by Stephen Capra
This past week has shown the potential of humans to grasp our basic failures and commit to real change. Paris it seems has been a chance for a rebirth. Many articles have appeared since a consensus was reached with 200 countries and the headlines have stated “the end of fossil fuels” Or what now for Big Oil?”
If you choose to read the NY Times or any major paper there is consensus that the days of oil are limited. However, if you take the time to read the Tulsa paper, or one in North Dakota, or perhaps some in Texas, you will find a different feeling.
In this scenario, oil has propelled our nation for generations; it also moved us out of a recession in 2007. What you will read is not that oil should remain in the ground but rather America must come to the defense of Big Oil. I mention this with what we have seen with the Republican Party as a background.
We all understand that oil must stay in the ground, that fossil fuels are dead and that their demise cannot come soon enough. We also understand that real energy alternatives are where investment must go. But like any industry seeing its impending demise, there will be more blood spilled before we can end their reign.
It seems clear that Big Oil and the high paying jobs they have represented will not go quietly. It also seems clear that they will invest even more heavily in the upcoming Presidential campaign. The reason is obvious; they want an Administration that will protect them.
In New Mexico alone they remain the economic engine that the state drinks from. So while Paris has been fantastic, in fact, it may well be game changing. The concern some feel is that our work has just begun and the mission is to push the change with all our hearts. To block the oil industry at every step and push elected officials’ to move beyond oil!
No industry has a footprint as large; no industry has done more to harm the environment, no industry has operated with the arrogance of Big Oil. Paris is real, the planet has demanded more. Yet, with any politics, reality is what we see on the ground. Oil is dying, but it is not yet dead, hospice has not arrived, and Big Oil will take any cure, refuse to remove the feeding tube, and fight the reality that their reign is over.
So we will be tough, smart and cut off their oxygen until the rigs stop and our land can finally heal. This action will have limited impact on our generation. No ending the madness of Big Oil is our gift to the next generation and those that will follow.
Paris has handed us a torch, a moral imperative to demand an end to fossil fuels. As this is happening, shale oil projects are moving forward in Colorado, Tar Sands in Utah, and across our state the holes continue to be sunk, the communities that abut development face the reality of cancer, childhood asthma and other respiratory ailments.
Our planet is literally screaming and only now are we listening. The coming years will show who is the fighter. My bet is that we win. My only concern is our push, our ability to use our moral imperative to fight the lies, money and deceit that this industry has perpetuated on America and the world.
The investment world sees the future, so do the banks, but oil will continue its sham, its plague on the World, until the last rig is removed.
Paris has spoken, now it is our turn. For the sake of wildlife everywhere, for that of people the world over, for our oceans and our Arctic worlds, fossil fuels must end and the world needs to see clearly that it can happen far sooner than most people can comprehend. The key is a serious investment by governments, corporations and in research and development of the life giving energy supply we call alternative energy.
It’s not an alternative; it is earth’s medicine for life.
Bold Visions Conservation