The head of one of the world’s biggest oil companies admits that the threat of climate change makes him “really very worried for the planet.” Ron Oxburgh, the chairman of Shell, says, “No one can be comfortable at the prospect of continuing to pump out the amounts of carbon dioxide that we are pumping out at present?with consequences that we really can’t predict but are probably not good.”

David Adam writes in The Guardian that Oxburgh says we should store CO2 emissions underground or underwater, using a technique called carbon sequestration. He says, “Sequestration is difficult, but if we don’t have sequestration then I see very little hope for the world.” This may sound impossible, but the U.K. is actually considering building a network of pipelines to carry millions of tons of carbon dioxide from power stations to the bottom of the North sea. They eventually plan to trap car emissions and sequester them too. “You probably have to put it under the sea but there are other possibilities. You may be able to trap it in solids or something like that,” says Oxburgh. “The timescale might be impossible, in which case I’m really very worried for the planet because I don’t see any other approach.”

Too bad not all oil companies feel the fame way. In June, 2002 ExxonMobil’s chairman Lee Raymond said, “We in ExxonMobil do not believe that the science required to establish this linkage between fossil fuels and warming has been demonstrated.”

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