Can the CEO of a major oil and energy company really make judgements on climate change?
Tillerson assumes that since climate models can’t possibly foretell the future, they are in all cases overstating the risk of severe consequences from climate change. But in too many instances the opposite is fast becoming the case, as projected impacts from many models underestimate what is already happening – sea level rise, habitat loss, and arctic sea ice melt to name but a few.
Beating people over the head with a constant barrage of doom-and-gloom scenarios isn’t effective. If it were we’d all gladly give up our carbon-spewing ways and get down to work building a new, sustainable clean energy economy. To the extent that Tillerson implies that the current environmental narrative is inadequate, there is little doubt. Creating a positive environmental narrative, addressing the reality of the challenge before us while motivating positive action to meet that challenge is needed now more than ever.
But where Tillerson goes terribly wrong is his implication that since the narrative is “wrong”, or at least not to his liking, then the science and reality underpinning it must therefore be just as wrong.
Sure, there’s going to be climate change, but we’ll just engineer and adapt our way out of it.
On the one hand he acknowledges that climate science is right, that climate change will happen, but that it will be in all cases, in all places, in every circumstance, manageable and with minimal impact.
Despite his complaining of lazy journalism and rampant ignorance, he bases these assertions not on the available science, but merely on wishful thinking.
Maybe it’s not so much that we don’t understand you, Mr. Tillerson, but more that you don’t understand the world in which you live.
Tom Schueneman is a freelance environmental writer and founder of GlobalWarmingisReal.com
Image: William Munoz