A fantastic victory for our atmosphere, our planet, and for future generations of humanity: after selfishly exploring for oil in the Arctic, morally reprehensible and myopic Shell has been defeated - all while losing $4.1bn .
The oil giant’s search in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea has proved futile. The originally-Dutch, UK-headquartered company has concluded that these waters are too treacherous, and has abandoned their controversial drilling operations in the Alaskan Arctic.
Basic geology theory is right: finite fossil fuels are finite, and are fossils. Basic ecosystem and biosphere theories are right: drilling into icy Arctic waters is perilous for oil rig engineers, and perilous for our planet's temperature regulation.
Greenpeace has said that the super-polluting Anglo-Dutch group was rapidly becoming a pariah in the business world.
Experts at the IPCC and elsewhere believe that existing oil and gas reserves cannot be burned if CO2 levels are to be prevented from rising to dangerous levels. These environmental scientists advise against further drilling, especially in such high cost areas.
Equally, environment groups have condemned Shell’s Arctic exploration decisions. WWF’s and Yale alumna Margaret Williams said current technology will not contain a spill in the extreme Arctic Ocean ecosystems. "This is one of the most productive marine areas in the world, supporting hundreds of species and thousands of people who depend on the sea's bounty," she said. "To drill in our Arctic Ocean is to gamble with its future."
Why doesn't Shell, the world's 13th biggest company, invest its hundreds of billions of dollars in renewable energy solutions that can continue to fatten its shareholders' bank accounts, whilst halting global temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations?
Reacting to the news, Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “Big oil has sustained an unmitigated defeat. They had a budget of billions, we had a movement of millions. For three years we faced them down, and the people won. “The Save the Arctic movement has exacted a huge reputational price from Shell for its Arctic drilling programme. And as the company went another year without striking oil, that price finally became too high. They’re pulling out. “Now President Obama should use his remaining months in office to say that no other oil company will be licenced to drill in the American Arctic.”