Photo by Paulina Milde-Jachowska on Unsplash
Although we understand physics and chemistry and know that we are destroying the Earth’s climate with fossil fuels, we don’t know if we are past the point of no return. We don’t know if it’s still possible to stabilize the climate at some unpleasant but livable level. There is a difference between an unpleasant environment and a hellscape.
Some say it’s too late. They say we are at a point where a hellscape is inevitable and nothing we can do will stop that. And that might be the case. But nobody knows.
What do we do facing a huge challenge and this great unknown? Do we give up? Or fight like hell?
I know what I do. I fight like hell. Why wouldn’t I?
Reasons Not to Fight
If we’ve already lost, of course, it makes less sense to fight. Things could happen, perhaps, to suddenly convince even me that the game is over. For example, the oceans could start emitting huge quantities of methane, very quickly bringing the end. Much like the end of the dinosaurs who died not from a meteor, but because the meteor created atmospheric effects blotting out the sun, and brought doom within a few weeks or months — after a very successful 165 million year run.
Many have given up because they feel helpless to do anything about it. We realize that, for example, large numbers of people reducing their carbon footprints while the oil companies continue to flood the planet with their deadly liquid poison is futile.
You can’t bail out a sinking ship while others continue to enlarge the giant gaping hole in the hull.
What We Can Do
We CAN stand up to the people who are at the core of what’s destroying us — oil and gas and coal companies. Is it futile? Why not try and give it our best before we draw conclusions?
Yes, there usually are “powerful” people who get their way at the expense of everyone else. And usually they are not challenged or at least not successfully challenged. One could say, with some conviction, that the odds are against us.
I disagree. I think we’ve got a solid chance. It’s not a slam-dunk, but it’s not just a remote possibility either. If we really think about it, we can see some reasons WHY we can credibly force a big change here.
- The powerful are simply human beings with no more ability than any of us. In fact, they are typically old white males, who’s abilities and intellect have been stunted because they haven’t needed to use it. Wealthy well-educated people have blind spots — huge blind spots. For example, they can’t see that by destroying the climate for profit, they are dooming their own children. They may have pipe dreams about moving to Mars, or protecting their offspring with money — which will be worthless once everyone is no longer working for bosses, but simply trying to survive the next storm, or flood, or other life-threatening disaster.
- We can see behind the curtain. Like the Wizard of Oz, who was discovered to be a pitiful old white man with no great powers after all, we can see that the only power of the wealthy oil profiteers is our active obedience to them. If we refuse their money, and refuse to do what they say, and put a constant spotlight on their lies and the unforgivable suffering they are causing, they can be brought down from their perches. If they need to personally find the oil themselves, build derricks themselves, run the supertankers themselves…well, they can’t do any of it. All they know how to do is issue orders. If people don’t obey, they are out of luck.
- We can highlight specifically what climate scientists are saying: either we slash fossil fuels NOW (because we wasted decades waiting for “leaders” to do something), or our children are toast. Are you really willing to just give up? The truth, repeated incessantly, along with the reinforcement by ongoing unprecedented environmental and weather disasters, makes the point unavoidable.
Yeah, we may have some trouble getting those who are working for and helping the wealthy oil profiteers to stop, but we can move things in that direction by blocking their paths, by disruption, by sabotage.
Let them call us terrorists when we are merely disrupting the work and damaging the property that is causing the sixth great extinction. We need to unflinchingly and unapologetically repeat the truth: fossil fuel companies are destroying the habitability of the Earth, and we must do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to stop them.
This is simply the truth. Nobody else will save us. Nobody. There were 3 or 4 decades where it was obvious that we needed to phase out fossil fuels — and even then, we needed to move at a good clip. Now, we must sprint.
There’s no more time to wait for “leaders.” They’ve failed and they have no credibility left. It’s up to us — the people who do all the work, who produce everything, who — up to now — have empowered the oil-plutocrats to demolish our beautiful planet.
We need to stop doing this. And we need to stop anyone and everyone else who continue to help them destroy it all.
I’m fighting. I’m never going to stop.