Totally saying no to Arctic oil

Posted by ben — 26 September 2012 at 10:57am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
Stop Arctic destruction

"Oil on Greenland would be a disaster."

"Energy companies should not drill for crude in Arctic waters."

"The risk of an oil spill in such an environmentally sensitive area is simply too high."

Sounds familiar? Today, it’s not Greenpeace saying this – it’s a major oil company.

Total has warned today in a Financial Times article against drilling for oil in the Arctic. The dangers of Arctic oil are nothing new – that’s exactly what we’ve been saying for a long time now – but this is the first time a major oil company says the same.  

When an oil baron warns against Arctic drilling the world should sit up and take notice. Total admitting that an oil spill in the ice would be devastating flies in the face of the bland reassurances from the likes of Shell and Gazprom that they can operate safely in the most extreme environment on Earth.

Some cynical people might say that Total should know what kind of effect a major oil spill has on your company’s reputation – they were handed a massive fine just yesterday by a French court for the Erika oil disaster. However, this is simply a case of a company coming to its senses, and realizing some risks are not worth taking.

Almost 2 million people have said no to Arctic drilling already. A major oil company might be a strange bedfellow – but this is simply common sense.

Very welcome news from Total - an oill company looking rationally at the risks. Less welcome is the fact that quite a number of Total petrol stations are switching over to be Shell stations, making money for a company that thinks less rationally. Also less welcome is Shell's cynical exploitation of Waitrose's and Nationwide's ethical credentials, offering discounted fuel to their customers in joint marketing agreements. Whatever were Waitrose and Nationwide thinking of when they chose to put their own reputations at risk?

I think that it is good that one of the major oil companys is finnaly taking it seriously that a oil spill in the arctic could be one of the worst enviromental disasters the planet has ever seen. This is a really important step in the protection of the arctic because if a company as big as Total are saying that it is a bad idea to drill for oil in the arctic then fingers corssed the other majour companys such as shell will listen and stop drilling. Another problem is that experts are saying that we only have 40 or 50 years of oil left before we completly drain the earth of its oil reserves so it really fustrates me when we are looking for new stops of oil around the world when we should be trying to perfect renewable energy such as solar power, wind power and hydroelectric power.  

Nice post, good to know that this Arctic oil topic is being covered also in this web site.
Thanks for taking time to discuss this, keep up with this interesting work.
Good job !


About Ben A

I've been a Greenpeace campaigner since 2001 and have worked on GM, Forests, Climate, Nukes and most recently Go Beyond Oil. I read Archaeology at Bristol and have an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College.

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