It’s simple: we either rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions (whoa) OR life becomes unbearable on this planet (woe).
So how are we doing?
STRIKE ONE: 33 global banks
33 global banks collectively gave at least $1.9 trillion to fossil fuel companies since world leaders adopted the Paris climate agreement in December of 2015-according to a just released report by the Rainfall Action Network (RAN), BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, and Honor the Earth.
Heading the list are JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi and Bank of America.
“If banks don’t rapidly phase out their support for dirty energy, planetary collapse from man-made climate change is not just probable—it is imminent.”
— Alison Kirsch, RAN
STRIKE TWO: Five largest oil companies
The world’s five largest publicly owned oil and gas companies (ExonMobil,BP,Shell,Chevron, Total) spend approximately $200 million annually on lobbying designed to control, delay or block binding climate-motivated policy.
These five companies mislead the public by doing ‘focused branding activities” indicating they support climate action all the while expanding their oil and gas extraction. But only 3% of their spending goes to the low carbon projects they brag about.
STRIKE THREE: Coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018
Energy demand around the world grew by 2.3 percent over the past year, marking the most rapid increase in a decade, according to a report released this week by the International Energy Agency.
Greenhouse-gas emissions from the use of energy — by far their largest source — surged in 2018, reaching a record high of 33.1 billion tons. Emissions showed 1.7 percent growth, well above the average since 2010. The growth in global emissions in 2018 alone was “equivalent to the total emissions from international aviation,” the body found.
“We are headed for disaster, and nobody seems to be able to slow things down,” a Stanford University professor said.
“Runaway train never going back
Wrong way on a one way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I’m neither here nor there” Runaway Train, Soul Asylum
With all that money, influence and deception do we have a prayer of even slowing, let alone stopping, the runaway climate train? If faith can move mountains, how does it do with JP Morgan Chase and ExxonMobil?
Now you’ve heard some of the woe. Stay tuned for the whoa.
Part two next week.