Shell Knew Too. Oil Giant’s 1991 Film Warned of Climate Change

March 1, 2017

Props for making the film.

Somewhat deficient in follow up.


Climate change “at a rate faster than at any time since the end of the ice age – change too fast perhaps for life to adapt, without severe dislocation”. That was the startling warning issued by the oil giant Shell more than a quarter of a century ago.

The company’s farsighted 1991 film, titled Climate of Concern, set out with crystal clarity how the world was warming and that serious consequences could well result.

“Tropical islands barely afloat even now, first made inhabitable, and then obliterated beneath the waves … coastal lowlands everywhere suffering pollution of precious groundwater, on which so much farming and so many cities depend,” says the film’s narrator, over disturbing images of people affected by natural disasters and famine. “In a crowded world subject to such adverse shifts of climate, who would take care of such greenhouse refugees?”

The film acknowledged the uncertainties in the computer model predictions at the time, but noted the various scenarios had “each prompted the same serious warning, a warning endorsed by a uniquely broad consensus of scientists in their report to the United Nations at the end of 1990”.

“What they foresee is not a steady and even warming overall, but alterations to the familiar patterns of climate, and the increasing frequency of abnormal weather,” it cautioned. “It is thought that warmer seas could make destructive [storm] surges more frequent and even more ferocious.”

“Whether or not the threat of global warming proves as grave as the scientists predict, is it too much to hope as it might act as the stimulus – the catalyst – to a new era of technical and economic cooperation?” the film concludes. “Our numbers are many, and infinitely diverse. But the problems and dilemmas of climatic change concern us all.”

Below, my video on What Exxon Knew.



27 Responses to “Shell Knew Too. Oil Giant’s 1991 Film Warned of Climate Change”


    China shift to renewables transforms world’s biggest polluter from ‘climate bad boy’ into ‘true leader’
    By China correspondent Bill Birtles

    Updated about 10 hours ago

    Related Story: China’s coal likely peaked in 2013, now set to plummet: report
    Related Story: China to spend $493 billion on green power push
    Map: China

    A third consecutive year of falling coal consumption and a renewable energy spending spree has made China the new global leader on climate change, some environmental groups claim.
    Key points:

    Figures from China’s national bureau of statistics revealed a 4.7 per cent fall in coal consumption in 2016
    Greenpeace spokesman Li Shuo says “China has transformed itself from [a] climate bad boy”
    The country has embarked on a $474b renewable energy program

    Figures from China’s National Bureau of Statistics this year revealed a 4.7 per cent year-on-year fall in coal consumption in 2016.

    Coal production dropped even more, and the latest figures confirm a three-year trend of declining coal use for the country’s massive electricity grid.

    “China has transformed itself from climate bad boy into a reluctant leader, and at the Paris climate change talks, really a true leader,” said Greenpeace East Asia’s spokesman Li Shuo.

    As part of commitments made in the global Paris Climate agreement, China will introduce a cap on coal and seek to peak its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: