David Hone is Shell's very green climate change advisor, and his blog posts have been mentioned here in the past. Yesterday he posted a report on the Tyndall Centre's "Radical Emission Reduction" conference, an event that appears to have given him considerable pause for thought.
Given the academic reputation of the Tyndall Centre and of course the credentials of the Royal Society, I was hoping for a useful discussion on rapid deployment of technologies such as CCS, how the world might breathe new life into nuclear and other such topics, but this was far from the content of the sessions that I was able to attend. Rather, this was a room of catastrophists (as in “catastrophic global warming”), with the prevailing view, at least to my ears, that the issue could only be addressed by the complete transformation of the global energy and political systems, with the latter moving to one of state control and regulated consumerism. There would be no room for “ruthless individualism” in such a world. The posters that dotted the lecture theatre lobby area covered topics as diverse as vegan diets to an eventual return to low technology hunter-gatherer societies (but thankfully there was one CCS poster in the middle of all this).
Much to my surprise I was not really at an emission reduction conference (despite the label saying I was), but a political ideology conference.
Hones's sudden realisation that many of his fellow-travellers in the environmental movement are completely round the twist is rather comical and you can't help but wonder where he has been in the last twenty years. I wonder how he is going to break the news to his employers that they have been funding groups who want to take us back to the stone age and who would like nothing more than to wipe out the oil and gas industry in its entirety:
This was a room where there was a round of applause when one audience member asked how LNG and coal exporters in Australia might be “annihilated” following their (supposed) support for the repeal of the carbon tax in that country.
Read the whole thing, it's worth it.
And as an aside, let us remember that these lunatics are paid for by your taxes.