CleanTechnica Fossil Fuels elaborated on the more and more overwhelming tendency of eying Fossil Fuel complicity as no longer hidden in America’s investments institutions. as well as elsewhere in the world. Here it is.
They’re not giving up. Yes, several attempts were defeated to persuade the Massachusetts municipal and county retirement systems to remove fossil fuel investments from their portfolios. But the Massachusetts Legislature is still considering measures that open up possibilities for divestment. To do otherwise, they argue, is to engage in fossil fuel complicity.
And they’re not alone. All over the US, organizations are pushing for divestments within institutions and municipalities. Led by FossilFree.org, individuals and advocacy groups are raising the discourse around the necessity to stop and ban all new oil, coal, and gas projects bypassing local resolutions to divest and by building community resistance.
Divestment has been a tool used to promote social change since at least the 1970s, when anti-apartheid activists urged institutions to move their investment dollars away from companies that did business with South Africa. Fossil fuel divestment has been gaining momentum in recent years, with more than 1,000 institutions pledging to remove $8.55 trillion from investments in the fossil fuel sector.
Fiduciary Duty is Now a Companion Argument to Social & Environmental Reasons to Divest
In 2017, Somerville, Massachusetts’ governing board agreed to move $9.2 million — 4.5% of the total invested funds — out of fossil fuel investments. The regulatory body that oversees public pension systems rejected the move, however, with reasons ranging from procedural to breach of fiduciary duty. The Massachusetts Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) claimed Somerville was failing to put the financial needs of its beneficiaries ahead of social and environmental causes. PERAC oversees 104 public pension plans across the state, with about $86 billion in total assets.
Demand for fossil fuels is likely to drop as much of the global economy shifts to renewable energy.
Increased storm frequency due to climate change can cause supply chain disruption and infrastructure damage for oil companies.
“From the fiduciary perspective, there are a lot of questions as to the economic health of the fossil fuel sector moving forward,” Alex Nosnik, a member of the Somerville board, said. “Risk, certainly in concert with the environmental and social issues, was driving our decision to move forward.”
Ultimately, after lots of divestment advocates worked alongside sympathetic legislators to craft a local option bill that would authorize any municipal or county retirement system to divest from fossil fuels should they so choose. Standalone bills have been filed in the House and Senate; similar language has also been included in a wide-ranging clean energy bill pending in the Senate.
Several of the state’s environmental groups have come out in favour of these measures, including the Massachusetts chapter of the Sierra Club, the Green Energy Consumers Alliance, and the Climate Action Business Association.
“We have to stop putting money into fossil fuels,” said Deb Pasternak, director of Sierra Club Massachusetts. “We need to take our money and direct it toward the renewable energy economy.”
Do not panic! This is not about telling you how
your bank accounts and pension funds have been used to finance the production
of nuclear bombs (they call it ‘investment’).
Nor it is about the four dozens of major and minor
wars that the so-called “traditional weapons,” which are being
manufactured and exported by civilised, democratic countries, continue to
It is not about the irrational depletion of natural
resources, the destruction of forests, the massive provision of arms to “rebel
groups’ to burn entire villages, rape girls and women, and recruit child
soldiers in more than one African country, for the sake of ‘cleaning’ the mines
area for big multinationals to continue extracting precious minerals which
serve to produce more (and more expensive) smartphones. Not even it is about
how today’s youth will see more plastic than fish in all seas.
More: this article will not focus on the moral and
intellectual bankruptcy of so many mediocre apprentices of self-called
‘politicians’, who embrace dangerous fanaticisms while, in some ‘very
democratic’ countries, calling their own selves “centre-right” (some
dare saying they are simply “centre”), slipping further into
Nor it is about those so many States which were
once net exporters of emigrants (Italy, Spain, Greece, etc), but which now
stand as die-hard enemies of immigrants… all under the pretext of the
“crisis” they have created and the resulting high unemployment rates,
and “national security,” post-truth arguments.
Let alone big powers such as the United States,
which have been entirely built up by migrants at the easy cost of exterminating
the original, native populations. What to say about Canada? And Australia…?
Now those migrants who are forced to flee created
armed conflicts, impoverishment, climate change (which they did not contribute
to generate), are easy prey to arbitrary measures – walls, fences, and shame
pacts to send them to detention centres and slavery markets in countries like
So, what the hell is this article all about? Well,
it is about a scarce handful of examples on the biggest damages the so-called
globalisation has caused to human species.
Let’s begin with the term globalisation itself, a
process that was somehow formalised in the beginning of the 80’s with the
performance on power stage of British “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher and US
actor who became President, Ronald Reagan.
The Iron Lady-Premier and the Actor-President
represented the visible face of the also so-called ‘neo-liberalism’, which in
poor, simple words has led to the steady dismantlement of all aspects of
painfully gained social welfare services – from public healthcare, to
retirement pensions, through the suppression of workers rights, labour unions,
public education and a very long etcetera. In short, it was about turning back
to the Victorian era.
Instead, neo-liberalism rapidly paved the way to a
wild wave of privatisation, the supremacy of the uncontrolled marked rules,
record-high youth unemployment rates, abysmal inequalities…
Let alone infinite greed, including the unleashing
of endless wars, for the sake of keeping happy gigantic weapons industry and
the business of ‘reconstruction’ of destroyed countries, all in exchange of
their generous funding for electoral campaigns.
This Anglo-saxon neo-liberal hegemony soon
contagioned European States, which rapidly adapted their ‘values’ to those new
ones coming from Washington and London. Business as usual for Europeans, some
Rather than providing a longish list of documented,
figure-supported examples of what such process has meant at the macro and
micro-economic levels, this quick, chaotic tale modestly pretends to focus on
some of its biggest impacts on human beings. Human beings that are now
considered as mere numbers of ‘voters’ (mind you not any more ‘electors’).
One point is that the term globalisation has
consistently been systematically given positive connotations, while it could be
rightfully interpreted as a process of gradual “monetisation” and even
“dollaristaion” of livelihoods, and soon became an aggressive ‘massification’
of imported habits, blind consumption, hysterical greed, irrational imitation,
the death of what used to be considered ‘truth’ (the post-truth era), the
dominance of disinformation and misinformation (the ‘fake news’).
In the course of this process, the so-called “low
classes” have been provided with easy bank credits to purchase houses, last
model of cars, travel across the world… Psychologically, this led them to
believe that they had become “middle class” and later on “high middle class”,
thus approaching the enviable status of “high class.”
Then came the crisis. With it, the most vulnerable
groups, falsely transformed in privileged groups, lost everything—the loans,
the houses, the cars, travelling, etc.
One of the most dramatic consequences is the loss
of identity—both individual and collective identity. Simply, identity has
Such a dangerous consequence is now being rapidly
aggravated by the arrival of hi-tech products—robots replacing humans.
Sorry for this quick, chaotic tale about some of
the most perilous impacts of the globalisation process that, according to some
interpretations, would be now dismantled. The fact is such massification
appears to have no end.
In exchange, the ‘voters’ hare now being told that
they will receive, sooner or later, a basic income (also called unconditional
basic income, citizen’s income, basic income guarantee, universal basic income
or universal demo-grant), which implies that all citizens or residents of a
country will regularly receive an unconditional sum of money, in addition to
any income received from elsewhere.
According to its defenders, this would be financed
by the profits of publicly owned enterprises. A difficult exercise given that
the private sector has been taking over the roles of the states, which have
been gradually dismantled.
way, the citizens will be kept alive, will complain less about the evident
failure of governments to create job opportunities, while doing what they are
expected to do: that’s to consume all what industries produce and, by the way,
continue playing their role as ‘voters’ (not electors, mind you again!).
Baher Kamall is an Egyptian-born, Spanish national, secular journalist, with over 45 years of professional experience — from reporter to special envoy to chief editor of national dailies and an international news agency. Baher is former Senior Advisor to the Director general of the international news agency IPS (Inter Press Service) and he also contributed to prestigious magazines such as GEO, Muy Interesante, and Natura, Spain. He is also publisher and editor of Human Wrongs Watch.
According to Yale Climate Connections, in a February 20, 2019, Food & Agriculture topic article, it is said that “Researchers look for ways to meet rising global food demand. The challenge: produce 50 percent more food while reducing GHG emissions by one-third.”
Feeding the world’s rapidly expanding population –
currently at 7.6 billion and expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050 –
without exacerbating climate change will require the closing of three
significant gaps, according to a new report, “Creating a Sustainable Food Future.”
The gaps highlighted in a recent World Resources
Institute (WRI) report involve:
supply, simply producing enough to meet rising demand;
for food production: The report estimates that if current production rates
continue with the same yields, an additional area almost twice the size of
India would be required to produce enough food; and
increased greenhouse gas emissions likely to be produced by the additional food
production needed by 2050.
Feeding a rapidly growing population in a
sustainable way is a challenge, researchers have grappled with for some time.
“If you just wanted to feed the world and you didn’t worry about the
environment at all, you know that’s probably not that hard because we just
basically go and chop down a lot more land, a lot more forest,” says lead
author Tim Searchinger. “But the challenge is inherently producing all that
more food plus not converting additional land – that’s where the challenge is.”
Searchinger is a Princeton University research
scholar who collaborated with an array of international researchers over the
past six years to produce the WRI report. A synthesis version was released in
December 2018, and the roughly 500-page full report is to be published this
Challenges in feeding 10 billion people by 2050
The synthesis report outlines a variety of options
and opportunities to meet the rapidly growing need for nutrition while at the
same time working to mitigate climate change. Ultimately, the authors seek to
answer the question: “How can the world adequately feed nearly 10 billion
people by the year 2050 in ways that help combat poverty, allow the world to
meet climate goals, and reduce pressures on the broader environment?”
“If you want to solve climate change, you have to
solve this question,” Searchinger says. He points to estimates that agriculture
and associated land use change could make up 70 percent of “allowable emissions
from all human sources” by 2050 if current practices continue.
“That would basically leave almost no room for any
other emissions, so it would basically make solving climate change impossible,”
he says. “So we have to figure out a way to do both and figure out a way to
produce 50 percent more food with [approximately] two-thirds fewer emissions –
so that’s the challenge.”
The report joins a growing list of documents
proposing solutions to climate change that revolve around food and agriculture.
Peter de Menocal, dean of science, professor of earth and environmental
sciences, and director of the Center for Climate and Life at Columbia
University, points to Project Drawdown as another analysis focusing on
Project Drawdown includes a ranked list of climate solutions, and three
of the top five involve food and agriculture. The third-ranked solution is to
reduce food waste, number four is a “plant-rich diet,” and fifth on the list is
“tropical forests,” which de Menocal notes is related to palm oil and other
agricultural uses. He emphasizes the need to take real actions soon.
“I think ultimately we’re in for a big surprise, a
big shock if you will, and so I think that transition can be lessened by
becoming aware of what the solutions look like and how individuals can change
their behaviors to align with the fact that we’re living on a single planet
with ever expanding numbers of people,” de Menocal said in an interview.
A menu of sustainable food futures — not a la carte
The WRI report provides a “menu for a sustainable food
future” detailing 22 approaches that could help fill the three gaps, including
ways to increase agricultural efficiency and produce more food while using less
land, fertilizer, and other resources. Along with other measures, the report
focuses on restoring certain types of land, like peatlands and forests;
reducing greenhouse gas emissions; holding steady the use of biofuels;
increasing fish stocks; and reducing the consumption of meat – particularly
ruminants like cows, sheep, and goats.
However, this “menu” isn’t an a la carte array of
pick-and-choose options. “Significant progress in all 22 menu items is
necessary to close the three gaps, requiring action by many millions of
farmers, businesses, consumers, and all governments,” the report cautions.
Getting the cooperation of all stakeholders –
essentially the entire world – is, unsurprisingly, a difficult feat.
Governmental cooperation to preserve land, rather than converting it to
agriculture, is imperative. That’s clearly a challenge for the many leaders who
are under pressure to convert forests and other types of land for agricultural
purposes to meet immediate food needs and produce foods for export.
Political leadership ‘just overwhelmingly
Changing political leadership can also speed-up or
slow-down change. According to Searchinger, Brazil had made a lot of progress
in reducing deforestation, but recent changes in leadership make the future of
such progress uncertain. “Politics is critical,” he says. “Politics is just
overwhelmingly important – this is mustering the political will,” Searchinger
says. “This is true of everything to do with climate change.”
Land use changes are critical especially in certain areas,
such as peatlands, wetland areas covering around 3 percent of the Earth and
storing massive amounts of carbon. When they are damaged, drained, or used for
agriculture, these areas contribute significantly to climate change. According to the International
Union for Conservation of Nature, damaged or drained peatlands are
“annually releasing almost 6 percent of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions.”
Searchinger notes that restoring or rewetting
peatlands previously damaged, drained, or used for purposes like agriculture
can go a long way toward meeting climate change goals and restoring ecosystems.
Some of these opportunities are immediate, such as rewetting peatland areas
that are seldom used for agriculture. “[We have a] huge opportunity to do
something right away just by restoring water to those peatlands,” Searchinger
With food supply problems come ‘human conflict’
In addition to the 22 items listed in the report,
de Menocal notes a few additional food and agriculture-related areas relevant
to climate change and food. He points to climate-related vulnerabilities in the
food system, including food distribution; and points also to threats to the
crops themselves, including environmental shocks, such as crops being decimated
by sudden storms and heat waves.
“Those food shocks are going to become increasingly
frequent and I think that’s going to do two things,” de Menocal says. “One is
it obviously reduces the food supply, but it also introduces uncertainty in the
food supply, and both those things are not great.”
Human conflict goes hand-in-hand with food supply
issues, de Menocal cautions. “With food insecurity comes human conflict,” he
says. “This is something that’s been well documented both in the prehistorical
record but also in the recent historical record such as Syria and of course
migrations out of North Africa into Europe. When people are hungry, they
migrate, and they’ll migrate to places where there’s food, which is typically
the wealthier nations.” He cautions that this migration can also lead to
political instability, and says these types of geopolitical concerns are
monitored not only by climate modelers and researchers, but also by government
intelligence agencies seeking to anticipate and mitigate conflicts.
The need for innovation and change
While analysts work to predict future conflicts and
issues, scientists are striving to make progress in the laboratory. New technological
innovations could help alleviate some major issues, but predicting the
trajectory of scientific developments is a huge challenge since breakthroughs
looking out several decades are unpredictable.
New technology could help improve crop yields; produce
crops with resistance to pests, diseases, and climatic conditions; and even
help develop feed additives to reduce the amount of methane cows emit, among
many possibilities. But technology is a wild card dependent on countless
unknown future factors. Innovations could take the form of anything from
increasing the efficiency of current methods to developing technology far
beyond anyone’s current imagination.
That said, plant-based meat substitutes are one
area of potential innovation. Producing beef and other ruminant meat is
resource-intensive and a major source of greenhouse gases going well beyond
emissions from cows themselves.
Searchinger says a variety of meat substitutes, or
even half meat/half mushroom mixes, have great potential, especially if they
become more economical. They are already a tasty choice, he adds: “Hamburger
substitutes are getting really good.”
He is undaunted by the notion of many people having
to shift their dietary habits. Searchinger points out that most of the world
doesn’t consume much beef, and that people in the U.S. and Europe eat about
one-third less beef today than they did in the 1960s.
Eating less meat is important, de Menocal agrees,
and he encourages his students to consider trying out “Meatless Monday” as part of a campus
initiative. “It’s just introducing people to the idea that you can eat well and
still do well by the planet,” de Menocal says. “Even small changes like that
make a big difference in terms of collective behavior.” Additionally, he points
to meat subsidies as a factor that impact consumption, particularly in the U.S.
These subsidies make meat far more affordable than it is in some other parts of
the world. “As long as there’s no accounting for the accompanying environmental
risks that come with meat production, then I think the price of meat will not
reflect its true cost to society,” de Menocal says.
By thinking about what’s on their plate and what’s
in their fridge, people can take their own steps toward a sustainable food
future. Searchinger urges people to cut down on eating ruminant meat – such as
beef and lamb – and work to avoid tossing out food. “[In the U.S.] people tend
to buy a lot of food and throw it in the back of the refrigerator and
‘rediscover’ things,” he says. Planning meals and shopping more efficiently,
keeping track of food items and using them before they spoil, and being sure to
eat leftovers before they go bad are just a few steps people can take that go a
“If we don’t meet these goals, we won’t solve
climate change,” Searchinger says.
1962, American playwright James Baldwin wrote that “Not everything that is
faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” Today, his
words should give us succour. We need more than ever to face the reality of
researcher at IPPR, a think tank. We have been observing warnings of rapid,
negative environmental change from the scientific community. So we decided to
understand what that means for our work, for policy, and for politics.
report released today,
we bring together the latest science on human-induced environmental change and
seek to understand how politicians should respond. We conclude that when it
comes to climate change, political debate has failed us in three different
the term “climate change” no longer captures reality. The scale of
environmental change that our earth is currently experiencing far exceeds it.
We are depleting soil, killing species, damaging oceans. This is happening at a
pace that is unprecedented in human
history and in some cases millions, or even billions, of years.
call this what it is: the age of environmental breakdown – a term that is a
more proportionate description of the totality that the earth presently faces.
political debate does not adequately recognise the consequences of
environmental breakdown. This isn’t just about saving polar bears or the health
impacts of air pollution, however crucial these issues are. It is about higher
incidences of drought, an impaired ability to grow food, cities afflicted by
extreme weather events. It is about the resulting consequences: famines, forced
migration, economic crises – and war.
age of environmental breakdown has inaugurated a new “domain of risk,”
unprecedented in its complexity and the potential severity of its impact.
current political debates skirt around the urgent need to transform our social
and economic systems in response to environmental breakdown. Tinkering in the
margins and providing quick fixes or short term measures will no longer
consequences of environmental breakdown will fall hardest on the poorest, who
are most vulnerable to its effects, and the least responsible for the problem.
poorest half of the global population account for around 10 per cent of yearly
global greenhouse gas emissions; half of global emissions
are attributed to the richest 10 per cent of people. In the UK, per capita
emissions of the wealthiest 10 per cent are up to five times higher than those
of the bottom half.
question of how we confront environmental breakdown, and who will feel its
effects, intersects with inequalities of class, ethnicity and gender.
Environmental breakdown isn’t just about climate change: it’s about justice.
confront environmental breakdown, we need two overall transformations.
first is to make to make societies sustainable and just, bringing human
activity within environmentally sustainable limits while ensuring a decent
quality of life is available to all. This sits at the heart of arguments for a Green New Deal.
Programmes to halt environmental breakdown can and should include measures to
improve social and economic outcomes, including providing good jobs for all,
tackling structural discrimination, and expanding free education.
second is to build societies that are prepared for
environmental breakdown. Infrastructure, markets and political processes need
to be resilient to environmental breakdown resulting from past and future
activity. We don’t talk about this enough. While it may be scary to think about
preparing for environmental catastrophe, it is fast becoming necessary. In
particular, we need to develop a politics that runs counter to the nativist
right, whose programme of anti-migrant and anti-environmental could win big as
the seas rise and the food runs out.
like the rollout of renewable energy and the successful efforts to stem the
breakdown of the ozone layer have made progress towards realising these
transformations. But most efforts have neither adequately focussed on all
elements of environmental breakdown, nor sought to fundamentally transform key
social and economic systems. Little attention has been given to ensuring
societies are robust enough to face the increasingly severe consequences of
generations are now faced with a daunting twin task: preventing environmental
breakdown and responding to its growing impact. IPPR will be exploring how to
help younger generations find the energy that often eludes them as they
confront a rapidly destabilising world.
scale and pace of environmental change confirms that the only credible way
forward is systemic transformation of societies and economies. To change the
path that lies ahead, we must first admit that we are entering an age of
unprecedented breakdown. Time is running out.
Laybourn-Langton is a senior research fellow at IPPR. He tweets @Laurie_L_L
2019 is just around the corner, and across the globe observations and statistics indicate that clean, renewable energy production is growing faster than fossil fuels, and multiple studies predict that this trend will continue to grow. Renewable energy investments grew to $297 billion in 2016 (the last time full-year data was collected), while only $143 billion was spent on fossil fuels and nuclear power.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports renewable energy will be cheaper than fossil fuels as early as 2020. Bloomberg’s New Energy Outlook 2018 forecasts that “By 2050 wind and solar technology provide almost 50% of total electricity globally – ’50 by 50′ – with hydro, nuclear and other renewables taking total zero-carbon electricity up to 71%.”
Developing nations are now forging ahead of the wealthiest countries (and previous leaders in renewable energy) by practicing the use of producing energy through environmentally friendly methods, like wind and solar, more than traditional, harmful methods.
Because many developing countries are plentiful in natural resources and equipment costs are relatively low, clean energy has been shown to be financially beneficial for less wealthy countries allowing them to dominate in clean energy production. In fact, research shows that, in many cases, due to the sharp decline in prices of solar technology in recent years, the same amount of energy produced from fossil fuels can be produced by solar panel systems at half the cost of coal.
According to an article on Bloomberg News, “Emerging markets added the least new coal-fired power generating capacity last year since at least2006.” The article continues, “New coal plants in these countries slumped 38 percent from a year earlier to 48 gigawatts in 2017, which was about half of the peak in 2015, according to BNEF.”
Countries like the US can learn from these developing nations. Nicki Zvik, founder of Green Solar Technologies, states, “As resources for fossil fuels diminish, and as the need take measures to prevent climate change remains at the forefront of people’s minds, it is essential that wealthier nations take advantage of the flourishing clean energy market, and thankfully, they are.”
According to an article published on Engadget,”Renewable energy played an important role in the US last year…” The article continues to note, “solar and wind power represented 94.7 percent of the net new electricity capacity (15.8GW out of 16.7GW) added in 2017.”
2018 has been a banner year for renewable energy. The rapid progression of investment in clean, reliable, eco-friendly renewables continues at record-breaking levels, and all indicators point to strong and steady growth in renewable energy into the foreseeable future. More than ever, global awareness that renewable energy is the only viable answer to the world’s growing energy demands, and hope for the future grows apace.
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Almost every climate scientist agrees human-caused climate change is a major global threat. Yet, despite efforts over the past 30 years to do something about it, emissions keep increasing.
Any successful coordinated international response will require action from businesses. However, some organisations, especially those in sectors that significantly contribute to environmental degradation such as the oil industry, seem rather reluctant to embrace the challenge.
Those climate initiatives they have embraced were more often than not prompted by litigation risks or enforced by governmental policies rather than a result of an intrinsic “green” commitment.
This isn’t the impression the industry likes to give off, of course, and it’s no wonder oil companies’ statements on corporate social responsibility and environmental reporting tend to highlight their greenest side. Yet the fact these documents give the oil firms the opportunity to construct their own narrative means they are a useful source for my research in applied linguistics. When a huge volume of language is analysed, features and patterns can emerge that would be invisible to the casual human reader.
My latest study looked at the “climate change reality” constructed by oil industry in its corporate reporting, what language was used to create this reality, and how this changed over time. This sort of analysis of language is important. Language not only mirrors the social world but acts as a lens through which objects, situations and people are given meaning. Features and associations that are foregrounded can point to some level of significance, while what is kept in the background or not mentioned at all can highlight a lack of interest.
This is why I used corpus-linguistic tools – essentially, using a computer to analyse vast amounts of text for certain patterns – to investigate nearly 500 corporate documents produced between 2000 and 2013 by major oil companies (including all the big names). This comprised some 14.8m words published in corporate social responsibility and environmental reports and relevant chapters in annual reports. That’s a lot of words – roughly equivalent to 25 copies of War and Peace.
Using software program Sketch Engine, I looked at how frequently the key corporate terms “climate change”, “greenhouse effect”, and “global warming” were used in each year to reveal how patterns of attention changed over time.
My analysis shows that the most frequently adopted term in the studied sample is “climate change”, while other terms such as “global warming” and “greenhouse effect” are rarely used. The preference for “climate change” and near absence of “global warming” reflects patterns observed in public and media discourse, too.
The use of the term “climate change” experienced peaks and troughs over time, with most mentions between 2004 and 2008, and fewer and fewer mentions since 2010. Less attention to climate change in public debates and overt anti-climate change attitudes on the parts of some governments in recent years might have contributed to the decline in attention given to climate change in corporate reporting.
I then looked at words used alongside “climate change” to gather clues as to the company’s attitude towards it. This showed a significant change in the way it has been portrayed. In the mid-2000s, the most frequent associated terms were “tackle”, “combat” and “fight”, showing climate change was seen as a phenomenon that something could be done about.
However, in recent years, the corporate discourse has increasingly emphasised the notion of “risks”. Climate change is portrayed as an unpredictable agent “causing harm” to the oil industry. The industry tends to present itself as a technological leader, but the measures it proposes to tackle climate change are mainly technological or market-based and thus firmly embedded within the corporate world’s drive for profits. Meanwhile, social, ethical, or alternative solutions are largely absent.
It seems that climate change has become an elusive concept that is losing its relevance even as an impression management strategy. The proactive stance of a decade earlier is now offset by a distancing strategy, often indicated through the use of qualifying words like “potential” or “eventual”, which push the problem into the future or pass responsibility to others.
In doing so, the discourse obscures the oil sector’s large contribution to environmental degradation and “grooms” the public to believe that the industry is serious about tackling climate change.