“In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life.” – Vandana Shiva
2015 was set to be the warmest year since measurements began. In November 2015, cyclone Chapala hit Yemen. Such heavy wind has never before hit Yemen. Over 48 hours the area got as much rain as it normally gets in 10 years. The month before, the largest hurricane ever formed off the Mexican west coast. The number of weather extremes is long.
The Climate Crises will affect all of us and all of our horses. This week I will share a blog on this important issue and show you a video I made some years back called “Horses and Resources”.
I would love to hear from you what ideas you have or actions to take to protect Mother Earth.
Much wind, rain and sun from St. Vincent,
The Climate Crises
It was recently discovered that ExxonMobil executives for many years have known about the real effects of climate change while they paid climate change deniers to lie about this reality. ExxonMobil may now end up in court as climate criminals.
Fossil fuel industries, however, are not the only climate criminals. In Indonesia virgin forests are illegally set on fire. Most people suspect that the culprits are oil palm plantation owners who wish to take over the land cleared by fire. This year more than 2 million hectares have burnt out of control, making life impossible for local communities, killing people and animals and producing a smoky haze that covers a big part of South East Asia making it the world’s most dangerous place to breathe. While burning forest is a regular practice, the fire has this year been intensified by El Niño that causes dry hot weather in the region.
This is the largest wildfire ever created by man. It has produced more greenhouse gasses than all of Germany emits in one year. People in Indonesia have taken to the streets demanding that the responsible are put to prison. Other nations that buy the palm oil should act to stop the perpetrators from profiting from their crimes. This issue is not on the agenda in Paris, although some may start talking about it.
Winds of change on the sunny side of the street
Wind and flowing water have been used as energy sources for hundreds of years, long before industrial coal and oil production. Already 200 years ago, the burning of coal had caused serious environmental destruction in England. Then it was local problem. Today, however, there is danger for life on Earth. This causes more and more people to take action and demand change.
The compromise that will be struck at the Paris Summit has been made possible by many people’s struggle for a future for humanity on planet Earth.
The solar cell that produces electricity from sunshine was invented 60 years ago. As the amount of sunshine that hits Earth is incredibly much larger than what humanity will ever need to power a very high standard of living it was an important invention. It was a way to replace fossil fuels.
The fossil fuel industries did not like this and called solar cells too expensive and too impractical. They did not research and develop solar power, instead they joined hands with car producer to make sure the motor industries would not shift to electric cars that could run on electricity from sun and wind, and they paid politicians, the media and even some scientists to support fossil fuel use.
In 1998, Germany got its first coalition government of social democrats and the green party. As there was a strong environmental movement in Germany the new government supported solar and wind power. A large solar panel industry was created and even though Germany has limited sunshine, it became a global leader in solar power.
Later China joined in. China has a terrible pollution problem from its coal-power plants that contribute heavily to global warming. China has now become the world’s largest producer of solar panels.
Today prices have fallen to a point where wind and solar electricity in many cases is cheaper than electricity from oil, coal and gas even though the fossil fuel industries receive massive government support. Without this support sustainable energy is today far cheaper than fossil fuel energy.
One thing is missing though. You need to be able to store solar and wind electricity for the night and
for days without wind or sun. Big energy and car companies have taken little interest in solving the storage issue as they profited from the use of fossil fuels. But today many new companies are working to develop cheaper and better batteries that can store electricity for a house or a car. Prices of batteries are falling fast.
Divestment from fossil fuel
It has become a problem for oil companies that people are saying no to fossil fuels. A divestment campaign has inspired many foundations, cities and pension funds to sell their shares in fossil fuel companies. After Pope Francis, launched the Catholic Church as partner in the fight against climate change, even the Catholic Church, which has great wealth, is beginning to sell its shares in fossil fuel companies.
The fossil fuel conglomerates in trouble
In response to these developments, Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, has increased production so as to lower prices and keep people burning oil. The lower prices have hurt oil companies, and in particular the fracking industries that produce oil and gas using vast amounts of toxic chemicals. These companies are loosing money. At the same time many local communities protest so forcefully that the companies have to give up fracking.
The old mega oil companies are in crisis. ExxonMobil and Shell have both lost billions of USD in 2015.
It has become almost impossible in the USA for electricity companies to open new coal power plants and old ones have to reduce their pollution because local protests force authorities to stop the companies.
In November 2015, president Obama decided not to grant permission for the Keystone-XL project, a massive pipeline that was supposed to carry dirty tar sands oil from Canada to Texas. This was a major victory for environmental organization that had fought hard against the project. In Canada, indigenous communities and many others have stopped similar pipelines for tar sand oil going to the Pacific and the Atlantic coast. Big companies are now scaling down production of tar sand oil.
The CEO of the giant German carmaker, VW, was forced to resign in September 2015, when it became known that his company for years had cheated with measurements of pollution from diesel cars. To improve its tattered image VW and other carmakers are now speeding up production of electric cars, which pollute much less and which many people want. The major car companies, who used to fight against electric cars, now embrace the technology in order to stay in business.
The old car companies are also pressed by new businesses. Rumors have it that Apple, the producer of phones and computers, is developing an electric car to be integrated with its I-phones, which will be launched in 2020. It could become a best seller leading to a very fast transition into electric cars, just like cell phones were spread worldwide in a few years.
A shift to electric cars and trucks will greatly reduce use of oil.
A shift to electricity production from wind and sun will greatly reduce use of coal.