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The End of Big Oil
“Is the oil barrel half empty or half full?”
– Did we Just Witness the End of Big Oil? | CNBC
Dirty Energy and Dirty Money
This dastardly duo has plagued mankind for centuries, but now fossil fuel subsidized dirty energy and dirty money have put the future of all life in jeopardy. Even though our ingenuity as a species has been remarkable, we have ultimately become the victims of our own progress. Pollution from fossil-based and nuclear-generated power have become a global conundrum and the economy has been burning greenhouse gasses ten times faster than the volcanoes that sparked Earth’s greatest mass extinction, the Late Permian event (a.k.a the Great Dying).
This is a dark time for all nations. Our civilization is falling (video) says eminent journalist, Chris Hedges. It is crumbling under it’s own weight. The outdated carbon-fueled technologies we have come to rely on have become our downfall along with our overly faithful adherence to a game of monopoly we call business as usual (BAU). This is the most corrupt money and politics game on Earth run amok.
We now know, without a doubt, that we must start to significantly reduce all emissions globally and cut consumption over the next decade just to avoid a 4°C world. Yet 99% of all the businesses from the first industrial era are still failing to transition. Further, according to many analysts, the minute you add the profit motive you negate sustainability. Under this shadow of corruption, even the promise of a Green New Deal (GND) quickly becomes greenwashing.
Also, when combined with mass over-consumption, fossil fuel usage gets exponentially more troubling on an overpopulated planet. Overproduction for sales that may not occur, planned obsolescence. i.e. shoddy production to necessitate repeat sales, and cyclical consumption caused by advertising and fads has run rampant. The future of waste is becoming increasingly problematic as world population burgeons toward 10 billion by 2050. It is estimated that nearly 23% of everything that we manufacture today goes from the factory to the landfill, without ever passing through a consumers hands. A UN report found that we will need 3x more planet Earths by 2040 to keep up with our current rates of consumption which are already violating the Limits to Growth. Additionally, the BS Jobs sector is wasting the biosphere’s overtaxed resources even faster. We find ourselves in a significant quandary as a global species addicted to limitless growth on a finite planet.
“When historians one day dissect the long arc of humankind’s use of fossil fuels, they may note October 9, 2006, as a turning point for Big Oil. That’s when it became clear that the major oil companies–the giants that had survived numerous predicted extinctions and gone on to ever-greater profit and influence–were undergoing a tectonic shift and would either reinvent themselves or die” says Steve Levine, analyst and author at The New Republic. Further, this is the day, according to this article, that Moscow dashed the hopes of five major oil companies from three countries and announced that Russia itself, and not they, would develop the biggest new natural gas field on the planet, an undersea Arctic reservoir called Shtokman.
“Big Oil, then–the indomitable giant symbolized by the pitiless John D. Rockefeller–is dying. At the very least, it will soon have to fundamentally change the way it does business. But the shock of Shtokman is merely a tremor compared with the coming transition to a non-carbon energy economy. Big Oil could transcend its current woes and weather that revolution– perhaps even lead it–if it reinvented itself as Big Energy, striving to develop renewable power sources like wind and solar, or even to deliver the industry’s holy grail: a clean energy mechanism that renders fossil fuels obsolete. True, no one yet knows what the revolution will look like; but the odd thing is that, for the most part, the oil companies don’t seem to care.” – The New Republic
Climate deniers as well as catastrophists proclaim that any alternatives to carbon-sourced energy are likely “hopium” and imply that we must stick with what we have now, i.e. fossil fuels. They hide behind climate change fundamentalist subtexts that tell us it is already too late so we must “burn baby burn” (to quote mega-capitalist Exxon executives). They also tell us we should accept our fate and prepare for planetary hospice. For them, it pays to be perennially too late (podcast). “They are caught in a kind of institutional contradiction,” says Noam Chomsky (video) and that institution is the market economy and “it is a death knell for our species.”
- Bodley, John (1997, seminal work). Victims of progress. Retrieved from https://hpsfaa.wildapricot.org/Resources/Documents/AppliedAnthropologist-1997/fall1997/A%20Critical%20Essay%20on%20John%20H.%20Bodley%E2%80%99s%20Victims%20of%20Progress.pdf
- CNBC (2019). Did we just witness the end of big oil? Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/22/climate-change-did-we-just-witness-beginning-of-end-of-big-oil.html
- Cohen, Steve (2017). Tesla’s model 3 and the transition to sustainability. Retrieved from https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2017/07/31/teslas-model-3-and-the-transition-to-sustainability/
- GNH Centre (2019). The 9 domains of GNH. Retrieved from http://www.gnhcentrebhutan.org/what-is-gnh/the-9-domains-of-gnh/
- Manning, Jeanne (2019). Hidden Energy. Book
- Scott, Joe (2017). Answers with Joe: the Venus project and the resource-based economy. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYodgWapmgc
- Seba, Tony (2017). Edge of disruption (video). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WwtIPeGnd4
- Tsakraklides, George (2019). The nothing manifesto: we need a revolution of nothing. Retrieved from https://firstname.lastname@example.org/the-nothing-manifesto-8c1e3061cffc
- You38.org (2019). Transfer fossil fuel subsidies onto solutions.
Retrieved from https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/transfer-fossil-fuel-subsidies-onto-solution-s?just_launched=true&fbclid=IwAR3ZMr1NRYr2PdgvGb-Medru6AQhDNYl4YRXCOdfFTC3wxdTW4mvqtyeRkk
- Zerzan, John (2016). The murderous idolatry of the future: anarcho-primitivism and the end of technology (video). Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/160083053?fbclid=IwAR0tPgbE8B7csGLnLnaSKUA2AL1Q6ArVAGRdHeZDax4BmJvaE14aq1YhlRk
- 10:30 am Mar 6, 2020 – S. Cairns – (Updated and organized End of Oil page content, added videos and updated graphics.)
Note: This page is in a work in progress which will be constantly updated as with all wiki pages. It aims to introduce the topic of the end of big oil as it is related to climate change.