What Will it Really Take to Stop Using Fossil Fuels
People have already spent decades:
- Taking direct action
- Taking legal action
- Exploring technological solutions
Since the first Earth Day in the U.S. in 1970, the actions of millions of people have led to:
- The Clean Air Act
- The Clean Water Act
- The Environmental Protection Agency
- The United Nations Climate Change Conferences
- And even more laws, agencies and conferences
But what’s the balance sheet? Over 50 years after the first Earth Day, millions of people continue to pour into the streets around the world screaming at the top of our lungs that the continued use of fossil fuels is killing us. We can see it! And yet…
- Investment in fossil fuels has doubled since the 1980s
- Carbon emissions increase yearly
- The ocean is warming at alarming rates
Why? Because these movements have focused on putting pressure on those in positions of power. This system cannot change its course. It’s up to us, to take the decision-making powers into our own hands.
Global Warming? It’s about Capitalism!
The global environmental destruction is the consequence of the functioning of the system of capitalism which relies on coal, oil and gas as its primary energy sources, with no regard for the consequences. It is a system that puts profits first.
This system is incompatible with life on this planet as we know it. Scientists have agreed that to avoid the irreversible effects of climate change, the world’s average temperature should not exceed that of pre-industrial times by more than 1.5C. Despite this, the output of CO2 is accelerating and the temperature has already reached 1.2C during some months.
We find ourselves on a suicidal course driven by a parasitic system. It is devouring the Earth, and is taking us and most other living things with it. Capitalism requires expansion, which requires more energy production – an impossible endless cycle. All the scientific evidence concludes that this is a death spiral.
For most life to continue, this system must end.
The Politicians Cannot and Will Not Save Us
We cannot rely on politicians or elections to bring about the changes we need. They are the guardians of capitalism, a system that must expand to maintain what economists refer to as “the health of the system” and this is coming at our expense and the health of most living things.
The changes necessary cannot happen within the capitalist system. All production is measured by its profitability with no regard for the consequences. We already know where that pathway leads us: down a trail of destruction of human societies and the natural world. The scientific community is warning us that this rate of destruction — from the spewing of carbon into the atmosphere and decimation of the environment will bring an end to the world as we know it.
Those in power and their politicians understand this. Biden can express more of a concern about the environment than Trump. But the record speaks more clearly than his lies. One simple fact: U.S. oil production has increased by 1.3 million barrels a day since 2022 and is expected to hit records in 2023 and 2024. While politicians’ pledges sound nice, their defense of this system prevents them from putting an to end burning fossil fuels.
This is our time, not theirs! We are the majority. With decision-making in the hands of the majority, guided by the those who do the work, we can bring a system into being that puts life at the center of all decisions. The health of the Earth and our lives depend on it!
Revolution is Self Defense!
We need to stop looking to the politicians, and corporate owners who tell us they will change things but have no ability to do so in a cap2ritalist system. Instead of looking at a stage of speakers, we must look to each other; to the millions around the world in the streets, and the millions more that are already facing the consequences of global heating and extreme weather events.
We can’t wait, we must all be organizers! The majority of the people, the people who make this society run, along with the younger generation, whose future is threatened, have the power to change our situation. We have the power to bring a new world into being. We have no choice.