“Is the work I’m doing actually having an impact?”

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Here’s a note from Ali Sheridan:

‘But the work I’ve done in Shell has been valuable in terms of preventing harm to individuals and preventing oil and gas leaks. I suppose I’ve comforted myself that it’s a trade-off. By doing this, I’m helping it stay as safe as it can be, whilst it’s running, but with the hope that it was going to transition and we’d be moving toward more renewables and winding down in terms of new exploration. More recently, it’s come to my attention they are still constructing new oil and gas developments and still looking for new reserves. We can’t do this anymore.’

More and more of us are asking these type of questions. Is the work I’m doing actually having an impact? Do I have enough influence to really drive change or am I supporting the status quo?

We put our concerns aside and justify our efforts because surely they’re making things a bit better than they were, right? Surely our industries will eventually move on climate and we will get to do what we want to do?

But we can’t continue to be naive and use hope as a strategy. There are many industries with no credible plans for transitioning, industries that are now digging in their heels and resisting change, industries that are talking a good game but not taking action, industries that are taking on climate teams but with no intention of letting them lead.

Not everyone can up and leave a role, indeed most can’t. But each of us can likely do more, much more. Speak up more. Show up more. And help others do the same.