VLOG: The most influential Dutch thinker you never heard of

#1 Wk 06-21

Hi! This is my first video update - I’ll keep it short and sweet.

This week

On Saturday February 13th at 1400 CET, I’ll post on the life and legacy of Paul Crutzen, gentle Dutch genius. An Amsterdam boy from de Pijp, Crutzen theorised the probability of CFC gases causing a hole in the ozone layer - before that hole was discovered, prompting a global ban on aerosols. He warned of the spectre of ‘nuclear winter’, an idea which captured the public imagination although previously ignored by military strategists for 40 years. And Crutzen coined the term ‘Anthropocene’ to describe our epoch when human activity has a greater impact on the planet than natural processes.

More in this one-minute video (with apologies for the crunchy sound).

It’s good timing, because…

NEWS FLASH! Just this week, Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell became the first listed oil producer to say it will ask shareholders for a mandate to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The company announced new targets to reduce its “net carbon intensity” by 6-8% by 2023, 20% by 2030, 45% by 2035 and 100% by 2050 (from a baseline of 2016).

Big Oil has a long way to go to really drive the transition to renewables. But after years of resisting the imperative to gain shareholder support for concrete emissions targets, Shell - the first oil company publicly to acknowledge climate change in 1991 - is once again best-in-class among the fossil fuel-producing incumbents.

Two cheers.

And meanwhile…

Dutch judges are creating far-reaching precedent with bold decisions to uphold the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. We’re keeping a close eye on this story, most recently with guest writer Douwe de Lange’s excellent article Revolutionary Supreme Court for the world.

Keep well. Met vriendelijke groet!




Revolutionary Supreme Court for the world

Litigants are pushing Dutch judges to act against governments and polluting companies which defy the Paris Climate Agreement.

A year of unintended consequences

The Climate Action 100+ alliance of global investors takes its cue from Dutch activists, as green execs take redundancy packages at Shell.

The price for getting clean

Oil and gas firms want subsidies for carbon capture and storage: why?

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Albrecht Durer and the whale

An interview with British author Philip Hoare, winner of the prestigious Baillie Gifford prize for non-fiction, on the cultural legacy of renaissance artist Albrecht Durer’s adventures in Zeeland.