Thursday Interview: Olaf Oil

– Olaf, not only do you look like Marmite, but people either love you or hate you. Isn’t that strange?

– Uncanny. But while there’s a chance the world could survive without Marmite, where would you be without me? Stuck on some dirt track in a horse-drawn cart. Let’s face it, even the people who say they hate me would totally freak if I disappeared overnight.

– But do you really have to be so messy? Not to mention the climate change thing.

– Complain to the Committee if you’re not happy.

– Committee?

The BTTS Committee. Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat. Nothing without a price. God was very strict on that when He set it up. He was delighted when the designers came up with me. A few hundred million years to arrive, a nightmare to extract, and what’s the result? Global warming. But since I give you Ryanair, VW campers and Bernie Ecclestone as well, you don’t care. In fact, you so don’t care that you ignore my feelings completely. You exploit me to death, I’m exhausted, heading for burn out, and yet you keep on. No sense of moderation at all.

– Well, what do you suggest? Nuclear’s cleaner but not very reassuring either.

– Renewables. If you put your mind to it, you could. The G7 has pledged to decarbonise the global economy by the end of the century – a step in the right direction, sure, but given your past record on that sort of pledge, allow me to be sceptical. I’ve started a band to raise awareness, The Fossil Fuel Four. There’s me on guitar, Cole Coal on drums and a great couple of vocalists, Natural Gas Gwen and Felicia Fracking. Would you like to hear our latest song? You want the oil but you mustn’t spoil the planet. There’s too much spill, hey, stop that drill, let’s ban it! Woo, woo, yeah, yeah –

– Ah, thank you, Olaf, very nice. But I was wondering – it’s great meeting a Norwegian, but when I requested an interview, I was told it would be with Omar from Saudi Arabia.

– He was busy. Also, he sings off key. We’re basically the same anyway, except I’m beneath the sea and he’s under sand. But when we started out, back in the Paleozoic, it was just one world, you know? So strictly speaking we belong to everyone. And instead of fighting wars over us, we should be shared between the whole of humanity. But I guess that’s not the way you go about things, is it?