It’s Time to End Fossil Fuels
What if we said no new fossil fuels?
What if the US’s $649 billion in annual fossil fuel subsidies, more than our defense budget and 10x our education budget, were invested instead in new technology and infrastructure to decarbonize our energy needs, i.e. wind and solar?
As soon as these subsidies go away, the cost of exploration, drilling, mining, refining and shipping fossil fuels – even without carbon pricing – will be too high to compete with renewable energy. And that money can be invested in building the green new economy.
What if it were illegal to explore for new oil and gas? Build new pipelines, petrochemical plants and gas power plants?
What if we retired existing fossil fuel infrastructure before the end of its useful life?
The only way we’re going to possibly have a chance to keep global mean temperature rise to the Paris Accord target of 1.5C is to do all of the above as fast as possible. And achieving this limit may not even be possible given the rapid rising of temperatures across the globe and cascading fallout happening decades earlier than climate scientists forecast. Think melting glaciers, melting permafrost, wildfires, heat waves, positive feedback loops, extreme weather events, ocean acidification, and more.
Yet as we speak Connecticut is planning to build a new gas-powered energy plant in Killingly, right on the border with Rhode Island in Windham County. How is this possible you ask? Because humans are flawed and make bad decisions. We don’t like change. We’re afraid of change. We don’t know how to exit the status quo without upsetting industry, which provides jobs and tax revenue and fills political campaign war chests. We don’t realize our mistakes until it’s too late. We don’t know how to unwind a system that’s worked for us for the last 50+ years. Even though we know it’s a death machine. We must protest this wrong-minded decision before it’s too late.
Please join me at the Killingly protest on Feb. 5 at noon at the DEEP headquarters in Hartford to tell DEEP, Gov. Lamont and the CT General Assembly that we want a moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure, including Killingly and any other projects being considered. The Governor can declare that moratorium, and it’s really the only way forward since DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes is blaming Killingly on ISO NE, literally eschewing responsibility for a decision her organization supported and permitted without reservation.
Here’s a link to the Facebook event where you can RSVP, get more details, share and invite your friends to join you. We’ll walk to the state capitol from DEEP headquarters to share our message with the CGA on opening day of the 2020 legislative session.
Why isn’t the fossil fuel era over yet? Why haven’t we seen explosive growth in public and private electric vehicles the way China has?
Because we lack the political will. It’s that simple. We need to vote in the right people – those ready to transform our economy and the world economy to a post-carbon era. And vote out the rest including anyone arguing about how difficult a transition it is and it takes time, etc. etc. I”m all for a just transition, but we need to get going. Congress hasn’t even declared a Climate Emergency yet.
Buy Nothing That Uses Fossil Fuels
Please do your part by not buying another thing – car, generator, cooktop, oven, heating system, etc. – that runs on fossil fuel. It will quickly become a dinosaur and is part of the death machine.
Trade in Your Gas Car Now
And the gas car you own? I urge you to trade it in for an electric vehicle. The auto industry is being disrupted by the electrification of vehicles and Bloomberg New Energy Finance believes sales of ICE vehicles peaked in 2018. Automakers laid off 20,000 workers at the end of 2019 and Tesla is dominating growth in the EV market with their Model 3, Model S, and Model X.
Divest of Fossil Fuel Companies Now Because They’re a Bad Investment
Check your investment portfolio too. If your investment manager still has your assets invested in the old economy, no only does it not align with your values by supporting the fossil fuel industry, but it’s also vulnerable to the risks of shifting away from fossil fuels. Don’t stress: Get a free portfolio checkup with James Osborn of Envest Asset Management, formerly a private equity investor in renewable energy projects. Unlike most other investment advisory/wealth management firms, he doesn’t require a minimum balance of assets to manage. Go for it!
Who Are the No New Fossil Fuel Presidential Candidates?
I’ll continue watching our 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates closely to see which are still standing in the past, inching their way forward, and which have already taken a bold leap into the future that will sustain us. Right now I think a few of them get it, and are willing to do whatever is necessary to stop the madness of the Earth killing machine that is the fossil fuel industry.
I’ll be looking to hear that they’ll end fossil fuel subsidies and stop all new exploration and infrastructure, then redeploy the money – with all due haste – into renewable energy, electric transportation and infrastructure, and research into various types of carbon capture and storage. I haven’t heard candidates discuss the waste crisis yet, so their thoughts on building a circular economy are most welcome.
What do you think? Which candidates do you think will do the best job ending the fossil fuel era? It’s really a complete re-imagining of our economy. It’s time for the Green New Deal. It’s time to Resist! It’s time for revolutionary changes in thinking and behavior. What choice do we have?