The Fossil Fuel Age is drawing to a close. Climate Change dictates that it must. The question is do we as a species grab the opportunities and embrace the massive changes that need to be made, or do we try and hang-on to the old polluting ways of doing things. The arc of history is slowly swinging towards quitting fossil fuels, but the question is, will we do it sufficiently quickly to avert the worst of Climate Change. And let’s not be under any illusion, the old incumbents of the fossil fuel economy and their political poodles are fighting tooth and nail to keep the status quo, to keep polluting if there’s any hope of making money.
So, the bad news this week is that the British government is pushing ahead with fracking on a massive scale. It’ll make them as popular as the Poll Tax did Thatcher. Even more bonkers, the Saudi’s have ramped up oil production to 10.6 million barrels per day, which with oil prices at about $42 means they lose money on every barrel they produce, all in the hope of securing market share, regardless of what all this oil is doing to the planet’s climate, upon which we all depend.
However on a positive note there is much going on. The Islamic Climate Declaration has just been issued from a conference in Istanbul, strongly echoing the Papal Encyclical. It calls on the world to switch to 100% renewables. Interesting to see how that goes down in Riyadh! Meanwhile Dr James Hansen, fresh from his victorious legal action against the Dutch government for failing to take action on Climate Change has now, along with 21 young plaintiffs, taken the government of the USA to court in Oregon. Back in Britain Jeremy Corbyn has issued a 17 page document on Climate Change and the energy transition. It’s an excellent document, very clear and well written. Press coverage of it has been appalling: journalists and fellow politicians have criticized it, clearly without reading it, or wilfully misinterpreting it. Also this week I’ve come across more great stories from the world of technical innovation in the renewable energy sector, but that’ll have to be a separate blog!
Islamic Climate Declaration http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33972240
Hansen lawsuit http://ourchildrenstrust.org/sites/default/files/Summary-ConstitutionalClimateChangeLawsuit.pdf and https://dub125.mail.live.com/mail/ViewOfficePreview.aspx?messageid=mgN7YKZ9dE5RGSRgAhWtgZSg2&folderid=flinbox&attindex=2&cp=-1&attdepth=2&n=87291420