Climate activists are not letting the oil industry off easily. And neither are investors.
However, most companies can’t see a clean way to increase, or at the very least, maintain their massive bottom lines.
Although most companies have taken a performative post-use clean-up stance as opposed to an innovative, preventative one, there are a few attempting to skew greener by providing energy in a non-toxic way moving forward.
For example, several companies have united to form an Oil and Gas Climate Initiative — including BP, ExxonMobil, Equinor, Shell, and Chevron, among others — to at least invest in technologies with a lower carbon output and methane reduction. Although, some more than others.
Shell is gearing up for an electrical fight by buying up several electrical and wind-powered energy companies, preparing itself for the day when the scorn of its investors is reflected in its profits.
Equinor, Norweigan oil company, is also joining the effort. It was the power behind a joint venture to create the largest wind farm in the world in Northeast England to the tune of $11 billion.
In fact, during the first six months of 2019, wind turbines in Scotland were able to produce enough energy to power 4.47 million homes — nearly twice the number of homes in Scotland, total.
If the money keeps following alternative energy… Big Oil may just have to follow the money.
Climate Change and the Oceans: A New Study Confirms Damage
The United Nations has recently issued a new report regarding climate change’s effects on our oceans from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and it’s not pretty.
More than 100 international experts read more than 7,000 studies to compile this report, considered the most in-depth examination of what is happening to the oceans, ice sheets, permafrost, and snowpack. But our oceans are particularly bleak.
Declining fish populations due to marine heat waves (which have doubled since the ‘80s), cyclones and floods in unprecedented numbers, cities sinking and risks to those living on coasts, rising acid and dropping oxygen levels, and more.
Flood risks and less fish aside, the real problem is that the oceans of the world absorb nearly 25% of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. If their nature is decomposing and their strength dampening, what happens to that 25%?
It heats the land.
We’ve already seen what happens when the land gets too hot.
If carbon emissions do not decrease, the future will likely include:
- 17% of the world’s animal protein (fish) depleting
- Marine heatwaves becoming 20-50 times more frequent in the 21st century
- Increased pathogenic pandemics, like vibrio, a bacteria infecting oysters and shellfish, which makes nearly 80,000 Americans sick every year already
This is the second IPCC report presented to the UN and made famous in about a month — the first being Greta Thunberg’s reference to its special report on climate change.
Hopefully, this one is big enough to make waves.
Eco Highlights — Not Terrible News for the Environment
- Apparently, some of the people responsible for funding the “Extinction Rebellion,” as the climate change protests have come to be called, are America’s oldest bluebloods. They’ve bankrolled the Climate Emergency Fund, and include: Trevor Nielson, Rory Kennedy (of the Kennedy Kennedys), and Aileen Getty, of the oil magnate Gettys. Even Kathryn Murdoch has decided to join the climate fight!
- While civilians wait for policy makers to wise up about greenhouse gases, science waits for no man. Austin-based tech company, Hypergiant Industries, has designed a new artificial intelligence bioreactor that uses algae to capture as much carbon from the atmosphere as an acre of trees. And it’s only 3’ by 3’ wide!
- Dutch scientists, of the Ocean Cleanup project, succeeded in removing plastic debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (which is a term used to refer to an actual part of our ocean system.) They use a man-made net device and the natural forces of the ocean, and for the first time ever in October, it was successful — even in capturing microplastics!
- Box Store Giants Target and Walmart prefer sunny-side up — that is, they prefer to generate their energy using solar panels over their enormous stores. By November of 2019, Target will have rooftop solar panels on 500 of its U.S. stores, aiming to eventually to run on 100% renewable energy. Walmart has 136 projects under development worldwide, planning to generate 2 billion kilowatts of renewable energy. Makes sense. Solar power is 90% cheaper than 10 years ago, and wind power 70%. Of course they shop the sales.
Tune in next week for another series on environmental and climate news!