Scientists call out Science Museum over ties to big oil

  • A group that includes many leading climate scientists have today lodged a formal complaint with the Science Museum
  • The museum is accused of ‘undermining its integrity as a scientific institution’ by partnering with BP, Shell and Statoil despite their continued contribution to climate change
  • The complaint presents new evidence showing the museum knew about sponsors’ ties to corruption and climate disinformation but signed deals regardless
  • Today is the first day of Shell’s flagship science event Make the Future Live at Olympic Park, which has been labelled ‘greenwash’

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‘Make the Future’: teaching children there’s a future for oil

Shell's cynical 'Make the Future' campaign was subvertised in June 2018

All fossil fuel companies invest large amounts in PR campaigns in a bid to shape their public perception. But Shell has been one of the most active in this area, developing elaborately emotive billboard posters, slick television commercials and more, to give the impression that its business plans are ‘greener’ than they really are. Continue reading

How Shell shaped the story at London’s Science Museum

‘Drop the Shell, from Prestige to Disgrace’: a performance by Fossil Free Culture Nl in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, that saw 7 women simultaneously drink a thick black fluid from white shells and slowly let this fluid drip from their mouths to stain their crisp white dresses. Photo: Laura Ponchel

Oil and gas companies get many benefits out of sponsoring a museum, from boosting their brand image to sipping wine alongside politicians at exhibition openings. But sometimes, oil sponsors want to get more for their money and try to interfere in a museum’s decision-making. Continue reading

Profiting from the Iraq war

Source: Wikimedia commons

‘Iraq is the big oil prospect,’ began the minutes of a meeting at the Foreign Office on 6 November 2002. ‘BP are desperate to get in there.’ The tone was unusually expressive for the notes of a govern­ment meeting: civil servant minute-takers normally manage to find blandness in even the most far-reaching discussions.

Four months later, a war would begin that would cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and destroy a country. But with about ten percent of the world’s oil beneath its soil, for BP Iraq meant business. Continue reading

How Shell stands in the way of renewable energy

Subvertised Shell posters appeared in London, Leeds, Bristol and Oxford in June 2018 ahead of Shell's #MakeTheFuture spin festival, which has co-opted pop stars in a bid to appeal to millennials. Image: Brandalism UK

Shell pours millions into lobbying policymakers to act in its corporate interest. Given the company’s dependence on fossil fuels for profit, this often means splashing the cash to try and stymie the progress of renewable energy. Continue reading