Dive Curacao

Scuba Mask Straps

Let’s Take Back the Planet and Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

It’s not a stretch to say the fossil fuel industry rules the world. From its beginnings, it’s spawned car and consumer culture, plastic proliferation and poisonous pollution. It’s captured governments, media and educational institutions. It’s controlled global economies and sparked conflict and wars. In many ways, it also made life immeasurably better for a lot of people — over the short term.

Had we been wiser, we may have found better ways to use this tremendous gift of energy stored over millennia, rather than recklessly burning it for a quick buck. Now, as the costs of pollution and climate disruption mount, industry is doing all it can to maintain its grip on power.

Sea to Sky

We can’t let that happen!

We’re seeing the impacts of burning coal, oil and gas that scientists (including industry’s!) have been warning about for decades: heat domes, floods, droughts, increasing wildfires, melting glaciers and polar ice caps, animal and plant extinctions, increasing numbers of desperate people fleeing inhospitable areas and more.

Liquid Diving

A new study shows Greenland is losing 30 million tonnes of ice an hour — 20 per cent more than previously thought. All this freshwater pouring into the oceans could cause major ocean currents, known as the “Atlantic meridional overturning circulation,” or AMOC, to collapse. That, the scientists warn, could disrupt “global weather patterns, ecosystems and global food security.”

Meanwhile, the climate crisis and fossil fuel greed are increasing living costs worldwide, thanks to rising climate-related insurance prices, disrupted agriculture and supply chains and volatile energy markets.

Although resolving climate change is a challenge, solutions abound. As technologies improve, the costs of renewable energy continue to drop. Wind and solar power are now less expensive, and more stable, than energy from gas, oil and coal.

Protecting and restoring green spaces, such as forests, wetlands and grasslands, will also help guard against climate disruption by enhancing the planet’s ability to store carbon. Reducing our appetites for consumer products and energy, especially in the Western world, will also help, and might make people realize that true happiness doesn’t come from more stuff!

Shifting to more plant-based diets and reforming agricultural practices will reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions. It will also make people healthier and protect valuable topsoil from erosion and loss.

There’s really no end to the solutions and positive paths available if we come together to take back control of our lives — including our governments and media — from the fossil fuel industry.

But, as with any profitable enterprise that’s been found to cause more harm than good (think Big Tobacco), the fossil pushers are continuing their decades-long practices of hiding information, sowing doubt and confusion about the scientific evidence and promoting their products as indispensable.

Although the industry has long known that using its products as intended could spell disaster for humanity — its own scientists said so! — it’s campaigning harder than ever against any measures that threaten its obscene profits. As Geoff Dembicki writes in The Petroleum Papers, “during moments of great possibility, the roar of disinformation is at its loudest.” Now, when we can clearly see how to create a better, less polluted world, with greater equity and opportunity, industry and its allies have stepped up their efforts to promote deadly fuels and downplay the dangers.

In the U.S., the oil lobby recently launched an eight-figure media campaign to convince people that their products are “vital” to global energy security. In Canada, we’ve seen everything from campaigns disingenuously promoting fossil gas as a climate solution to provincial governments fighting against practical, effective, affordable climate solutions.

Even the annual UN climate summits appear to have been hijacked by the industry, with oil executives presiding over the conferences and hordes of industry lobbyists and government supporters overshadowing those most affected by the climate crisis.

Meanwhile, fossil fuel executives line their pockets while most people struggle to keep up with the rising cost of living or, worse, lose their homes and livelihoods to climate disasters and conflicts fuelled by energy profiteering.

For the sake of our species and all others who will inherit this beautiful planet, we need to say enough is enough. It’s time to leave fossil fuels in the ground. Let’s move on to a brighter future!

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. Written with David Suzuki Foundation Senior Writer and Editor Ian Hanington.

Learn more at davidsuzuki.org.



About Author

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Dive Curacao

Scuba Mask Straps