Climate change - politics and activism

Applying the Dharma for the preservation of planet Earth and its inhabitants
Bundokji
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Bundokji » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:36 pm

The Aramco IPO will be initiated soon. It will be interesting to see how the market will evaluate the risks associated with investing in the world's largest oil company.
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:19 pm

I had to look that up ...
Saudi Arabia is pulling out all the stops to ensure the success of Aramco’s initial public offering after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman finally decided to offer shares in the world’s largest oil producer.

The kingdom cut taxes on the company for a third time, revealed incentives for investors not to sell and is considering boosting dividends further. Yet the Saudi government has already conceded the company probably isn’t worth the $2 trillion valuation Prince Mohammed has long advocated.

More than three years after the IPO was first mooted, Aramco published a so-called intention to float on Sunday, the most dramatic change to the Saudi oil industry since the company was nationalized in the 1970s. The IPO is a cornerstone of Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030 plan to make the Saudi economy ready for the post-oil era.
:reading: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... o-k2ijnnsq
...which led me to -
Why now?

The timing has raised eyebrows. Aramco pumps about 10% of the world’s oil, yet crude prices have fallen 16% in the past 12 months and the outlook for global growth suggests they may drop further. An aerial attack on Aramco’s largest processing plant in mid-September briefly wiped out half the company’s production capacity, highlighting its vulnerability as well as the region’s heightened geopolitical tensions. Saudi Arabia may be taking the view that it’s better to press ahead in case oil prices continue to slide.
:reading: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -quicktake

Interesting times!
And probably stranded assets - https://www.marketforces.org.au/info/ke ... ed-assets/

:jedi:
Kim

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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Bundokji » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:08 pm

Its also interesting that a part of Mohammad bin Salman's vision for the future of Saudi includes heavy investment in renewable, but this coincided with an increase in oil production in the short term.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ble-energy

The timing for the IPO is far from perfect and i expect it to negatively effect the market's valuation of the company. Cheaper renewable energy as well as the attacks against Aramco's facilities are not the only factors which also to do with new discoveries in the US, which from what i ve heard, became the largest oil producer, self sufficient and even an exporter of oil using new technology to extract oil from shale. Also Iran announced last week the discovery of a giant field with estimated reserves of 50 billion barrels.

I think the focus of arguments against oil and gas now has more to do with its impact on the climate than the old arguments of it being a finite source.
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:45 am

Bundokji wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:08 pm
I think the focus of arguments against oil and gas now has more to do with its impact on the climate than the old arguments of it being a finite source.
That's partly true, since new technology allows extraction of resources which wee previously impossible or uneconomic to extract. However, those new resources are still more expensive to extract than the older ones (that shouldn't be a surprise, since everyone always goes for the cheapest and easiest sources first) and they are losing the purely economic war against renewables.
The cost of renewable energy has been dropping steadily and shows no sign of slowing down.
the renewable energy industry is about to cross a major milestone that will truly set it on the path towards becoming the world’s predominant energy source.

According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) cited by Reuters, beginning in 2020, electricity generated by solar PV and onshore wind is set to become consistently cheaper than the most cost-effective fossil fuel alternative, without subsidies.

In essence, more than 80 percent of solar PV and 75 percent of onshore wind power deployments to be commissioned next year will be cheaper than the cheapest new oil, natural gas, or coal-fired sources as per the report.
:reading: https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy ... -2020.html

and
rom a natural gas industry conference to a major metropolitan area, more signs are emerging that natural gas is in a losing economic battle with renewables and battery storage. And considering recent news that existing fossil fuel projects are already enough to push the world past international climate goals, this emerging economic reality couldn't come soon enough.

Take the dire warning about the U.S. fracked shale gas industry that came from a former fracking CEO.

“Now I tell you all this because I think it has long-term implications for the end users of natural gas. This situation cannot continue indefinitely,” Steve Schlotterbeck explained at a recent petrochemical and gas industry conference. “There will be a reckoning and the only question is whether it happens in a controlled manner or whether it comes as an unexpected shock to the system.”

As reported by DeSmog, these comments by the former CEO of drilling company EQT were part of a larger presentation in which he laid out the scale of financial failure associated with fracking for natural gas and oil. The implications Schlotterbeck mentioned are important and center on the fact that natural gas prices — and thus the costs for end users like natural gas power plants — can only go up, likely by a large amount.

Right now, natural gas prices are artificially low because fracking companies have been producing record amounts of natural gas at a loss. As Schlotterbeck points out, this is an unsustainable business model. But it has supplied natural gas consumers with artificially cheap energy, giving natural gas a competitive edge over the dying coal and nuclear power industries.
:reading: https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/07/05/s ... bles-cost
And that's even before you factor in the (already happening) lawsuits against fossil fuel producers for the environmental harm they have knowingly caused, and the coming (inevitable, IMO) carbon taxes.
So what are the fossil fuel producers going to do? (1) Sell out as quickly as possible, before every possible buyer sees what a losing proposition they would be buying, (2) dump their product on the market as fast as possible, even at low prices, because what they don't sell soon will stay in the ground for ever because of what it would do to the climate, or (3) both.

And it's all happening (at last!) far more quickly than seemed possible even a couple of years ago, e.g. this headline from mid 2017 -
Oil giants need to invest heavily in renewables by 2035, says analysis
Slowing demand for oil and forecasts of rapid growth in green power pose risk to core business, says analyst
:reading: https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ysis-finds

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Bundokji » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:37 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:45 am
That's partly true, since new technology allows extraction of resources which wee previously impossible or uneconomic to extract. However, those new resources are still more expensive to extract than the older ones (that shouldn't be a surprise, since everyone always goes for the cheapest and easiest sources first) and they are losing the purely economic war against renewables.
The cost of renewable energy has been dropping steadily and shows no sign of slowing down.
the renewable energy industry is about to cross a major milestone that will truly set it on the path towards becoming the world’s predominant energy source.

According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) cited by Reuters, beginning in 2020, electricity generated by solar PV and onshore wind is set to become consistently cheaper than the most cost-effective fossil fuel alternative, without subsidies.

In essence, more than 80 percent of solar PV and 75 percent of onshore wind power deployments to be commissioned next year will be cheaper than the cheapest new oil, natural gas, or coal-fired sources as per the report.
:reading: https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy ... -2020.html

and
rom a natural gas industry conference to a major metropolitan area, more signs are emerging that natural gas is in a losing economic battle with renewables and battery storage. And considering recent news that existing fossil fuel projects are already enough to push the world past international climate goals, this emerging economic reality couldn't come soon enough.

Take the dire warning about the U.S. fracked shale gas industry that came from a former fracking CEO.

“Now I tell you all this because I think it has long-term implications for the end users of natural gas. This situation cannot continue indefinitely,” Steve Schlotterbeck explained at a recent petrochemical and gas industry conference. “There will be a reckoning and the only question is whether it happens in a controlled manner or whether it comes as an unexpected shock to the system.”

As reported by DeSmog, these comments by the former CEO of drilling company EQT were part of a larger presentation in which he laid out the scale of financial failure associated with fracking for natural gas and oil. The implications Schlotterbeck mentioned are important and center on the fact that natural gas prices — and thus the costs for end users like natural gas power plants — can only go up, likely by a large amount.

Right now, natural gas prices are artificially low because fracking companies have been producing record amounts of natural gas at a loss. As Schlotterbeck points out, this is an unsustainable business model. But it has supplied natural gas consumers with artificially cheap energy, giving natural gas a competitive edge over the dying coal and nuclear power industries.
:reading: https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/07/05/s ... bles-cost
And that's even before you factor in the (already happening) lawsuits against fossil fuel producers for the environmental harm they have knowingly caused, and the coming (inevitable, IMO) carbon taxes.
So what are the fossil fuel producers going to do? (1) Sell out as quickly as possible, before every possible buyer sees what a losing proposition they would be buying, (2) dump their product on the market as fast as possible, even at low prices, because what they don't sell soon will stay in the ground for ever because of what it would do to the climate, or (3) both.

And it's all happening (at last!) far more quickly than seemed possible even a couple of years ago, e.g. this headline from mid 2017 -
Oil giants need to invest heavily in renewables by 2035, says analysis
Slowing demand for oil and forecasts of rapid growth in green power pose risk to core business, says analyst
:reading: https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ysis-finds

:namaste:
Kim
As far as i know, the cost per kwh for renewable energy is still more expensive than fossil fuel if we take into consideration the cost of intermittency which requires stabilizing the current using other energy sources, storage which is still expensive and the costs associated with upgrading the grids. Also the perception that renewable energy costs will continue to decline might have a negative effect on the demand in the short term.

To give an example, during the Arab spring, the gas pipeline importing Egyptian gas to both Jordan and Israel was sabotaged by terrorists. Jordan had to replace cheap Egyptian gas with expensive oil at that time to generate electricity, which cost the government around 5 billion in debt, a huge amount for a poor country. This triggered decision makers to introduce a new strategy to diversify the country's energy sources to minimize risk and to include renewables. The cost per kw using PV during the first round of tenders in 2013 is more than triple the current price which raises the question: why don't we delay future projects until the price drops even further?

With the current prices of gas and oil, and considering the capital costs of establishing large scale renewable energy projects, the government seem to have slowed down its appetite to invest in renewables, at least in the short term. I feel that the main motivation is the availability of cheap funds for green projects more than belief in long term feasibility.

In general, the choice of national energy mix is not limited to cost but takes into consideration other factors. Oil and gas played a huge role in shaping the geopolitical reality of my region. For instance, the US recently deployed some troops in eastern Syria where oil fields are located. In a recent interview with Bashar Al Assad on RT, he were asked to what extent the war in Syria was triggered by future gas pipelines, especially that the Qataris and the Saudis invested billions to support rebels and terrorists. He acknowledged that foreign interference in the war has to do with Iran's attempts to build a gas pipeline going through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean and then to be exported to Europe.

When i look at conflicts and how it is still somehow motivated by oil and gas, i don't get the feeling that politicians and decision makers believe that oil and gas are going to be replaced soon.
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:29 am

Bundokji wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:37 pm
...

As far as i know, the cost per kwh for renewable energy is still more expensive than fossil fuel if we take into consideration the cost of intermittency which requires stabilizing the current using other energy sources, storage which is still expensive and the costs associated with upgrading the grids. Also the perception that renewable energy costs will continue to decline might have a negative effect on the demand in the short term.
Lazard's give a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of costs here - https://www.lazard.com/perspective/leve ... rage-2018/
To give an example, during the Arab spring, the gas pipeline importing Egyptian gas to both Jordan and Israel was sabotaged by terrorists. Jordan had to replace cheap Egyptian gas with expensive oil at that time to generate electricity, which cost the government around 5 billion in debt, a huge amount for a poor country. This triggered decision makers to introduce a new strategy to diversify the country's energy sources to minimize risk and to include renewables. The cost per kw using PV during the first round of tenders in 2013 is more than triple the current price which raises the question: why don't we delay future projects until the price drops even further?

With the current prices of gas and oil, and considering the capital costs of establishing large scale renewable energy projects, the government seem to have slowed down its appetite to invest in renewables, at least in the short term. I feel that the main motivation is the availability of cheap funds for green projects more than belief in long term feasibility.
All sorts of factors come into play in the short term but the underlying trends are so strong that we hardly need to consider them: fossil fuels are going the way of the horse and cart and the audio cassette, whatever happens.
In general, the choice of national energy mix is not limited to cost but takes into consideration other factors. Oil and gas played a huge role in shaping the geopolitical reality of my region. For instance, the US recently deployed some troops in eastern Syria where oil fields are located. In a recent interview with Bashar Al Assad on RT, he were asked to what extent the war in Syria was triggered by future gas pipelines, especially that the Qataris and the Saudis invested billions to support rebels and terrorists. He acknowledged that foreign interference in the war has to do with Iran's attempts to build a gas pipeline going through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean and then to be exported to Europe.

When i look at conflicts and how it is still somehow motivated by oil and gas, i don't get the feeling that politicians and decision makers believe that oil and gas are going to be replaced soon.
Most politicians and decision makers are wrong - in particular, they are out of date. They were right twenty years ago (remember the Gulf War?) but haven't realised how fast things have changed, or the implications of exponential growth. Do you remember desktop computers being clunky and expensive rarities? And how fast they took off when they took off? I do. Smartphones? How long did that revolution take to go from 10% of the market to 99%?
And that 10% zone is where we are with renewable energy. This page https://ourworldindata.org/renewable-energy shows growth rates and all you really need to note is the slope of the graphs: when something is doubling every 2 or 5 years, from a base of 2 or 10%, the details don't matter much.

And that's without factoring in climate change. Right now we're seeing mass movements for climate action being boosted - hugely - by every extreme weather event. How much do you bet that there won't be a hefty carbon tax in almost every country in ten years' time?
And when that happens, fossil fuels go from marginal profitability to :toilet:
:twothumbs:
Better late than never, I say.

:namaste:
Kim

Bundokji
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Bundokji » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:20 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:29 am
Most politicians and decision makers are wrong - in particular, they are out of date. They were right twenty years ago (remember the Gulf War?) but haven't realised how fast things have changed, or the implications of exponential growth. Do you remember desktop computers being clunky and expensive rarities? And how fast they took off when they took off? I do. Smartphones? How long did that revolution take to go from 10% of the market to 99%?
And that 10% zone is where we are with renewable energy. This page https://ourworldindata.org/renewable-energy shows growth rates and all you really need to note is the slope of the graphs: when something is doubling every 2 or 5 years, from a base of 2 or 10%, the details don't matter much.

And that's without factoring in climate change. Right now we're seeing mass movements for climate action being boosted - hugely - by every extreme weather event. How much do you bet that there won't be a hefty carbon tax in almost every country in ten years' time?
And when that happens, fossil fuels go from marginal profitability to :toilet:
:twothumbs:
Better late than never, I say.

:namaste:
Kim
Few months ago i watched a speech by George Friedman about the possibilities of global war in which he shows that most civilian technologies (including the ones you mentioned) were invented by military, and when it became outdated, it became main stream civilian use. According to him, the real geniuses who invent technology are not the likes of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs as everyone believes (those are good in marketing), but military officers who earn 50K a year and no one knows about them.



I think renewable energy is not an exception. Space programs and the use of satellite utilized renewable energy and began decades ago by military, and yet, as far as i know, there is no wide scale use of renewables by military. While i admit that costs and climate change might not be at the top of military priorities, but reliability surely is.
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:06 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:20 am
... Space programs and the use of satellite utilized renewable energy and began decades ago by military, and yet, as far as i know, there is no wide scale use of renewables by military. While i admit that costs and climate change might not be at the top of military priorities, but reliability surely is.
Well, you won't see solar panels on troop-carriers or fighter jets, will you? But ...
https://www.coolaustralia.org/exploding ... lar-power/
and
https://theconversation.com/how-solar-p ... grid-83698
and they have been doing it for a long time - this one comes from 2012.
https://cleantechnica.com/2012/12/03/ma ... lar-power/

:reading:
Kim

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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Bundokji » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:58 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:06 pm
Well, you won't see solar panels on troop-carriers or fighter jets, will you? But ...
https://www.coolaustralia.org/exploding ... lar-power/
and
https://theconversation.com/how-solar-p ... grid-83698
and they have been doing it for a long time - this one comes from 2012.
https://cleantechnica.com/2012/12/03/ma ... lar-power/

:reading:
Kim
I can't find the article where it says that as a percentage, the US military reliance on renewable energy is less than %4. The arguments i was trying to construct was based on availability of advanced technology to military way before civilian use, and i gave examples of the use of renewable for satellite which goes back decades ago. This was the whole idea of sharing George Friedman's video.

The military seem to have invested way more in developing other types of energy generation than solar. For instance, advanced submarines and aircraft carriers primarily use nuclear energy to reduce the need for refueling. One can imagine that the technology used in these aircraft carriers are way more advanced than the ones being used for civilian purposes.

When it comes to energy sources being easy military target, i feel that a PV solar field or even solar farms would be a much easier target for carpet bombing and more difficult and time consuming to repair. The fluidity (and therefore mobility) of gas and oil seem to have its logistical benefits.

In general, i would put more thought on why wars and conflicts are still connected to oil and gas despite the drop in renewable prices. To dismiss it as politicians and military strategists being old fashioned, outdated and don't know about recent technology can be an over simplification.
'Too much knowledge leads to scepticism. Early devotees are the likeliest apostates, as early sinners are senile saints.' – Will Durant.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:40 pm

Here's an energy-industry exec's take on the state of play.
Speaking on The Business program, Jeff Dimery, the chief executive of Alinta, which owns a portfolio of coal and gas generators, said the low cost of renewables would likely make coal obsolete. ...

He believes the low cost and increasing reliability of renewables mean Alinta's largest coal-fired power station, Loy Yang B, which supplies around a fifth of Victoria's energy needs, will close much earlier than its 2048 deadline.

"I could see that happening," he said.

Alinta closed its brown coal-fired Flinders power station in South Australia in 2015, years ahead of its scheduled shut down, because renewables in the state made it "uncommercial" to run. ...

He said that if he was to place a bet on what the best form of power generation will be in the future, it would not be coal.

"Given my 25 years of industry experience, I'd certainly be backing renewables, pumped storage and battery over HELE and carbon capture and storage." ...
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-19/ ... t/11715566

:twothumbs:
Kim

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:47 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:58 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:06 pm
Well, you won't see solar panels on troop-carriers or fighter jets, will you? But ...
https://www.coolaustralia.org/exploding ... lar-power/
and
https://theconversation.com/how-solar-p ... grid-83698
and they have been doing it for a long time - this one comes from 2012.
https://cleantechnica.com/2012/12/03/ma ... lar-power/

:reading:
Kim
I can't find the article where it says that as a percentage, the US military reliance on renewable energy is less than %4. The arguments i was trying to construct was based on availability of advanced technology to military way before civilian use, and i gave examples of the use of renewable for satellite which goes back decades ago. This was the whole idea of sharing George Friedman's video.

The military seem to have invested way more in developing other types of energy generation than solar. For instance, advanced submarines and aircraft carriers primarily use nuclear energy to reduce the need for refueling. One can imagine that the technology used in these aircraft carriers are way more advanced than the ones being used for civilian purposes.

When it comes to energy sources being easy military target, i feel that a PV solar field or even solar farms would be a much easier target for carpet bombing and more difficult and time consuming to repair. The fluidity (and therefore mobility) of gas and oil seem to have its logistical benefits.
The military have different priorities, of course, and (e.g.) might care less about the dangers of nuclear power because its advantages to them are greater.
In general, i would put more thought on why wars and conflicts are still connected to oil and gas despite the drop in renewable prices. To dismiss it as politicians and military strategists being old fashioned, outdated and don't know about recent technology can be an over simplification.
I'm sure the military do know about new tech, and that they use it appropriately. Politicians, though, are a different matter - and especially politicians who are deep in debt to the fossil fuel industry for their campaign donations. As for the fossil fuel industry, I'm sure they know what's going on but they lie constantly out of self-interest: as soon as the truth is widely known, their assets are worth almost nothing.

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:08 am

Dozens of protesters arrested after storming Harvard-Yale American football game

...Rachel Sadoff, a junior at Harvard, said about 150 students from the two universities planned to participate and about 100 more who had been sitting in the stands joined in.

"Our goal was to spread the word," Ms Sadoff said.

"If more people speak up, our colleges will have to listen."

Largely of college age but with a few older protesters mixed in, the group chanted: "Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Fossil fuels have got to go!"

One banner read "This is an emergency", with one other stating "Nobody wins".

Mostly, protesters sat or milled around near midfield, with some taking selfies; a vape pen and a crushed can of beer were left behind.

Police in yellow vests lined up alongside the sit-in but did not intervene. When the 15-minute halftime expired and the protest continued, hundreds more fans streamed onto the field to join in. Fans remaining in the stands began to boo, but only briefly...
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-24/ ... e/11733086

:thumb:
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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:56 am

Coal power becoming 'uninsurable' as firms refuse cover

... At least 35 insurers with combined assets of $8.9tn, equivalent to 37% of the insurance industry’s global assets, have begun pulling out of coal investments. A year ago, 19 insurers holding more than $6tn in assets were divesting from fossil fuels. ...
:reading: https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... fuse-cover

:twothumbs:
Kim

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Re: Climate change - politics and activism

Post by Kim O'Hara » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:10 am

Narratives matter. They establish the architecture for the telling of stories about the state of the world and how we should act. During the mid-20th century a powerful environmental narrative emerged that has shaped institutions and cultural understandings of our relationship with Nature, the planet and different actors in society. At its root, this narrative adopts a simple state-cause-consequence structure. Nature is in crisis due to human fecundity, greed and ignorance, and catastrophe looms. The activist generation of the 1970s populated this narrative with villainous, innocent and heroic characters and called on governments to act to regulate the perpetrators of harm and for companies to change their immoral ways.

This narrative is powerful and has achieved much, but it mobilises action through a combination of anxiety and blame. The relentless retelling of ‘doom and gloom’ stories may have alienated many ordinary people from the environmental movement: the issues seem so big that people feel powerless to make a difference within the constraints of their everyday lives.

...I recently published an article in the journal Ambio suggesting that in rewilding we are seeing the emergence of a new environmental narrative, which I labelled “Recoverable Earth”. In structure, ethos and ambition it is quite different from the established environmental narrative.

...New stories of envir­onmental recovery and restoration lack the blame and catastrophic consequence components of the older narrative. They adopt a more pragmatic worldview: we are where we are, there is no way back, and there is little value in feeling guilt and attributing blame. ...
:reading: https://www.resurgence.org/magazine/art ... earth.html

This seems to be a step in a good direction.

:namaste:
Kim

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