I like to view myself as fairly well-informed, but today I find I have been completely ignorant. Shell fell off my ‘approved’ list quite awhile ago because of their blatant tendency toward greenwashing. In 2008, the UK Advertising Standards Authority took Shell to task when it claimed that a ten billion dollar investment to extract oil from the Canadian tar sands (oil mixed with sand) was about sustainable energy. It is not.
Recently, Royal Dutch Shell announced a complete abandonment of investment into renewable energy. Why? Well apparently, after significant investments (1.9 billion) by the company over the past five years, it was decided that renewable energy was not, and will not be, economic. Instead the company will focus on generation 4 biofuels produced from algae or bacteria. This will be a great solution if it is ever proved to work. At this point nobody has figured how to get fuel from algae or bacteria.
As if these things were not enough, today I have been freed from that last bit of benevolence I was still willing to offer Shell. Via some growing chatter on twitter, I came across a video documentary on YouTube. I am horrified. And it seems I am not alone. Between May 28th and June 1st, the has been viewed 60,000 times. Huffington Post ran the article “The Video Shell Doesn’t Want You to See” by Han Shan stating the following;
“For over thirteen years, multinational oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has done everything in its power to stop a trial from taking place at which the company must answer to charges that it colluded with the Nigerian military to commit serious human rights abuses to quell peaceful resistance to its operations in the Niger Delta region called Ogoni, including conspiring to bring about the conviction and execution of Ogoni leader Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his colleagues.”
Now Shell is doing everything in it’s power to suppress the video and delay the trial. Many now feel Shell will try to settle out of court and avoid further damage to it’s fractured brand. (Since writing this article today, it has come out that Shell is, in fact, avoiding court by settling to the tune of 15.5 Million!)
But if only a portion of the story told on the video is true, then Shell is guilty of crimes of murder and terrorism. And if I finance their product, then I have become complicit.