps later today.

          The core of what I was offering is that all the anger in the world at all the governments in the world is pointless. The only way out of the terrible economic and ecological mess that we have got ourselves into is for each one of us to make changes to our lives NOW.

          Such as:

          Committing to reduce one’s energy usage by 10% each year,
          Actively seeking ways to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’ in more efficient means – car sharing, buses, walking, bicycles and more,
          Making a commitment never to use aircraft for transport ever again,
          Installing solar heating and solar PV,
          Turning the home thermostat down a touch and putting more blankets on the bed (or in our case having more dogs sleep on the bed!)
          Better home insulation
          Buy local
          Grow local

          and on and on and on.

          It’s never going to be someone else’s issue, Sec Rice or not. All the plutocrats and politicians can drown in their own rising tides for all I care. It’s always going to be ‘What can I do?’

          I love the passion of your writing but (and I’m sorry there’s a but) what would inspire me is what you are doing to reduce your footprint upon this planet.

          Here endeth my rant!

          Paul Handover

          13 December 2012 at 17:33

  2. Go Arctic!

    Barbra & Jack Donachy

    13 December 2012 at 00:20

  3. the link to contributing a signature is not working

    lucien locke

    13 December 2012 at 01:27

  4. That savethearctic link is still mangled. Here is one that works: Save the Arctic.

    Lionel A

    13 December 2012 at 15:39

    • Thanks Lionel. Second time around was my mistake. It is now working but, still begs the question why the image itself says “….org” #@£$%!!

      Martin Lack

      13 December 2012 at 15:45

  5. To Paul Handover: You have seriously irritated me by saying in public: “I agree that frequent references by PA to the German Nazis are both bizarre and irrelevant“. That was totally more than bizarre and irrelevant itself, as Martin Lack had precisely used my oft made remark that the ecological war will kill up to 100 times more people than the Nazis did (that’s five billion, most of humankind). So Martin used my observation, and then you both howl to the moon, that this has nothing to do with my “frequent references the German Nazis, both bizarre and irrelevant“…

    That reminds me of the oft filmed scenes in Hollywood and Bollywood movies, of women who succumb to their seductors while saying:”No, no, no, no, never…” So I understand the need to affect revulsion while succumbing to the seduction of the coldest logic.

    Since you like so much my “bizarre and irrelevant” Nazi scenes, shematics and comparisons, here is one, just for you. In it an analogy is made.
    Eichmann famously treated Jews very correctly when he knew them personally. He paid a Jewish girl to give him Yiddish lessons (so he could better know his preys), he even went to Auschwitz when a jewish friend of his was put there, and asked his superior, Himmler, to make an exception. These were small things, they made Eichmann feel he was human and tried his best, according to Kant’s moral system.

    Paradoxically those small things gave horror good conscience. Meanwhile Eichmann was organizing the killing of millions. Still, when he proposed the exchange of a million Jews against trucks, that was refused by Ben Gurion and the Brits. the latter obviously rejected the bigger picture. Ben Gurion cynically aggravated his case by saying that he preferred dead Jews to Jews going to Britain.

    So MORE IS DIFFERENT. Dirty Rice, now defanged, is the very symbol of plutocrats filling their pockets while committing ecocide and genocide.

    Meanwhile while asking me to live modestly, you personally live, like an ancient English Lord, on a vast domain, complete with a torn off bridge. You are not even in the .1% who own a personal stream and bridge! Power to you, I envy you. I wish I could live like an ancient lord too, but I can’t because I so not have the means. But understand that living small, and ecologically minute, means being in a high rise, in some city, with an apartment so exposed to the sun in winter that the electric bill stays small. Just as I do.

    So believe me, my footprint is very small. I do not even gave myself the luxury of having one pet bird (of course I would not have a dog, as it would eat more meat than billions of human beings on this planet).

    And, once again, what counts is the big picture. The USA has made a big big big choice: FRACKING TO THE MAX. it’s a huge deliberate strategy. Fracking is the ultimate military choice. Even the Swiss have understood that!

    So you can come back to me, and tell me that your numerous dogs are now eating locally grown tofu, I know it would be “bizarre and irrelevant” What’s neither bizarre, nor irrelevant, is that the USA has made the choice that is the most extractive and exploitative. I am not even criticizing, just observing…

    More than small irrelevant gestures to give oneself good conscience, what really matters is understanding what is going on. physically, and psychologically, and strategically.

    Patrice Ayme

    15 December 2012 at 04:10

    • To Patrice: You have now made substantially the same point 3 times. I think you need to accept that both Paul and I think you mention certain subjects more often than is actually justified. Paul and I have both made our position clear; and have done so concisely, reasonably and politely. You have not; I do not like the way in which you have now sought to personalise this off-topic exchange; and I do not want to see you and Paul trading insults here (or anywhere else for that matter). Therefore, please note that any further comments from you on this subject may be heavily moderated or deleted entirely.

      Martin Lack

      15 December 2012 at 11:13

      • Paul wanted to know what I was “doing to reduce my footprint on the planet”, a personal question in public. I answered, very politely. BTW, I never use threats, especially in public.

        Patrice Ayme

        15 December 2012 at 17:45

        • That’s not correct. I did not ask you a question let alone a personal one.

          Paul Handover

          16 December 2012 at 06:19

        • As the owner of this blog, I am perfectly entitled to warn people that their comments risk being moderated or deleted. Accordingly, Patrice, please note that this discussion is now over.

          Martin Lack

          16 December 2012 at 10:35

        • Although Paul was polite and impersonal, he did pose the reflective question for all readers to consider: “What can I do?”; and said he would be inspired to read what Patrice is doing to reduce his footprint upon this planet (i.e. not actually a question). However, moving on from such pedantic hair-splitting, as the owner of the blog, I am intervening to close-down this debate. If either of you feels it is necessary to continue it, you have each other’s email addresses (and mine); so please use them.

          Martin Lack

          16 December 2012 at 10:52

  6. […] 2012/12/13: LoE: Arctic 1, Shell 0 […]

Please join the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 350 other followers

%d bloggers like this: