Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Steve Cook

Even Oilmen Believe Our Planet Is Burning Up

Recommended Posts

Guest Steve Cook

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/artic...g-TV-drama.html

I am sitting in the office of a man who was, until recently, chief executive of one of the biggest oil companies in the world: a man who made his company billions of dollars. I listen, make the odd nervous note and reflect that it's been a long road since I wrote one of Britain's best-loved films, The Full Monty.

As a scriptwriter, I have met lots of powerful people, but my reaction is always the same. When I went to the Oscars, I sat next to a pleasant, elegant woman and chatted happily to her until somebody pointed out it was Claudia Schiffer. After that, I could not utter another word.

But today it isn't because I am star-struck that I am terrified; it is because the oil man is telling me the opposite of everything he should say. Over the tinkle of teacups, he is predicting the end of civilisation.

Enlarge Rupert Penry-Jones and Neve Campbell in Simon Beaufoy's new two-part drama, Burn Up

Rupert Penry-Jones and Neve Campbell in Simon Beaufoy's new two-part drama, Burn Up

My friends give me uncomfortable looks about my new film, Burn Up, because I have a Cassandra-like reputation for writing fiction about things that later become fact.

Many years ago, I made a film called The Darkest Light about a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. Two years later, it happened for real.

I wrote the script for another film called Yasmin that suggested disaffected British Muslim youths could turn to terrorism. A year later came the London suicide bombings.

I'm not boasting: I just listen to experts who prove frighteningly accurate.

Burn Up - starring Rupert Penry-Jones, who played Adam Carter in the hit BBC series Spooks - is about the moment runaway climate change collides with an unprecedented oil crisis.

So given my track record, my friends are keen to know what happens at the end.

Once I had decided to write a drama about climate change I spoke to everybody who was prepared to talk.

Surprisingly, this turned out not just to be the usual environmental suspects such as Greenpeace, Friends Of The Earth or WWF, but people in the oil industry.

And these weren't disaffected whistle-blowers, but some senior figures who were prepared to step out of the shadows and tell me just how scared they were.

The oil man predicting an apocalypse was one of them. I had gone to his office expecting him to tell me global warming was at best an uncertain science based on dodgy data, at worst a Left-wing conspiracy designed to tax us all to death.

Oil refinery/pollution/global warming

'Fiddling while Rome burns': Even oil industry chiefs now privately admit global warming will worsen disastrously without urgent action

Oil companies pumped out the oil that was producing the carbon dioxide, so why would he tell me any different?

Sure enough, that's how the interview started. The world was 'going through a 40-year transition period from a carbon economy to a hydrogen economy' where oil would smoothly be replaced by other sources of renewable energy.

He talked on convincingly. The tea-lady brought round the trolley. I felt reassurance waft over me: the environmental scaremongers were wrong.

Then I looked up. A '40-year transition period'? I cleared my throat, and nervously suggested that Sir John Houghton, the scientist who led the first Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, had told me we had at best ten years to stop the increase in global temperatures, otherwise we were in danger of runaway climate change. Ten years tops. Not 40.

The CEO stopped in his tracks. 'Oh, you've talked to him, have you?' His tone changed.

He sat down heavily and said: 'Well, I know John and he's right, and if you want to know what I really think, I think we're fiddling while Rome burns.' He was the first of many to come to the confessional. People who for the sake of their careers shouldn't even have returned my phone calls were opening their hearts to me. Why such dangerous honesty towards a writer?

I found the answer at a conference of the Tipping Point organisation which puts artists and scientists together to learn about climate change.

We met at Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre, in which were placed signs reading 'politics', 'business', 'the media' and 'science'. We were asked to stand under the sign we thought offered the most hope of progress on the issue.

With some giggling and shoving, 200 people crowded underneath the various signs. When this musical chairs for adults finally stopped, there were just two people under the 'science' sign. Only one of them was a scientist.

We were aghast. The room was full of eminent scientists from across the world, yet none of them had the confidence to stand under their own sign.

Why? ' Because nobody is listening, ' they answered. 'For 15 years we've been warning about rising sea levels, melting icecaps, changes in sea currents, weakening monsoons, the acidification of the ocean. Yet nobody is listening to us.'

It is extraordinary. There are thousands of scientific studies by climatologists, oceanologists, biologists - every ologist imaginable - charting the current and future effects of climate change. Yet half the population of this country still doesn't believe it.

Today, there's a lot of talk about renewable energy and the G8's latest pledge of cutting carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2050. But we've got ten years to turn this around, not 40.

Sir James Lovelock, author of the Gaia theory on the ecological balance of the planet, told me it was like the days of appeasement before the Second World War when Hitler was rearming, polishing the boots of his stormtroopers and annexing countries while much of the British Establishment chose to look the other way.

I was so frightened by what I heard that I put solar panels and a wind generator on my roof, changed to a green electricity tariff, cycled everywhere.

Did it make one jot of difference? No. But if I couldn't change my behaviour knowing what I now knew, how could I expect a government to change?

As I dug around the oil industry, I came across another extraordinary elephant in the room that nobody dared mention, but which will become crucial in the fight to prevent irreversible warming: Peak Oil.

This is what they call the moment when we start running out of the stuff.

When I started on this journey, three years ago, oil was 50 dollars a barrel and the Peak Oil theorists were dismissed as alarmist fringe elements. We were apparently at least 50 years away from Peak Oil. Anyone who dared to say different was simply laughed at.

But then I met a man employed by the oil industry to collate data on oil reserves, and he told me that already we are not producing enough oil to meet demand, and even if output were increased, it would be used up by growing demand from China and India.

So, I asked, what did this mean?

'A global crash,' he said, 'at a guess somewhere between 2008 and 2010.'

I left his office on a beautiful, globally-warmed day with house prices soaring and the financial markets blossoming. Clearly, the man was nuts.

But who is nuts, now? Oil has hit 147 dollars a barrel, house prices are plummeting and the stock markets are going through the floor. And yet, still, is anyone listening?

Somehow, I had to turn a mass of complex science and politics into something people would want to watch, but how could I dramatise carbon dioxide, an enemy you can't see, smell or touch?

It would be like Spooks without the terrorists, The Wire without the drug dealers.

I found the answer in men like John Ashton, Tony Blair's 'climate tsar'. A former diplomat, he now shuttles between China and Europe, patiently negotiating, encouraging, persuading the Chinese, soon to become the world's biggest emitters of CO2, to sign up to emission reduction targets.

You are unlikely to see his name anywhere, for that is certainly not his style, but if we ever get ourselves out of this mess, it is people such as John who will have saved us.

And that's what gave me the key to Burn Up: the lies and duplicity of the denial industry pitched against people desperate to prevent runaway climate change.

I concealed a mass of factual science and politics inside the Trojan Horse of a racy thriller.

And where does this leave me? What does Cassandra have to say about the chances of humanity solving this most dangerous of puzzles?

You might be surprised to know that I believe there is still hope.

As Rupert Penry-Jones's character says in the film: 'Oil. Oil is everything.' Its all-consuming use has caused the problem and now its scarcity might just save us.

A spiralling price that triggers a global power-down could buy us the time to stop the warming. In fact, it's happening right now.

Will it work? We're about to find out.

Edited by Steve Cook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When did "earth" start recording global temperatures with any accuracy?

This isn't meant to be derogatory... it's a serious question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When did "earth" start recording global temperatures with any accuracy?

This isn't meant to be derogatory... it's a serious question.

It's a drama, not science, and it doesn't sound much worth watching!

I used to take the whole human created warming thing quite seriously, but now you can't

go a day without some art-degree qualified reporter, rattling on about impending disaster,

and complementing themselves that they cycle somewhere occasionally, and have bought

a "solar cell", probably to charge their iPod! So that's their bit done then!

This man's immodesty is astounding! He's almost proclaiming himself as a prophet!

It was the Daily Mail I suppose! :blink:

Just like "the ozone hole" , and "bird flu"! Non Events! Move along! Nothing to see here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"But then I met a man employed by the oil industry to collate data on oil reserves, and he told me that already we are not producing enough oil to meet demand, and even if output were increased, it would be used up by growing demand from China and India.

So, I asked, what did this mean?

'A global crash,' he said, 'at a guess somewhere between 2008 and 2010.'

I left his office on a beautiful, globally-warmed day with house prices soaring and the financial markets blossoming. Clearly, the man was nuts.

But who is nuts, now? Oil has hit 147 dollars a barrel, house prices are plummeting and the stock markets are going through the floor. And yet, still, is anyone listening?"

Blaming this on the conspiracy theory of peak oil is nuts. Oil companies are stopping the FTSE from plummeting even further and the problems with sub-prime were already out by the time the oil speculators started ramping. Another scare-mongering story from the daily wail.

Edited by chefdave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But who is nuts, now? Oil has hit 147 dollars a barrel, house prices are plummeting and the stock markets are going through the floor. And yet, still, is anyone listening?

None of this is what the guy predicted and has nothing to do with global warming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest anorthosite
Just like "the ozone hole" , and "bird flu"! Non Events! Move along! Nothing to see here!

Try telling the people of Australia the ozone hole was a non event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes i care about the enviorment

Brown takes 41% Tax when i earn my money and then another 70% when i buy petrol to sit on the M25 and even more with them new average speed cameras placed on so called road works where you get 2m trafic cones only to find no one is doing any work.

Like Brown i love the enviroment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable
Try telling the people of Australia the ozone hole was a non event.

But their houses are worth so much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When did "earth" start recording global temperatures with any accuracy?

This isn't meant to be derogatory... it's a serious question.

Hundreds of millions of years ago.. depends on which temperature proxy you use; oxygen isotopes (o18/o16) are popular. Temperature changes change the ratio.

Normally (geologically speaking), the Earth is much warmer, does not posess ice caps and has a much smaller land area with epicontinental seas. So don't call it 'global warming'; 'global normalisation' is strictly speaking more accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Winnie
It's a drama, not science, and it doesn't sound much worth watching!

I used to take the whole human created warming thing quite seriously, but now you can't

go a day without some art-degree qualified reporter, rattling on about impending disaster,

and complementing themselves that they cycle somewhere occasionally, and have bought

a "solar cell", probably to charge their iPod! So that's their bit done then!

This man's immodesty is astounding! He's almost proclaiming himself as a prophet!

It was the Daily Mail I suppose! :blink:

Just like "the ozone hole" , and "bird flu"! Non Events! Move along! Nothing to see here!

Oh no - threads like this bring out all the antediluvian reactionaries............. Denial denial denial. We wonderful arrogant humans could not possibly have sown the seeds of our own destruction. I hope you live long enough Mr Pin, to regret your preposterous and arrogant tempting of fate - you completely blew it by bringing in bird flu too which is also a certainty - just a matter of when.

Psychologists would attribute your position to extreme fear which breeds denial on a grand scale. What a way to live.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly we live in an age where we have access to that much information and mis-information that none of us know what or indeed who to believe anymore and hence feel helpless on most issues. I myself believe in peak oil simply because you cant have constant use of a finite substance without it eventually running out at some point. As to the when of peak oil? Who knows. I myself believe in global economic collapse simply because you cant have constant growth without dire consequences on what you are consuming. As to the when?

I once was a JW (for a while) and believed that Armageddon was "Just around the corner" that was 20 years ago now!

We know nothing and because we know nothing we cant possbily predict our future or indeed the planets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest anorthosite
see video in sig. 2 mins and answers all

No it doesn't, it just shows that some people are stupid.

Anyone who actually knows about climate science, or even basic chemistry would know what they were talking about. I'm sure the unedited footage would have loads of them ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the oilmen now believe our planet isburning up. This would be useful when they have no cheap oil left to sell. Then they can do their 'green' bit and sell PV, ground source heat pumps, liquified gas and other assorted planet saving stuff. They seem to have made a start on that.

I think a lot of the climate change talk is a softer way to change consumption habits without causing the hysterics peak oil news might.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard this guy (the writer of Burn Up) being interviewed on Radio 4 a few days ago. While he was getting all sweaty and excited about his remarkable powers as a seer, predicting global meltdown etc, he let slip that, when writing this piece of incisive future realism, they'd decided to keep the oil price below $100 per barrel as anything more seemed far-fetched. "And look" he simpered, "it's way above that now".

This, he implied, demonstrated his remarkable gift of second sight. Unfortunately, his predicted $95 (or whatever) in "Burn Up" led to anarchy and- to him and his ilk- the long-awaited death of global Capitalism. Seeing as the actual price got over $140 and nothing of the like happened, I'd say that this proves he is a) wrong & b ) a bellend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few years' of rising temperatures and a theory that humans might be contributing by adding extra CO2 doesn't add up to catastrophic human-induced climate change. There has been a complete failure to demonstrate that CO2 emmissions are causing climate change, just observations and a theory.

However, we are running out of oil and gas, that is not in dispute. As these resources become scarcer, CO2 emissions will go down anyway, so any 'climate change' will go into reverse. Ah, but the environmentalists have an answer for that one too - climate change is irreversible, isn't it?

Yes - I am deliberately being provocative. It's not that I don't believe the CO2 global warming theory, only that we might reading the wrong conclusion from what is possibly a natural variation in temperatures. The global warming lobby have made their theory a catch-all. Hotter summers - global warming! Milder winters - global warming! - Colder summers - global warming! Rare bird seen in Scotland - global warming etc etc etc.

Edited by blankster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest anorthosite
There has been a complete failure to demonstrate that CO2 emmissions are causing climate change, just observations and a theory.

Yes, the observations led to the theory. Its called science.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, what's this 'gravity' thing anyway? Just a bunch of observations and theory.. dang, I'm gonna be 'politically incorrect' to upset these 'gravitationistas' and jump outta my goddam tenth floor window right now!

Yeah, and these guys claiming the Earth is flat, I'm just going to jump off the edge...oh, hang on a minute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Former Global Warming Rocket Scientist Cools to Reality

July 18, 2008 (EIRNS)—An Australian Greenhouse Office consultant from 1999 to 2005, David Evans, now slams the global warming theory he once supported. In an opinion piece in Rupert Murdoch's national newspaper, The Australian, Evans stated that: I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.

"We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet."

Evans said he initially thought the evidence seemed "pretty good," but had admitted it was not conclusive. Now he says straight out: "There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming. None. The Labor Government is about to deliberately wreck the economy in order to reduce carbon emissions. [They are] going to be regarded as criminally negligent or ideologically stupid for not having seen through it. And if the Liberals support the general thrust of their actions, they will be seen likewise."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think a lot of the climate change talk is a softer way to change consumption habits without causing the hysterics peak oil news might.

I'm with you on that, but I think the economy will take centre stage fairly soon!

Actually, most governments are a bit schizophrenic about consumption habits!

I've just put my 18-year old car through it's MOT! It needed one bulb, and the handbrake to be un-stuck! I bet the Government won't like that! I'm hardly a great "consumer"!

Despite the rhetoric, they absolutely love people to BORROW, and SPEND!

Why, with oil being so expensive, does the milk at work, arrive in throwaway plastic bottles.

When I were a lad, these were glass bottles, and we took them back. Likewise lemonade bottles, and when I was a bit older,

beer bottles too!

Now we all drive to Tesco, and "recycle" them. They didn't need recycling, just a wash out, and to be refilled again!

Now what happens? Do we spend an enormous amount of energy turning them into a new shape bottle,

or is it just land fill, and they don't tell us?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, the observations led to the theory. Its called science.

Yeah, what's this 'gravity' thing anyway? Just a bunch of observations and theory.. dang, I'm gonna be 'politically incorrect' to upset these 'gravitationistas' and jump outta my goddam tenth floor window right now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest anorthosite
Its a standing joke among scientists that you can get anything funded if you add "in the context of global warming" to the research proposal. You want to do some work on the size of pigs *****'s then just call it "the size of pigs *****'s with respect to global warming" and you get the grant.

How many scientists have told you this? I suspect any such effort would get your proposal filed in the bin.

Edit: Something weird's happening with the timings of my posts! :wacko:

Edited by anorthosite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 396 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.