Phil retired from ExxonMobil after 25 years in Production, Development, and Research Companies with assignments in engineering, project management, breakthrough research, and corporate planning. He consults at M&H Energy Services on Risk Management and LNG projects. His perspectives on climate policy and energy are based, in part, on work on staff of a Member of U.S. Congress and as Chair of an advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Energy for energy R&D Programs. He holds MS Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in Marine Engineering from U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He Chairs SPE’s Sustainable Development Technical Section and Co-Chairs SPE’s Climate Advisory Committee.
The world population, energy companies, industry associations, professional societies and most policy makers increasingly view climate change and Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) as an existential threat to a sustainable future. Demands to “decarbonize” energy grow rapidly and pose a serious challenge to the energy industry.
This presentation (1) summarizes the need for oil and gas as a worldwide energy source at mid-century and beyond, (2) highlights ideas of several key thinkers regarding climate issues, (3) describes the range of activities beyond “pure climate science” needed to address AGW, and (4) highlights industry activities addressing AGW including strategies to get to “zero net emissions” by mid-century.
The author challenges industry leaders and professionals to avoid thinking “We are not climate scientists” as a barrier to engaging proactively in addressing climate issues. Broad systems analyses are needed to develop energy solutions - working across the nexus of the realms of energy, environment, and economics. SPE’s Technical Disciplines, as professionals working in energy, can contribute a broad range of energy expertise needed to address AGW. We must be proactive in engaging the worldwide community – earn trust as serious solutions providers.
A political leader in climate policy offered a message to energy industry leaders: “If you don’t have a seat at the table (influencing policy), you will be part of the meal.” The author adds a quote by Von Karmen - “Scientists discover the world that exists; engineers create the world that never was.” The world needs energy professionals such as in SPE to claim a seat at the table along side of the climate scientists to solve climate challenges.