Pretend you are a Marvel superhero at the climax of the latest summer blockbuster. The evil psychopaths are two minutes away from successfully wiping out life on Earth. Your kids, pets, house, purple mountains, favorite band, everything, sea to shining sea, the whole planet is depending on you. Is there anything you wouldn’t do? Any risk you wouldn’t take? How much would it be worth to you to stop the final annihilation of life on earth?
Silly superhero question: Would you invest part of your retirement portfolio in the villain’s corporation?
Guess what? That’s your choice today. Your superhero task? Change your behavior, starting with your investments, before it’s too late. Ask your superhero self, will I divest from fossil fuels and get everybody else to do the same? Can we leave carbon in the ground to save life on Earth?
You can use a simple toolkit online to divest. Join 300 “Fossil Free” campaigns today at universities, schools, churches, cities, private foundations to eliminate our carbon investments. Divestment successfully draws attention to change a corrupt system. “Today,” one minister recently wrote, “the American economy is as entangled in fossil fuels as it was in slavery in the 1850’s.”
The Carbon Bubble
The fossil fuel industry has 5 times more carbon in reserves currently on the books than we can safely burn. Energy producers must leave at least 80% of reserves in the ground if humans want to survive this mess.
The industry must agree to do business in light of climate science:
• They need immediately to stop exploring for new hydrocarbons.
• They need to stop lobbying in Washington and state capitols across the country to preserve their special breaks.
• Most importantly, they need to pledge to keep 80% of their current reserves underground forever.
Forget the energy renaissance, Arctic drilling, hydro-fracking technology, forget new exploration when you can’t safely burn 20% of the stuff you’ve already got.
Can we properly value a corporation based on how much carbon they hold and refine, if 80% of that must be preserved underground?
At the rate we’re burning carbon, we can only risk another 16 – 17 years of dirty energy at most. Are you planning on living another 20 years? I am. It’s going to be a different world. Before 2050 a fossil-free world. I can’t wait.
Scientists predict 6 – 8% reductions every year going forward starting in 2013 will get CO2 back to levels for which life is adapted, below 350ppm. Delay until 2020 to start? 15% annual reductions, cost the world trillions more, meanwhile risk runaway climate feedbacks. A morally bankrupt choice, by anybody’s accounting.
I can’t retire on money from the very corporations that, to keep their share prices high, spend millions to increase market saturation and make our children’s future suffering as difficult as possible. Only one industry removes carbon from where it’s been safely stored underground for millions of years. There is no way to drill, frack, strip mine, or blow up mountains sustainably.
I’m a conservative; I want to preserve my planet as it was when I grew up. I teach my kids, “You make a mess, you clean it up.” Simple. Leave the earth living for someone else to enjoy.
Radicals tell the public that you can’t trust greedy NASA scientists. Radicals pay lobbyists to re-write the laws, as if they can break the laws of physics and nature. Radicals accelerate the uncontrolled climate experiment they are running with our only planet. 90 million tons of greenhouse gas pollution every day! That’s geo-engineering!
When will they stop? That completely depends on you and me.
I’m a carbon addict in recovery. Since W left the White House I haven’t purchased gas for my car. Since we heat our home carbon-free, we disconnected the gas line. I eat no meat, drink tap water not bottled, buy local when I can. I won’t ride in a plane. But my individual carbon footprint (20% of an avg American) will only protect my kids once I get you to lower yours too.
Together we can immediately initiate this rapid transition away from carbon, as the International Energy Agency recommended this week in their report, Redrawing the Energy- Climate Map. http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/media/weowebsite/2013/energyclimatemap/RedrawingEnergyClimateMap.pdf
Like that superhero in the movie, my actions shape the future of life on Earth. And yours do too! We are re-writing our future. We are the generation that goes into history books for doing something no other generation has ever done: We rescue all life as we know it from certain disaster. We do it by getting everybody on the same team. We’ll do it right now, in this decade, because that’s all the time we’ve got. I know we’ll do it because NOT doing it, NOT giving it everything we’ve got, NOT saving millions of years of biodiversity and thousands of years of human civilization and everything you ever cared about… that’s NOT an option! Humans caused it, humans will stop it.
One way to stop: Join the Fossil Free campaign. Divest all holdings from these fuel corporations whose business success ends life on Earth. Get your church, school, and city to divest, while you can make a difference.
Let’s look at how to live well, not large. Live simply that others may simply live. Give them a future to look forward to, a future they can love. Live a life that gives life, for others. Let’s all leave something behind we can be proud of.
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you never intend to sit.”
Happy Father’s Day!