And the news media is once again failing to connect the dots.
You know what's nuts? I think if one of these companies had the stones, they could be a hero. Seriously, walks up to mic at the press conference and says -
"We've done the math, we believe we can transition our entire energy company off carbon in under ten years. It's going to be hard, but nobody is better positioned to do this. Fossil operations will only be staffed enough to wind things down as we transition. All our drilling crews are moving to Advanced Geothermal wells and boring ground source heat pump lines under cities. We are flipping all the rural US propaganda operations to start convincing communities to deploy photovoltaic and wind, which we will be happy to sell them. (yes we been been manipulating you) We will work with the government to expedite the construction of electrical transmission lines, and not oil pipe lines, to move our carbon free energy to our customers. We are doing this because our investors will be wealthier because of it. This is the future. Anyone who doesn't follow will be left on the scrap heap of history."
Seriously, who from past do we remember because they clung to a dying technology? I don't waste my time being angry at those people because, honestly, they're just pathetic.
Enough of that, back to work.
Thanks for another excellent piece! I'm discouraged and enraged by this, also not surprised. My anger reminds me to double down on this: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ~ R. Buckminster Fuller
I'm committed to helping build a society that runs on clean, renewable energy. Its viability is being proven over and over again, in small towns and cities all over the globe. Let's keep pushing.
If only one of us had a crystal ball for the future we are barreling ahead toward. Not that it would reduce my climate anxiety and anger...
Listening to the Boomtown podcast about the Permian basin. Apple, google Et Al have an increasing role in meeting the huge information and monitoring needs of the fracking industry.
And not only is mainstream media not connecting the climate dots, reporters who do mention climate issues are getting threatened with violence:
An oil baron heading a crucial climate conference. This is fine.
I recognize my perception is maybe a bit skewed from what this particular article is suggesting because the news sources I read and listen to, but I've seen plenty discussed and talked about in the media about recent events and their links to climate change. Some even considered "mainstream media" sources. My warning bells ding a little when I see narratives suggesting "you won't find this in the mainstream media" because of it's overuse as a propaganda tool.
One possible reason some outlets haven't mentioned "climate change" in their reporting is because it is complicated to sort out the influences of El Niño, normal variability, and the risk multiplying impacts of climate change on so many different systems. Weather forecasters get hate mail, death threats - some even quitting because they do talk about climate change influences. And they do need to be careful, as many climate scientists suggest, to not conflate specific weather events with climate as is done so many times to make dumb points like bringing snowballs into sessions of congress.
So it can be a bit more of a nuanced discussion, perhaps more than air time allows, to get into all of that - so it is plausible they don't mention it because it is so complicated, which is quite different than negligence or conspiracy to hide anything. Media stories where they do bring in climate scientists generally say - hey - this is all more likely to happen, more often, and more severe because of climate change - but to say it's really hot today directly because of climate change is a larger discussion. People seem to just want a yes or no answer vs. discussions about probabilities.
It also seemed a bit of a leap to me to suggest that big tech is delaying climate action because they use the same large corporate lobbying firms. I looked at the linked article and database and it seems like those big firms represent a lot of companies. So is big tech paying them to delay climate action, or are they paying them because they are a big lobbying firm with connections/influence to do other things big tech wants? They are also investing heavily in renewables, more than governments in some cases. Heck, even some of those lobbying firms represent renewable energy companies! So by the same logic - is the conclusion then that a renewable energy company wants to delay climate action because they use the same lobbying firm?
Ugh - sorry this comment is getting too long already - but I read through this particular piece and seemed to develop more questions on the assumptions than understanding.
This is pretty much a perfect article on all these intersecting issues; heat waves, climate, fossil fuels, and the media. It is informative while also conveying the necessary anger about it all. So thank you both for writing it.
There is something I don't know what to fully think about or feel sure what is the "right" thing to do. And that is when a state government and fossil fuel industry are essentially one and the same. On the one hand I don't want fossil fuels to influence climate policy, especially at the national level. But I also don't want to cut out entire countries from the climate conversation for something like COP.
The UAE is a good example here. Fossil fuels make up 34% of its GDP and and the majority of its government revenues. But it is also, as far as I can tell, basically the diplomatic door to the entire Middle East and their collective climate and energy policy, however collective that is. And this particular person running COP28 is a fossil fuel baron like stated, but I have my doubts any other government minister would be different considering how important fossil fuels are to the economy.
Brazil is another good example and will host COP30 in 2025. Brazil is extremally important in terms of South America's climate and energy policy, particularly because of the Amazon, but also a state where fossil fuels are heavily intertwined with the government, even with the more left government of Lula. And I actually had the opportunity to get some insight about Brazil here by asking another climate reporter who is reporting from there about this issue.
“Lula knows this is a contradiction,” Rodrigues said. “But even those in the government who agree about the importance of the climate agenda tend to see oil exploitation as the only, or at least the main, way to fund social programs.”
So I really don't know what to think or what is the best way navigate this issue. Fossil fuel interests watering down or even eliminating necessary climate action at the state level is a massive problem, but also closing the door to these countries to conversations in what they can do on climate, or the concerns of the people living there, however limited those voices may be in some cases, is an issue too.
Again thank you for the article!
I wish that there was more good news on this front, yet the news seems to be getting perpetually worse.
As an aside, can't "Take Back Manufacturing" be removed? He's clearly nothing more than a mendacious troll.
I wonder if a slight re-frame of this issue could help. "The planet" is not in danger from humanity's overuse of fossil fuels. "The planet" will be fine, albeit different, if warming continues unchecked.
What is at stake is the ability of humanity to live on the planet. We are wiping ourselves out, not endangering the planet.
And so, "Take Back Manufacturing" is advocating for more carbon based industries. In so many words, Adapt to the new world and suck it up cupcakes, he says. We all know that the only reason someone says that is because they stand to profit by it. Meanwhile, the planet burns and millions of people are going to die by heat exhaustion. There is no way to sugar coat that. We are past the point of mitigating that anymore. All we can do is prepare for the billions of climate migrants that will be moving to cooler climates, no matter how many of them die and how much the cooler climate countries try to throw them back. This migration started years ago and it is going to get a lot worse.
By investing in renewable energy to dial back the methane and carbon dioxide emissions, we stand a chance of future generations of the human race surviving and adapting to the new world, although in much smaller numbers in the regions that are still habitable. Areas of the planet between the equatorial, tropic zones, where a large portion of the world's oil comes from, will be uninhabitable within the next few decades, if things keep going the way they are. Then what will all of these oil sheikhs do then when they can't get their oil out of the ground anymore? The majority of the world-wide fossil fuel undustry will go belly up when their parts of the world are uninhabitable. But then, maybe they already know that and aren't telling anyone. Maximize profits now, while they still can.
No surprise that Figueres has figured this out after she no longer has an official position.
Just so you know, I read this article during the second half of my podcast today. If you are interested in hearing whether I did a good job for you, you can find it at https://rss.com/podcasts/the-crann-bethadh-podcast/
State lawmakers are working to push renewable source-derived energy off Texas' power grid in favor of that derived from oil & gas: "Texas is a leader in renewable energy. Local politicians want to change that" https://www.npr.org/2023/05/14/1176062269/texas-is-a-leader-in-renewable-energy-local-politicians-want-to-change-that
Sometimes one finds truthtellers in unlikely places. This TV weatherman in Tampa. I don't know what he says on the air, but his blog is pretty clear. https://www.wfla.com/author/jeff-berardelli/
E.g. "The rate of warming today is unprecedented in the 20,000 years shown. In fact, coming out of the last ice age, it took 10,000 years for the Earth’s average temperature to warm 3 degrees C.
Astonishingly, humans — due to the burning of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions — will likely cause the same amount of warming in 200 years."
In each of the posts below he links burning fossil fuels to GHGs to climate trends to current hot weather, hot oceans, etc. Doesn't dwell on the fossil fuel bit, but puts it into the path from cause to effect.
OK, he doesn't go full "Network" and blurt out, "WTF is wrong with you people, you keep buying these Expedition XLT Max things." But he needs to stay on TV.
Profit seeking fossil fuel corporations will not change their behavior—it’s time to nationalize the industry and rationalize it if we want to continue living on this planet.