Leave it to Exxon to use clean energy for dirty purposes.
When a friend wrote on social media about their frustration with Exxon's latest advertising ploy, patting themselves on the back for "reducing GHG emissions", I thought it was just another greenwashing moment. Then I came across this tidbit.
Brace yourself for this one. The (oil) slick people at Exxon have a new twist on clean energy - using renewables to extract fossil fuels. When you hear them say they're reducing emissions, keep this in mind.
Am I surprised? Of course not. The folks at Exxon, and the rest of the fossil fuel dinosaurs, are masters of media manipulation. The question is, haven't we evolved past buying into the highly paid advertising or we just hopeless sheeple? Shouldn't we know that no matter how fast they spin it, fossil fuel pushers are not our friends? Perhaps, but there's a reason why so much money goes into market research. Advertising works.
As a avid promoter of an offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Maine, I feel like some of the wind was taken out of my sails today. This won't change my verve for all things renewable, but I can't help but be sickened by how Exxon taints everything they touch - the Midas touch in reverse. If anyone can take a good thing and ruin it, Exxon can and will.
We're just days away from a massive week of events. Saturday is Earth Day, a day when festivals, fairs, concerts, recycled art, workshops, vigils, marches, parades and roadside clean ups pop up nationwide.
This year Earth Day has a new twist, the March for Science. During an organizer's conference call I brought up climate change. Some on the call weren't sure that climate change would be included. In fact, there were those who insisted the event wasn't related to climate. What?
It's nice that the national organizers are pushing for a nonpartisan event celebrating science. I'm a science teacher, so I'm on board with that. The mission of the March For Science outlines,
"People who value science have remained silent for far too long in the face of policies that ignore scientific evidence and endanger both human life and the future of our world. New policies threaten to further restrict scientists’ ability to research and communicate their findings. We face a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence, but seek to eliminate it entirely. Staying silent is a luxury that we can no longer afford. We must stand together and support science."
Nowhere on the page do they mention the words, CLIMATE CHANGE. As an environmentalist I'm conflicted about this.
Have both parties contributed to the denial of science, sure. Is science a nonpartisan issue, definitely. Why then, do I feel a massive wave of whitewash when I read these words? Perhaps it is because one political party leads in climate and science denial. I'll leave you to come around to who that might be.
Here's the dilemma. In the name of coming together to stand for science, should we avoid topics that might inflame others or should we speak the truth? I suppose we need both, but there are inherent risks in being politically correct, even for a good cause.
When we are not direct with our intentions, we leave room for collaboration, alliances and yes, misinterpretation. When we are direct we risk losing a part of our support base who may agree with our philosophy, but not with our specific goals.
Fortunately, in April we can reconcile this conflict in strategic approach by choosing to attend science events that encompass any and all views in support of science or climate events that call for action to reduce increasing climate impacts, the denial of climate science, save the EPA, call out fracking health and safety hazards, the dangers of pipelines, environmental impacts, to promote renewable energy and encourage participation in direct action events. I have found ways to connect with both and so I'll be tabling for ECHO Action in Concord on April 22nd, Earth Day, and marching with thousands in Washington, D.C. on April 29th!
"The technical feasibility of using wind power to assist in offshore oil extraction has been established in the first phase of a new project.
The venture, led by DNV GL and involving ExxonMobil and Eni, found that wind could be used to power water injection in a manner that is cost competitive with conventional extraction methods.
The process involves using a floating wind turbine to power an injecting process capable of sufficiently pressurising reservoirs to encourage oil extraction.The second phase of the project will involve lab testing of the electrical systems at DNV GL laboratories in the Netherlands."
While phase one was a desk top study, this phase is a natural step before going into piloting with real prototypes," project manager Johan Slätte said. Phase 2 is expected to run for between one and two years, with a first full-scale prototype due around 2020.Exxon and Eni both hailed the project as an opportunity to lower costs and shrink their carbon footprints."
Recent advancements in wind technology, particularly in offshore oil and gas applications, are improving economic feasibility and allowing for wind to contribute to the overall energy mix at a time when demand continues to rise," Exxon Research Company vice president Tom Schuessler said."