This article by Mike Small was first posted by bella caledonia. It outlines the attempt by Tory Right populists backed by Rishi Sunak backed by Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party to bow before the fossil fuel companies and their attempt to prioritise profits at public expense and  ignore the growing climate crisis. 


The approval of Rosebank oil field, and the narratives surrounding it, are terrifying.

Chris Packham, Britain’s radicalised broadcaster called it an ‘act of war against life on earth’, the Green MP, Caroline Lucas called it ‘a moral obscenity’. Naomi Klein called it a “horrific decision… Canada is still partially on fire… this is an act of environmental vandalism”. Greenpeace said: “The ugly truth is that Sunak is pandering to vested interests, demonstrating the stranglehold the fossil fuel lobby has on Government decision making…”

Rosebank is the next step in the grotesque experience we are all living through: omnicide.

We know all of the facts about this travesty, we know all the carbon figures and inevitable subsequent emissions. But the financing of the project is also mortifying. The UK taxpayer is covering 91% the cost of developing Rosebank. Rosebank’s owner Equinor is set to receive £3.75 BILLION in tax breaks for the field.

As trade unionist and activist Howard Becket put it: “Equinor, Norway’s state-owned oil company gets taxed at 78% for extracting fossil fuels in Norways waters. To extract fossil fuels off the Shetland’s Sunak is giving them a 91% tax break. We are paying foreign state owned companies to destroy the planet. You couldn’t make it up.”

Equinor made £62 BILLION in profits last year.

While subsidising such vandalism is obscene, so too is the gaslighting around it. It’s no longer publicly acceptable to be an outright climate denier, so politicians and media supporters instead entertain various fantasies about these projects and the world we inhabit. These fantasies include magical thinking such as: “these actions in no way inhibit the path to ‘Net Zero’; “we need oil and gas in the interim in Scotland / UK” (no timeline is given for ‘the interim’); such new oil fields will improve ‘energy security’ and new oil and gas production will ‘reduce bills’.

Last year 75% of the UK’s oil production was exported. The same will be true of Rosebank.

Oil from the field will be sold on the international market at the going rate, and it will have no little or no impact on the cost of living crisis or energy security.

Even though each of these arguments is easily dismantled within second they persist. Our broadcast media is complicit alongside the predictable gibberish of the tabloids.

Earlier in the week on Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye phone-in show – in the aftermath of Rishi Sunak’s u-turn on Net Zero actions – the presenter posed the question: “Has the green agenda gone too far?”

There is no sanity in the media but nor is there any credible opposition. The Labour Party are tying themselves in knots – at first condemning the Rosebank approval – and then Sr Keir Starmer coming out to say he wouldn’t rescind any approved oil fields because to do so would ‘hinder growth’. Here’s Gordon Brown:

“It’s the right decision that Labour and the Conservatives both support it”

Former Prime Minister @GordonBrown tells @Peston he supports the approval of the Rosebank oil field.

 LIVE 9PM @itvpeston
11.15PM @ITV#Peston

— Peston (@itvpeston) September 27, 2023

Here’s Labour’s Siobhain McDonagh:

“Is it the right decision, Siobhain, to grant a license for more fossil fuels?”

“I think right at this moment, yes”

Labour right MP Siobhain McDonagh supports the govt giving the greenlight to

— Saul Staniforth (@SaulStaniforth) September 27, 2023

There is no timeline from the gas-lighters, there’s just a commitment of no-change, a promise of helping nurture inevitable destruction. What’s really in bad faith in all of this is it’s done of behalf of ‘the people’. But in the real world there’s a timeline and we’re watching it unfold every day. If the media is too stupid, compromised or damaged to process serious editorial content, and the political culture too redundant and doped to create any form of leadership, then it is up to the rest of us to respond by whatever means necessary.




also see:-

Climate change or system change – Ali Fleming, rs21

Environmental degradation and sustainable development, EL&SD coverage