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Addressing climate change needs to happen today. The impending climate crisis isn’t just a disaster waiting to happen – it’s happening right now. This summer Asia was flooding, North America was on fire, and South America was struggling with droughts. 

Governments all around the world are pushing hard to meet deadlines to give up fossil fuels and switch over to sustainable energies in the hopes of putting a stop to these massive environmental changes which must look disastrous if your bread and butter comes out of a pipeline or an oil well.

Addressing Climate Change Now!

But they say every disaster brings opportunity. And big industries can and should be using this opportunity not only to profit financially but to improve the state of the world.

The government of Canada published draft regulations that will require all new passenger vehicles and trucks sold in Canada after 2035 to be electric zero-emission vehicles starting with a 20 percent requirement in 2026.

Addressing Climate Change

Do the right thing

This is a paradigm shift for the auto industry. But in the spaces between what-is and what-will-be there are thousands of new businesses waiting to be formed by those willing and able to do so.

Whether it’s making gears, gaskets or pieces for batteries or this thing or the other, business is changing and change means fortunes to be made. And, perhaps unlike any other time in history, industry has the choice to do the right thing.

Wealth can be achieved without wiping away the security and safety of the people who live on this planet in exchange. Our society has the tendency to look up to people who don’t deserve it and look down on people who do.

Addressing Climate Change

But what’s the value of a mountain of money when you’re standing waist-deep in water and you can’t leave the house because of smoke from forest fires?

Only a couple of years ago Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, said the world should not be opening new coal plants or oil and gas fields if it is serious about meeting the goals set in the 2015 Paris agreement.

I’m no energy expert but I have to agree. And you know what? Maybe it’s time we moved away from the views of the energy experts just a bit. There are many points of view on this subject and they all have their worth.

The energy sectors are not isolated in their endeavours. We are collectively involved, so it’s crucial that we unify our efforts. Governments, industry leaders, and everyone from academics to the general public should contribute their perspectives.

The New World Order

Maybe it’s time we took back the term “New World Order” from something scary and made it into something unifying where we all work together for a common cause.

That would be a New World Order and about time, too.

The energy industry and the businesses around them have to adapt or fade away like the people who sold horses and the people who shooed them. They had a good thing going until the automobile came along and left them and their professions in the dustbin of history.

Who knew then how much damage the automobile and the businesses that sprung up around it would eventually do to the world? And even more, who knew that those same businesses would be pushed aside just as they pushed another generation of industry aside before them?

Now, we have the opportunity to do things correctly. Isn’t it high time we embraced the best approach?

Big Oils Sneaky Change isn’t fooling anyone

Big Oil lied to us for decades about climate change.

And now that they are finally admitting there might be something wrong after all, they are not living up to the promises they’ve made to clean up their dirty products and help humanity.

More than that they seem to jump in the way of any bit of progress we do make.

Sadly, it all comes down to dollars and cents. Millions and billions of dollars and cents.

And it’s nothing new.

As early as the 1980s, Big Oil’s own scientists knew that fossil fuels were a main driver of climate change and that climate change would become a huge problem in the years to come, said Mia DiFelice in a 2022 article.

The Climate Debate

“But Exxon executives, for instance, continued saying that climate science was “inconclusive.” To make their claims seem credible, they hired an outreach team of five scientists who could declare independence in the climate debate.

These scientists became the face of “unbiased” climate denialism, and the results of their work persisted for decades, DiFelice wrote.

“For example, just five years ago, 97 percent of climate scientists thought global warming was likely due to human activity. Yet at the same time, more than half of our Representatives and Senators were climate deniers,” she wrote.

ExxonMobil said not only is society not prepared to take the steps necessary to be Net-Zero, but the civilization that we have achieved will not be able to continue without carbon emissions.

Failure in Addressing Climate Change

I don’t doubt they’re right. I 100 percent doubt that people who have money to burn to buy every ridiculous new gadget the day it comes out will really want to take a big step back from all their luxury items just to keep the environment from falling apart in the next few years because if the environment is going to fall apart in the next few years anyway, why give up their luxuries now?

Why not hold onto them for just a little bit longer?

Jason Bordoff is the founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

“The industry can point to efforts to reduce emissions and pursue green energy technologies. But those efforts pale in comparison with what they are doing to maintain and enhance oil and gas production,” Bordoff wrote.

Low-emission energy sources

“As the International Energy Agency (I.E.A.) put it, investment by the industry in clean fuels “is picking up” but “remains well short of where it needs to be.”

In fact, the oil and gas industry has spent less than five percent of its production and exploration investments on low-emission energy sources in recent years, according to the I.E.A.

“Indeed, the fact that many companies (with some notable exceptions) seem to be prioritizing dividends, share buybacks and continued fossil fuel production over increasing their clean energy investments suggests they are unable or unwilling to power the transition forward, Mr. Bordoff wrote.

“These front groups work from the local to the national level. Take the example of SoCalGas in 2019. That year, California’s Public Utilities Commission began setting policies to decarbonize buildings.

Western States Petroleum Association and Climate Change

As part of that process, SoCalGas, a major gas company in the state, was set to testify to the Commission. A group called “Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions” also petitioned to be at the table,” he wrote.

In 2017, reporters uncovered 16 front groups run by the Western States Petroleum Association — the largest lobby group for Big Oil in the West. A leaked presentation by WSPA’s president revealed that the Association was using these fake organizations to create the illusion of public opposition to climate policies.

It’s time for the government to start making these big players do what they say they will do or pay the piper.

We hope you found this article on addressing climate change useful.

Author: Alistair Vigier