“Humans are binge-burning fossil fuels. They are taking fuel out of the geologic past, burning it in the present with complex (and little understood) interactions, and then releasing the effluent into the geologic future. Industrial combustion has restructured the dynamics of fire on Earth. Fossil fuel combustion acts as an enabler, as a performance enhancer, and by its disrupting effects on the atmosphere as a globalizer. It has ensured that little of the Earth will be untouched by fire’s reach if not its grasp.” Source: Grist, Welcome to the Pyrocene.
The Climate Crisis is a Fossil Fuel Crisis
The only way to solve the climate crisis is to confront the forces that fuel it. In his latest Ted talk, former US Vice President Al Gore takes the fossil fuel industry head-on with a blistering exposure of the fosssil fuel industry’s ongoing attempts to delay and block the climate action that our world needs if we’re going to survive the extinction that is already underway.
Gore’s powerful and compelling attack should be a wake-up call to world leaders and all of us. We can no longer look the other way. We must stop the powerful fuel industry before it destroys everything we love and everything we have built going back dozens of generations.
Here is some of what he shared during his talk (courtesy of this We Don’t Have Time article)
Obstacle 1 – the fossil fuel industry
So maybe, it’s time to look at the obstacles that are standing in our way. I’m going to focus on two of them.
First of all, the unrelenting opposition from the fossil fuel industry. A lot of people think they’re on side and trying to help.
But let me tell you, and the activists will all tell you this, every piece of legislation, whether it’s at the municipal level, the regional or provincial level, the national level or the international level, they’re in there with their lobbyists and with their fixers and with their revolving-door colleagues doing everything they can to slow down progress. So speeding up progress means doing something about this.
[The Fossil Fuel Industry] have used fraud on a massive scale. They’ve used falsehoods on an industrial scale. And they’ve used their legacy political and economic networks, lavishly funded, to capture the policy-making process in too many countries around the world.
But for decades now, the companies have had the evidence. They know the truth, and they consciously decided to lie to publics all around the world in order to calm down the political momentum for doing something about it so they can make more money. It’s as simple as that.
And now they have brazenly seized control of the COP process, especially this year’s COP in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. And concern has been building about this for quite some time. I remember when there were so many fossil fuel delegates in Madrid, but by the time we got to Glasgow a year and a half ago, the delegates from the fossil fuel companies made up a larger group than the largest national delegation.
And why? Why? Because they’re helping? They’re not helping, they’re trying to stop progress. And last year in Egypt, they had more delegates than the combined delegations of the ten most affected countries by climate. And now this year’s host, which is a petro state, has appointed the president of COP28, in spite of the fact that he has a blatant conflict of interest. He’s the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company owned by Abu Dhabi.
The fossil fuel industry has captured this process and is slowing it down. And we need to do something about it.
Obstacle 2 – the financial system
Governments last year around the world subsidized with taxpayer money more than a trillion dollars, subsidizing fossil fuels. That’s five times larger than the amount in 2020. Are we going in the right direction or the wrong direction?
And the 60 largest global banks have put 5.5 trillion extra dollars into the fossil fuel companies since the Paris agreement. And preposterously, 49 of them have also signed net-zero pledges.
You won’t want to miss his searing indictment of fossil fuel companies for walking back their climate commitments — and his call for a global rethink of the roles of polluting industries in politics and finance.
For the full talk, please view this YouTube video.
So will we succeed asks Al Gore
Now, when these obstacles are removed, we can really accelerate progress. There’ll still be problems, of course, but we have everything we need and proven deployment models to reduce emissions 50 percent in the next seven years.
There is amazingly good news. What if we could stop the increase in temperatures? Well, if you look at the temperature increases, if we get to true net-zero, astonishingly, global temperatures will stop going up with a lag time of as little as three to five years.
“Young people are demanding that we do the right thing. Do not be vulnerable to despair. We are going to do this. And if you doubt that we, as human beings, have the will to act, please always remember that the will to act is itself a renewable resource.” — Al Gore
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.