For the few oil & gas exports economies, these resources exploration and trade have as we all know, brought a wealth that has never been known before its advent but with it a lot of disagreements as well. Unfortunately not only to them. The results are also “renowned for their pedagogical prowess” and the gains could be seen as merely crazy fossil loaded urbanisation of the Gulf desert shoreline and a most affordable fill up at the petrol station.
Fossil loaded Urbanisation of the Gulf Desert Shoreline ?
Seriously, urbanization we could say is in the Gulf States not much more than the rapid extension of the existing cities of the region and are therefore at the centre stage of their development. They also have a definite impact on the region’s environment and its sustainability. Honorable attempt at green development and sustainability was undertaken as in Masdar City but conventional urbanization development acceleration was, to put it simply, a response to the huge demand for housing and all related facilities as induced by the fossil oil industry. Time has elapsed and things seem to have gone full circle and the world energy is getting cleaner and cheaper but not quickly enough, lots of people were heard as saying. This is mainly our reason of committing to this movement Fossil Free UK.
We, this site team, have just sign in this petition and join in the support of this campaign in which we believe that the majority of the MENA countries should ascribe too, petro and non-petro economies alike.
We republish excerpts of this article of the Fossil Free campaign that is gaining momentum by the day. So apart from this fossil loaded Urbanisation related issues, here is :
The Fossil Free campaign is just one part of the global movement for climate justice. As long as we weaken acceptance for the industry and keep escalating pressure, we’re on the right track and gaining strength.
This is how we win.
Overthrowing the most powerful industry in history
Fossil fuel companies have arguably become the most powerful corporations in history. But their power is dependent on being seen as legitimate actors in our society.
There’s a reason why they invest millions and billions to maintain a respectable brand image through advertising and sponsorship deals.
- They need to be able to recruit and keep qualified workers.
- They rely on workers and sometimes the state police or even the military to cooperate to keep their operations going.
- They need to have access to and influence over academic research, specific knowledge and expertise.
- They need permits from various levels of government and courts.
- They need investors and have to be able to get loans.
- They need insurance companies to back their projects.
- They rely on suppliers and business partners.
…. They need enough public acceptance to maintain a favourable legal and political framework that allows them to pollute our atmosphere unrestricted and for free, while harming our health, destroying our environment and trampling on human rights.
If governments withdrew the billions of dollars of subsidies the industry enjoys, fossil fuel companies could by now barely survive.
The more people see that the rogue business model of the fossil fuel industry for what it is – one which relies on destroying the climate and environment to achieve profit, the harder it will be for them to keep drawing on the support they need.
The fossil fuel industry knows this. Just recently, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said that waning public acceptance was the biggest challenge his company faces. The chief executive of Total, Patrick Pouyanné also recently complained that oil and gas companies were ‘accused of being the villains’ and that investments in renewables were a tool to ‘make [the] oil and gas business acceptable’. (He was quick to note that these only made up a fraction of their investments and reasserting that Total was an oil and gas company.)
Our pathway to transformation, winning over popular opinion
Instead of trying to use institutional influence to achieve incremental gains, a transformational approach aims to move the broader public on an issue to make much bigger changes possible than what may seem politically feasible at a given point in time.
When the public debate has shifted, enough people sympathise and lend their support to the cause, and a strong movement of people builds enough sustained pressure for change, decision makers will find themselves with no choice but to catch up.
The success of this pathway to change relies on stories, wins and demands that bring the moral urgency to address an injustice into the public spotlight. Immediate impacts on policy or actual enforceability can be less important on this trajectory than the symbolic value of achievements. In that sense, divestment commitments are less about money being moved but the symbolic value of institutions distancing themselves from the industry.
Instrumental gains are important to build and keep momentum going (speaking of momentum, check out how much we have achieved already). However, the success of the Fossil Free campaign depends on how successful we are in swaying public opinion and growing stronger as a movement.
Whether or not an institution divests,, we achieve our goals when campaigns successfully create public battles that win over public opinion and weaken acceptance of the industry.
When students at UCL in London escalate actions on campus highlighting the conflict between the university’s research and its investments, and exposing the close connections of university council members to fossil fuel companies; when pressure from scientists, climate activists and museum employees force oil mogul David Koch to step down from the board of New York’s American Museum of Natural History; when the City of Cape Town comes under pressure to divest from the companies at the root of the city’s water crisis; when Nobel Prize winners urge the prestigious Nobel Foundation to cut their financial ties to fossil fuel companies, we have exactly the kind of impact we aim for with the Fossil Free campaign.
Lessons from history
Transformational change rarely happens in a linear way. The status quo can seem untouched for a long time while the pillars of support upholding it start to crumble. When a campaign reaches a tipping point, the system can seemingly all of a sudden collapse.
Many social movements we look back on as being hugely successful, have for the longest time had very little instrumental achievements like big policy or legislative changes to show for. It is in fact not unusual for social movements to go through a stage where they feel they are failing before they actually win, as Bill Moyer’s analysis of movements shows.