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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Hogwash That is Greenwash is Nothing but Self-Interest

Published on Sunday, January 15, 2006 by the Sydney Morning Herald / Australia 
Big Oil's tactic of trumpeting environmental credentials is false advertising.
by Grahame Dowling
  
What's one of the world's biggest problems? Global warming. What is its principal cause? Burning fossil fuels. Who makes and sells most of these? Oil companies. If you have any green blood in your veins, you wish that we could significantly reduce our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels like coal.
 
Over the past year or so in Europe and North America, the big oil companies have been trying to convince us that they are doing just this. For example, for most of last year in the Financial Times and other business publications, advertisements appeared saying that this or that oil company was really concerned about the problem. The campaigns that caught my eye were:
 
  • BP is going "beyond petroleum".
  • Chevron is asking "will you join us" in helping to produce "human energy?".
  • ExxonMobil is "taking on the world's toughest energy challenges".
  • Shell is asking us to "find out how they are helping".
  • Total is reminding us that "our energy is your energy".
 
A two-page advertisement in the Financial Times outlined the problem we all face. In a letter from "Dave", the chairman and CEO of Chevron, we are told that global demand is outstripping supply. He also tells us that companies, governments and every citizen on the planet must be part of the solution because they are part of the problem.
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