Friday, July 17, 2015

We need a real change

The struggle to identify, diagnose and deal with climate change has been ongoing for almost seventy years. As far back as 1958, a USC professor named Dr. Frank C. Baxter explained:
" Even now, Man may be unwittingly changing the world's climate through the waste products of his civilization. Due to our release, through factories and automobiles every year, of more than 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide - which helps air absorb heat from the Sun - our atmosphere seems to be getting warmer. It's been calculated that a few degrees rise in the Earth's temperature would melt the polar ice caps, and if this happens, an inland sea would fill a good portion of the Mississippi Valley. Tourists in glass-bottomed boats would be viewing the drowned towers of Miami through 150 feet of tropical water."

ExxonMobil was fully aware of the existence and dangers of global climate change as early as 1981, a fact revealed by recently-released internal memos. The company was looking to exploit a massive natural gas field in Indonesia, but their pet in-house scientist warned against it, because the field was 70 percent carbon dioxide, and drilling for the gas would release the CO2, which would be dangerous to the environment. For the next 27 years, despite knowing better, ExxonMobil spent millions of dollars to promote "scientists" and think tanks who worked hammer and tongs to promulgate the idea that climate change was a myth. They knew. They lied. They paid others to lie and by perverting the science into a muddle of greed-inspired opinion-based nonsense, humanity probably missed its window to fix all this because of the long delay they created in the name of profit.

People have been working for nearly 70 years to warn us of the dangers inherent in fossil fuels and the unchecked release of CO2. Since 1981 at least, ExxonMobil and other energy interests have known what these dangers represent, but spent money hand over fist to obscure the truth in order to line their pockets. The lies of ExxonMobil and the cohort of energy companies who paid through the nose to deny the damage they were doing may well have cashed the final check for life on Earth as we know it. They knew. They lied. How many will die for their profit margin? How many have died already?

EXXON-MOBIL lied. As did BP to avoid assuming full responsibility in the Gulf Coast oil spill. As did SHELL in Nigeria to avoid payback time to the Ogonu whose local environment they filthily destroyed. As did Chevron-Texaco in Ecuador for careless contamination of life-sustaining rivers. Now it is the Arctic’s turn to be despoiled and that will have many more serious consequences for the planet.  Criminal minds at work 24/7 to "drill, baby, drill" wherever they want, buy the will of kowtowing politicians and corrupt the decision-making process, and finance junk science to create confusion. PROFITS are always more important than truth or health. Of course, they lie.

Unfortunately, climate denial isn't as big a problem as capitalism denial. Profit is the reason that anything and everything gets to the market to be bought and it's why earth, air, water and humans are simply commodities to be used in the search for those profits.  No evil person or corporation is responsible alone, it is a system that must change to one that benefits the people.