Posts Tagged ‘Shell Oil’

Forget the snow, listen to the oilman from Houston

As I write this, falling snow is blocking the otherwise expansive view I enjoy from my home. This is spring, in Portland, isn’t it? In all my years in Oregon, I don’t remember even a trace of snow in spring on the valley floor. It’s almost enough to make me side with the right-wing talk show and blogging bloviators who would have us believe climate change means we’re entering the next ice age.

Fortunately, a piece today in the LA Times is helping to loosen the dark side’s grip on my senses:

The American West is heating up faster than any other region of the United States, and more than the Earth as a whole, according to a new analysis of 50 scientific studies. For the last five years, from 2003 through 2007, the global climate averaged 1 degree Fahrenheit warmer than its 20th century average. During the same period, 11 Western states averaged 1.7 degrees warmer, the analysis reported. The 54-page study, was released Thursday by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization — a coalition of local governments, businesses and nonprofits. It was based largely on calculations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report reveals “the growing consensus among scientists who study the West that climate change is no longer an abstraction,” said Bradley H. Udall of the University of Colorado, whose work was cited in the study. “The signs are everywhere.”

I really didn’t need more scientific studies to convince me that climate change is real and potentially catastrophic. But analysis like this isn’t aimed at folks like me. It’s aimed at lawmakers, especially Congressional members, to act now on legislation to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions nationwide. The LA Times cites a source that says “as many as 10 Republican senators from Western states are leaning against” a bill in the Senate aimed at slashing CO2 emissions.

Perhaps those senators ought to be listening to John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Company. Public television’s Charlie Rose asked Hofmeister this week, “So why should we have a scientific debate about global warming?” Hofmeister replied, “I don’t think we should. I have said many times, ‘the debate is over.’ Shell has said, ‘The debate is over for us.’ We’re not climatologists, but we’re convinced action is needed. No more debate. Action!”

Words like these coming from an oilman in Houston, Texas — it’s even more shocking than spring snow in Portland.