If you're sweltering too... look no further than big oil. They and political enablers are to blame
It doesn't matter which party you belong to when our only planet fails.
Happy hump day TAT friends,
Today, with the news cycle all abuzz over the Trump, Target Letter, I will talk about something else and wait for what will certainly be, an imminent indictment. Anyone who has read TAT for a little while already knows that Trump, the MAGA dominated GOP and the oligarchs that support them are painfully acute national security threats. There’s no reason today to recap all of this from past newsletters. Let’s move on to another topic that pertains to everyone.
Today, and especially as I grow older, I have grave reservations about the future health of our planet, for our grandchildren. Growing up in the rural Midwest, I knew without doubt that farmers must respect the earth, or they fail and lose their livelihood. Common sense based on truth is the only way to succeed. All of this Climate Denial imposed on the planet by big oil, conspiring to build their bottom line at the expense of my grandchildren’s, and yours’ future, is something that I’ve wanted to write about for a while. If we don’t put big oil’s collective efforts into context so that more can understand their overt threat, they will never change. Forty plus years has shown us that, quite clearly.
Since I know without a doubt that big oil’s dishonest PR firms will “roll the presses” when confronted, we must all work together to pushback. This doesn’t mean right or left, foreign or domestic, rich or poor but it means everyone. There’s only one planet and all of the global environments are severely impacted. Like the rural America I grew up in, only common-sense, based truth will allow us to plan, act and to hold big oil and their corrupt politicians and oligarchs accountable.
First, I want everyone to know that I do believe that fossil fuels will be required for decades on some level. What’s important, is that the Board Rooms of entities like ExxonMobil, Phillips, Marathon, Shell etc. start behaving ethically instead of being the selfish, soulless profiteers that they are now. Since a decade of experience has clearly shown a dramatic deviation from ethics, it’s government’s job to enforce compliance. We won’t get it with the GOP that back their dishonesty for dollars.
It’s also imperative that we don’t demonize the hard-working professionals in the industry that keep economies rolling. The decisions that are literally killing us, are part of the DNA of corporate leadership. This is not hyperbole, but fact.
Next, let’s look at the facts regarding the impact of climate change and the Climate denial industry that big oil has always sponsored.
As always, the facts I write about come from the embedded links and I insist on using the most credible. Please, never hesitate to click on these links for more depth on the issues they concern.
Let’s start first by stating clearly that yes, climate change is a naturally occurring phenomena, but humans do significantly accelerate the cycle we are in. What we are talking about here are the more manageable human contributions to the naturally occurring cycles, and why big oil refuses to do their part as well as lie about it.
“Yes, by increasing the abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, human activities are amplifying Earth’s natural greenhouse effect. Virtually all climate scientists agree that this increase in heat-trapping gases is the main reason for the 1.8°F (1.0°C) rise in global average temperature since the late nineteenth century. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and various chlorofluorocarbons are all human-emitted heat-trapping gases. Among these, carbon dioxide is of greatest concern to scientists because it exerts a larger overall warming influence than the other gases combined.”
-PUBLISHED OCTOBER 29, 2020
The evidence that humans cause the majority of what we have been experiencing since over the past few decades, in incontrovertible. Scientists have known this conclusively since the mid-1800s. In our modern era, it was actually ExxonMobil’s own scientists that first acknowledged the enormous impact of global use of fossil fuels was a severe problem. In fact, the Board Room at Exxon knew of the impact and began the 4 plus collaboration with other big oil producers to create decades of employing dishonest scientists and PR firms, to create “climate denialism.”
Below are three links to prestigious organizations that have investigated Exxon’s dishonesty in earnest:
If you are sweltering like we are in Texas, ground zero of state-sponsored climate denialism, then you will want to read the embedded link. This damning report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, documents the deception and dishonesty of big oil sponsored climate denialism.
“This report presents seven “deception dossiers”—collections containing some 85 internal company and trade association documents that have either been leaked to the public, come to light through lawsuits, or been disclosed through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. While many of these documents have been analyzed by others (Oreskes 2011; Oreskes and Conway 2010; Gelbspan 1998), these dossiers offer the most complete and up-to-date collection yet available. Excerpts of the documents are provided in the report’s appendices; the complete dossiers—totaling some 336 pages— are available online. Each collection of internal documents reviewed here reveals a separate glimpse of a coordinated campaign underwritten by the world’s major fossil fuel companies and their allies to spread climate misinformation and block climate action. The campaign began decades ago and continues today.”
-The Climate Deception Dossiers, Internal Fossil Fuel Industry Memos Reveal Decades of Corporate Disinformation
-Union of Concerned Scientists
Now that we know that humans are the primary factor in global warming and that big oil not only knew but spent tens of millions over four decades to lie about it, let’s take a look at some of the devastations that they knowingly caused.
The indicators from a current NOAA report:
Global temperatures rose about 1.8°F (1°C) from 1901 to 2020.
Sea level rise has accelerated from 1.7 mm/year throughout most of the twentieth century to 3.2 mm/year since 1993.
Glaciers are shrinking: average thickness of 30 well-studied glaciers has decreased more than 60 feet since 1980.
The area covered by sea ice in the Arctic at the end of summer has shrunk by about 40% since 1979.
The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by 25% since 1958, and by about 40% since the Industrial Revolution.
Snow is melting earlier compared to long-term averages.
From the National Institute of Health, 2021 and titled, Extreme Weather and Climate Change: Population Health and Health System Implications
“Extreme weather and climate events, such as heat waves, cyclones, and floods, are an expression of climate variability. These events and events influenced by climate change, such as wildfires, continue to cause significant human morbidity and mortality and adversely affect mental health and well-being. Although adverse health impacts from extreme events declined over the past few decades, climate change and more people moving into harm’s way could alter this trend. Long-term changes to Earth’s energy balance are increasing the frequency and intensity of many extreme events and the probability of compound events, with trends projected to accelerate under certain greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. While most of these events cannot be completely avoided, many of the health risks could be prevented through building climate-resilient health systems with improved risk reduction, preparation, response, and recovery. Conducting vulnerability and adaptation assessments and developing health system adaptation plans can identify priority actions to effectively reduce risks, such as disaster risk management and more resilient infrastructure. The risks are urgent, so action is needed now.”
From The T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard titled, Fossil fuel air pollution responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide. 02/09/2021
“New research from Harvard University, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, the University of Leicester and University College London, found that more than 8 million people died in 2018 from fossil fuel pollution, significantly higher than previous research suggested—meaning that air pollution from burning fossil fuels like coal and diesel was responsible for about 1 in 5 deaths worldwide.
The study, “Global Mortality From Outdoor Fine Particle Pollution Generated by Fossil Fuel Combustion,” published in Environmental Research, is based on a groundbreaking analysis that enabled the researchers to directly attribute premature deaths from fine particulate pollution (PM 2.5) to fossil fuel combustion.”
From UCL, London, titled, Rise in heat-related deaths linked to climate change, 3 December, 2020
“The last two decades have seen a 54% increase in heat-related deaths in older people linked to worsening climate change, a new international report led by UCL researchers has revealed.”
“The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) has released the final update to its 2022 Billion-dollar disaster report (www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/billions), confirming another intense year of costly disasters and extremes throughout much of the country. 2022 tied 2017 and 2011 for the third highest number of billion-dollar disasters. 2022 was also third highest in total costs (behind 2017 and 2005), with a price tag of at least $165.0 billion. This total annual cost may rise by several billion when we’ve fully accounted for the costs of the December 21-26 Central and Eastern winter storm/cold wave.
A note about images: The images in this post are screenshots from the Billion-dollar Disaster web analysis and mapping tool, which is best viewed on a desktop computer monitor. For best viewing, click to see full-size versions of these images, or visit the NCEI web tool directly.”
-Adam B. Smith
How Climate Change May Affect the U.S. Economy from CRS, the Congressional Research Service
Screenshot from the Introduction
-R47063 April 4, 2022 Lida R. Weinstock Analyst in Macroeconomic Policy
I could go on ad nauseum with these excellent, credible reports but we all get the picture, including big oil and their Wall Street financiers who rake in record profits, quarterly. The point here is that American oligarchs and their global big oil oligarchs like Russia, the Saudis, Iran etc. are reaping enormous profits while killing people and the planet we wish to leave to our grandchildren. Could they make enormous profits ethically? Yes, but these selfish bastards don’t care.
Here in Texas, we see this every day due to having a legislature that is addicted to huge campaign donations from fossil fuel producers. Right on cue, Greg Abbott and our GOP dominated legislature who’ve run Texas exclusively for 27 plus years, are subservient to big oil.
A quick example of our Texas dilemma:
In the winter of 2021, Texas had a massive freeze that knocked out power to 95% of the state and which lasted days. A few hundred Texans died, and the ensuing disaster was the most expensive in history. Instead of holding the fossil fuel producers and the legislature accountable, they added the cost to every Texan in a charge to our monthly bills that will last for decades. Texas had been warned in a similar event in 2011 to upgrade facilities but the legislature refused to impose those costs on the providers who also contribute the most to their campaigns. Those providers reaped enormous profits for those few days of no power because the legislature’s machinations that paid exorbitant prices to providers under such circumstances.
When all was said and done, even the rubberstamp Texas Supreme Court ruled that the entity in charge of our failing power grid, ERCOT, cannot be sued for the deaths, damage and costs to Texans. With our indicted felon AG and a subservient supreme court, there is no law for everyday Texans.
Well, my friends, let’s wrap this up by pointing out the extremely precarious situation that big oil has put the globe in. When we head to the ballot box, the only way that our grandchildren have a chance, is to stop voting for those who even whisper the term, climate hoax or denial. Throughout today’s TAT, the evidence is irrefutable about the damage being done because big oil and their political enablers deny reality. In today’s GOP especially, living an alternate reality is now the norm. It will be up to the rest of us and the few remaining principled Republicans, to take on big oil.
I don’t wish to deny big oil profits. I do wish them to stop playing footsie with OPEC, enabling politicians and stop funding the calls to dissolve the EPA. Even the now, the unscrupulous John Roberts SCOTUS has pointedly diminished the EPA’s regulatory power that protects us all. With the recent evidence of grievous breaches of ethics by Associate Justices Thomas, Alito and even CJ Roberts, there is little to no chance that SCOTUS will protect the nation and the world.
With the grotesquely flawed ethics of the GOP, in control of the House of Representatives, there is no reason to believe there is a legislative answer in our future either. The only recourse that America and hence the world has, is to vote for principled representatives not connected to the umbilical cord of campaign donations to big oil oligarchs. Maybe because I live in Texas, I see things far more accurately. Corrupt, nepotistic relationships with big oil is a disaster for our grandchildren.
At the moment, big oil is selfishly and exclusively putting money in their, OPECs, Russia’s, Iran’s and other pockets. They are concurrently raping working American’s wallets at the pump, due to their concurrence with the Saudi imposed production cuts. I do know this though… I will gladly fill my tank at whatever the cost, in order to drive to the polls and vote out the enablers of big oil’s despotism. I hope that you will join me.
Cheers to all and thank you dearly for reading TAT.