I wonder whether Shell has sacked whichever pillock (defn: one who has done a stupid act) who advised them to sponsor the Guardian‘s ferociously anti-fossil fuel, anti-capitalist, anti-Shell Environment pages?
Knowing the craven, slippery, self-hating ways of Big Oil as I do, I’m guessing probably not. In fact it’s quite possible, he (or she?) helped prepare Shell’s Energy Strategy document I’ve just found on its website. There’s not so much about oil drilling in it, but an awful lot about sustainability, biofuels, and CO2 emission reductions and the utterly useless green technology of carbon capture and storage. If you didn’t know better, you might think you were reading the latest brochure from Greenpeace.
Consider the groups latest propaganda victory. Greenpeace has bullied LEGO into cancelling a $110 million contract with Shell whereby, Shell-branded LEGO toys have been sold at the company’s gas stations.
There are lots of losers in this: LEGO’s family shareholders; the gas stations which sold the toys; the kids who might, for a change, have been opened up to the possibility the oil industry isn’t just synonymous with pure evil; Shell’s marketing department; freedom of choice; the capitalist system….
And only one winner: anti-capitalism.
Greenpeace has been targeting Shell since at least 1995. It has also greenmailed LEGO, threatening and bullying it into changing its wood pulp suppliers to ones approved by Greenpeace.
It would be hard to deny Greenpeace is exceptionally good at what it does. This latest propaganda coup was the result of a brilliant video it made spoofing the Everything Is Awesome theme from the LEGO movie. Under the heading Everything is NOT Awesome, it showed an Arctic world made of LEGO being destroyed by Shell’s Arctic drilling (and a pinstriped capitalist with a cigar in his mouth).
The video went viral. At the same time, Greenpeace went to the Legoland theme park near Windsor, U.K. to bother people there with more eco-propaganda. As a result of all this, over 750,000 people signed a petition urging LEGO to end its relationship with Shell. Which it has now been forced to do.
Why is Greenpeace able to get away with this behaviour – more redolent of the Mafia mob than of a caring, nurturing environmental charity?
Capitalism – the free market variety, not, unfortunately, its bastard cousins crony capitalism and corporatism – is in serious trouble right now. It’s unappreciated, over regulated and, instead of sticking up for it as they should, far too many of its proponents are cowering in their dugouts instead of confronting the enemy.
For too long, big businesses like Shell have sought to escape the attentions of leftist attack dogs like Greenpeace. It just doesn’t work because however much green washing it attempts, Shell will always be an oil company. And Greenpeace will always hate it.
The first step towards escaping this cycle of humiliation is to recognize who your enemy is and, instead of appeasing him, face up to him and crush him.
Trust me, Shell. It’s the only language these bastards understand.