...and Exxon. It's not just the Royal Society that's criticising Big Oil. Now Putin has joined the fray by withdrawing Shell's permit to develop the $20bn (£10bn) Sakhalin-2 energy project, because of environmental degredation. Greig Aitken, of Bankwatch, said: "Russian and international environmental organisations have, for several years, documented the same pattern of violations cited by the Russian government, as well as a range of others that all have a grim bearing on an island that depends on fishing for one third of its economy.
"If there is talk of Russia asset-grabbing as it carries out its right to, belatedly, defend its environment, it should not overshadow the asset-grabbing Shell is attempting in the form of billions of dollars of international taxpayers' money for a project it has been unable to get right for the last three years."
That the Russians are showing awareness of the environment is to be welcomed. The search for natural resources needs to take account of the consequences for the natural world, in this case among other issues the future of the Pacific Grey Whale is at stake. We also need to seriously invest in alternatives to oil. That should mean other companies than Big Oil taking the lead in the renewable energy industry. Business as usual is not an option.