Hypocrisy over fossil fuels
Sir, – I wish to highlight comments made by a senior Government official at an oil and gas industry conference hosted in Dublin recently, and to express my horror at the hypocrisy that they convey in light of the climate and biodiversity crisis.
The world’s scientists have consensus: in order to avert utter catastrophe, we must immediately halt the growth of the fossil fuel industry (see IPCC 2018 report). Despite this, and despite our Government purporting to aspire toward leadership on this crisis, it has been reported that Clare Morgan, backed by the Department of Climate Action, addressed a room of fossil fuel corporates and said that we need “several more Corribs to be discovered”.
This was accompanied by comments from Seán Canney TD, Minister for Natural Resources, who asserted that a secure gas supply is “a priority” for his department. These comments starkly contrast with previous pledges from Government to cease fossil fuel exploration, and so too does our Government’s continuing to grant licences for offshore drilling, and plans to build a gas terminal in Shannon.
It is contradictions such as these – commitments to climate action accompanied by active complicity in further destruction – that lead me to a lack of faith in leaders’ ability to respond appropriately to the crisis at hand. The UN has said we are currently on course for 3-5 degree warming, which will render large swathes of our planet uninhabitable, destabilising society and undermining food supplies. So what are we to do if our elected officials won’t act with the urgency required?
Extinction Rebellion protesters maintained a presence for the duration of the two-day oil and gas conference, disrupting and creating unease for conference attendees inside.
A young student interrupted Mr Canney’s speech with scientific facts on the crisis, a mother of a three-year-old girl gained access to disrupt and was arrested, and outside people scared of what the future holds doused themselves in blood to symbolise the blood that is on the hands of those most responsible for the crisis – Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, etc, all of whom were in attendance at the conference. We no longer have time to waste. – Yours, etc,