Thursday, May 12, 2022

Climate Change: Betting on disaster

Last year, the International Energy Agency warned us that the world needed to cease all new fossil fuel development immediately if we wanted to reach net-zero by 2050. It was a call repeated this year by the UN Secretary General, who called new fossil fuel investment "moral and economic madness". But despite this, oil companies are continuing to invest in large projects which are inconsistent with our climate goals:

The world’s biggest fossil fuel firms are quietly planning scores of “carbon bomb” oil and gas projects that would drive the climate past internationally agreed temperature limits with catastrophic global impacts, a Guardian investigation shows.

The exclusive data shows these firms are in effect placing multibillion-dollar bets against humanity halting global heating. Their huge investments in new fossil fuel production could pay off only if countries fail to rapidly slash carbon emissions, which scientists say is vital.

Effectively, these criminal organisations are betting on disaster. They're financially supporting war, famine, plague, fire, flood, and death. Effectively, they're planning to murder not just us, but our entire civilisation. They are able to do this because it is legal. The obvious solution is to make it illegal - not just with local bans on fossil fuel development, but by banning the financing of such development overseas. New Zealand law already prohibits people and companies in New Zealand from financing things like chemical weapons or terrorist entities; we - and the rest of the world - need to recognise that fossil fuels fall into the same category. Otherwise, we are going to burn, and these companies are going to profit from it (until they burn too). And that's simply not something we should permit.