Good article by George Monbiot in today’s Guardian, attacking Shell and BP’s for greenwashing and spinning the truth.

He talks about the BP spill in Alaska that we have been blogging about requently on the site. “For a company that claims to have moved “beyond petroleum”, BP has managed to spill an awful lot of it on to the tundra in Alaska … BP’s rebranding, like Shell’s, has been so effective that you could be forgiven for believing that it had become an environmental pressure group. These companies have used the vast profits from their petroleum business to create the impression that they are abandoning it”.

On Shell, Monbiot also picks up on other items we have been blogging about: “Shell’s adverts feature photos of its technologists in open-necked shirts and showing perfect teeth (which proves they can’t be real greens). They tell stories of their brave experiments with wind power, hydrogen, biofuels and natural gas. The chairman of Shell UK was one of the 14 signatories to a letter sent by businesses to Tony Blair a week ago, calling for the government to exercise “bold leadership on domestic climate change policy” in order to speed “the transition to a low-carbon economy”.

Monbiot concludes: “The impression they have created in some of their adverts – that they are seeking to move out of petroleum and into other products – is misleading ..Both companies are cleverer than they used to be. They have stopped pretending that climate change does not exist or that no one ever gets hurt by their projects. Shell even publishes a list of its recent convictions. But this doesn’t mean they have stopped spinning”.