Around fifty British scientists came to give reasoned responses to counter the government’s plan to launch hundreds of new oil and gas drilling operations.
Big Ben sparkles in an unseasonably warm sun. Dressed in their white coats, these unusual demonstrators present in front of the British Parliament have brought hats and sunscreen. These fifty scientists are tackling the decision taken this summer by the government to validate “hundreds” of new oil and gas exploration and exploitation licenses in the North Sea. They also came with black square stickers, stuck on their clothes, saying in white letters “No new oil”.
Izzy wears this sticker. This energy storage specialist affirms that with these new drillings, the government’s stated objective of zero carbon emissions in 2050 is not tenable: “Their argument is essentially based on carbon capture and storage. They want invest massively in this. The problem is that at this stage, we only know how to do it on a small scale and I can tell you to work directly on these subjects, that doing it on a massive scale means is very different.”
Among these scientists, the majority do not hide their proximity to Just Stop Oil, this environmental movement with spectacular actions. Today is not the time for confrontation, but the time for explanation. When we oppose the economy to ecology for example. This is Michael’s area of expertise and according to him, there is no opposition between the two, particularly with renewable energies. “We could create tens or even hundreds of thousands of new jobs,” he argues. “High-level professions with good salaries. Oil and gas workers could become key players in the decarbonization of society.”
“These people would not lose their jobs and we would be moving towards a just transition.”
Michael, scientist and protester at franceinfo
As long as government and business focus on new oil and gas drilling, they are not giving themselves the opportunity to explore and develop alternatives. This is the speech of all these scientists. “The science is completely clear: it is useless and it is madness, explains Sarah, climate specialist. Elected officials must react. It is a question of our lives and our future.” Arguments that they wanted to present to deputies, but few elected officials took the time to see them.
This article is originally published on francetvinfo.fr