Jeff Huggins suggested I take a look at the new, ‘Clearing the Air‘ video from Shell Oil:
My first reaction was, how sweet and clever! What a great way to get people engaged in some otherwise boring, ‘clean’ tech story. The guy looks like Hugh Grant, and frankly, I am always a sucker for good old fashioned romance, complete with intrigue, exotic settings, and candlelight dinners. The entire 7′ film went by very fast, and I could have endured a lot more . . .
Still, I could smell greenwashing, and decided to do a bit of investigation. I did not have to go very far. One can always count on readers to surface the truth. Here, for your enjoyment, are some comments on a recent post on Green Car Congress, that featured Shell GTL technology:
‘GTL is a nightmare in CO2 terms as it wastes so much energy in making it. Don’t go there!!!‘
‘Yes it is a nightmare, but it requires no worries when using the fuel so a company can pretend they are researching alternative fuel uses while using it. If airbus were trying out bio fuels that would be a different matter. Then they would have to worry about compatibility and other problems. Thus GTL is the safe, easy way to pretend you are doing something.’
‘In addition to wasting energy producing it, if it’s from natural gas, it’s both a fossil fuel (not renewable), and not carbon neutral (so it does nothing about global warming).
Unless they are serious about sourcing second generation biofuels it does look like greenwashing. Funny because the A380 must use immense volumes of fuel.’
You get the picture . . .
Content set aside, the ‘Clearing the Air‘ video taps into an important psychological opportunity for climate fight messaging, and green communication in general. The eco-hero archetype is emerging from our collective unconscious, and elevating the climate fight to new heights, turning it into the mythical adventure of the 21st century.
Al Gore, speaking at the recent TED talks: ‘What we need is a hero generation’