shell desert

John Ashton, who served as Special Representative for Climate Change at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) from 2006 to 2012, delivered a speech last week at the Conseil Francais de L’Energie 4th European Energy Forum in Paris where he took apart both the CEO of Shell and the fossil fuel industry in general. It’s also an interesting depiction, from someone who has spent decades on the front lines of the climate battle, of how these fossil fuel megacorporations operate.

Here are some of my favourite excerpts:

You are not detached, and in reality your authority is compromised by your obvious desire to cling to what you know, whatever the cost to society.

The psychopath displays inflated self-appraisal, lack of empathy, and a tendency to squash those who block the way. All these traits can be found in your text. There is a touch of psychopathy in the story of your face.

I have lived in a period when politics has been linear, and therefore predictable. You are skilled at navigating linear politics. Corporations became ever more skilled at rigging the choices made by linear politics for their profit against the public interest. That is one reason why linear politics ending.


Read the whole speech here.