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Life’s a gas, until it’s not

Lee Parkinson, our Strategic Director recently spoke at GASNZ Industry Forum 2019, New Zealand’s national annual conference for the gas industry.

It is attended by senior leaders from exploration, to extraction and processing, from gas supply, through to gas appliance manufacturers.

As a fossil fuel, gas gets a lot of negativity from environmental groups, and the Christchurch event was no exception with Extinction Rebellion there on day one trying to disrupt proceedings.

Ironically, the conference’s theme was about how, with the 2050 Net Carbon Zero target, the industry is going to rise to the challenge of producing low carbon gas, reducing environmental impact, and paving the way as a transitional industry for this brave new world.

Lee was the last of 17 other speakers from NZ and overseas and was asked to come with a point of view – he did.

His talk was called, “Keep Talking, I Can't Hear You’, and covered some ground - from flight-shaming, 1080 drops, veganism, our tarnished green national image, climate change, our world leaders, the erosion of truth, modern protest and activist groups, and how to tell better stories.

He talked about shortening attention spans, simplistic binary arguments, and how we are losing the ability to have meaningful debate and discourse. All of this is setting us up to take sides in a combative, ‘winner takes all’ environment.

Lee then spent some time discussing the importance of purpose, how empathy and lessons from behavioural science can help us engage more positively with all stakeholders, to begin having productive conversations that help drive change for good.

His talk was well received by attendees and sparked some interesting conversations over lunch.