September 3, 2020 Read More →

Physics of climate change ‘just keeps going, hour after hour, day after day’

The New Yorker:

The struggle over climate change is necessarily political and economic and noisy—if we’re going to get anything done, we’ll have to do it in parliaments and stock exchanges, and quickly.

But, every once in a while, it’s worth stepping back and reminding ourselves what’s actually going on, silently, every hour of every day. And what’s going on is that we’re radically remaking our planet, in the course of a human lifetime. Hell, in the course of a human adolescence.

A Times investigation shows how Big Oil is pivoting to plastics as part of a plan for survival in an age of climate change and is trying to flood Africa with them. The Times reviewed e-mails from industry representatives last year revealing efforts to stall tough laws designed to curtail plastic waste in Kenya. To understand the desperation that would lead people to embrace that as a business plan, consider this piece by Chris Tomlinson, a business columnist for the Houston Chronicle, who writes, “While the broad S&P 500 index of top corporations is up 6.6 percent for the year, the energy sector is down 40 percent. Energy was the worst performing sector in 2018 and 2019, too.” Companies like Exxon continue to pay dividends because otherwise their stocks would dive, but “the five supermajors paid out $16.9 billion more in dividends than they generated from their core business operations,” according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a nonpartisan think tank. 

[Bill McKibben]

More: The Climate Crisis

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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