I think it's outrageous that Shell sponsors part of the environment section on the National Geographic website.

What makes the situation even worse is that right beneath one of Shell's adverts on the page is National Geographic's slogan: Inspiring poeple to care about the planet since 1888.

Shell Shocked

Shell sponsors part of the environment section on the National Geographic website.

I don't think there are many corporations around the world that keep up with Shell's record of environmental degradation and human rights abuses. The corporation's versatility when it comes to abusing nature and human rights is truely alarming. One report names Shell as the most carbon intensive company in the world.

Shell is one of the fuel companies currently extracting oil from the Canadian tar sands -- one of the most energy intensive and ecologically destructive means of obtaining oil. Is that really a case of "building a better energy future" as they advertise on the National Geographic site?

The the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) doesn't seem to think so. It ruled in 2008 that Shell had misled the public when it claimed that a $10 billion oil sands project in Alberta, Canada was a "sustainable energy source".

Shell's presence in the Niger-Delta is notorious for the extreme environmental problems it has caused. Many of its pipelines are old and corroded, constantly leaking oil into the environment.

Fed-up with the situation Ken Saro-Wiwa fought against Shell and opened the eyes of the West for the damage done by Shell to the environment in Nigeria.

In May 1994, he was arrested and accused of incitement to murder following the deaths of four Ogoni elders. Saro-Wiwa denied the charges, but was imprisoned for over a year before being found guilty and sentenced to death. The trial was widely criticised by human rights organizations. On 10 November 1995, Saro-Wiwa and eight other MOSOP leaders (the "Ogoni Nine") were executed by hanging. Many believe Shell played an important part in the death of these 9 men.

There are many more incidents of ecological degradation that all lead back to Shell. Combined, they paint a picture of a corporation that will do anything to generate a few more profits, and at whatever cost. Apparently applying a liberal coat of greenwash is just one tactic they are happy to use; it's much easier to clean up a brand's image than its ethics and practices.

It's just sad that part of that dirt rubs off on the National Geographic in the process. Afterall, Shell pays Natioanl Geogrpahic for the advertising space, and where do you think that cash comes from?