Today, September 20, 2019, literally millions of young people worldwide are participating in a strike for climate change, organized by themselves. They are fighting for the survival of our planet. They are fighting to convince all of those of us who believe in science – not to mention the obvious signs that it’s real – that mankind has indeed had a huge accelerating impact on global warming and that we have to do something – actually more than just something – about it NOW.
Yes, this means reducing, phasing out, and eventually removing our use of fossil fuel. Oil and gas industries can be part of it by continuing to improve their processes to reduce emissions, and they can be part of it by leading the way in investing in new, emission-free sources of energy as they move to new businesses. But head in the sand can’t work anymore. The dependence of industrialized societies on fossil fuels has impacted our own climate enormously, and what we have done to those living in non-industrialized countries is even worse. The lives of people living in the Arctic and on islands in the Pacific, for example, have been altered irrevocably, through no action of their own.
When I was a kid, a very long time ago, both my parents smoked. All the parents smoked. In the 50s the tobacco companies undoubtedly already knew they were selling poison, but their customers and the world around them didn’t know. They lived in ignorance … until they died of lung cancer. Their lobbies were so powerful and their product so addictive that all of society suffered with second-hand smoke. The smoking section in airplanes was in the row in front of the non-smoking section. Very effective. Restaurants were filled with smoke. Offices were filled with smoke. The donuts in Tim Horton’s tasted of cigarette smoke. It took a very, very long time for people to wake up to the truth and admit that this couldn’t continue. It took a very long time for policy makers to believe that they could actually take control of the situation. A very long time. But, believe it or not, things did finally change. Continue reading