The ‘carbon footprint’ of big oil to blame us for their greed

A man stands in front of a burning oil fire in Iraq.

Photo: Yassin Akgul / AFP (Getty Images)

This story first appeared The guard And is reprinted here as part of it It covers the weather now, International Journalism Cooperation to Strengthen Climate History.

Personal virtue is an eternal deceptive goal in development activities, and neither is climate activity. People always appear to be proud of their domestic arrangements or to punish others for the way they eat or go around. Short-Term Retaliation Individual savings and abstinence do not take us far enough in this decade. We need to get out of the fossil fuels, re-energize our energy, rethink how we do almost everything. We need local, international, and collective action at every level — and good people who are already working at all these levels need help to provide the city with clean energy or a state to stop fragmentation, or to find a country to stop fossil fuels. The revolution will not happen because people stay with them and they are good.

But oil companies want to think about how it works. The concept of “carbon footprint” is the invention of a popular advertising agency that works for BP. According to Mark Kauman Wrote This summer:

“British Petroleum, the world’s second largest non-government oil company, 18,700 petrol and service stations worldwideHe hired public relations experts Ogilvi and Mazer to promote the notion that climate change is the fault of individuals, not of oil giants. It was here that the British Petroleum, or BP, first introduced and soon successfully distributed the word “carbon footprint” in its original cartons. The company ‘announced’Carbon fingerprint calculatorA.D. In 2004, a person’s daily routine – going to work, buying food and (breathing) – is largely responsible for warming the world.

The main reason for defeating fossil fuels corporations is that their production is destroying the planet, but their malicious propaganda makes this goal even more valuable, from the spread of resistance to climate change.

Carbon trails are trapped, and I regularly see individuals consuming personal consumption experiences on social networks while discussing climate change. Bill McKiben Presented the case In 2008 on them

Say we have some time and money to change because we, the mathematicians, call things x – call it x. The method is to multiply that x, not add. The trick is to make those who care for you more than 5 percent. And the method for this is democracy. ”

That is, individual actions do not add up quickly enough to address the problem in a timely manner;

And the purpose of personal goodness is simply not to be part of the problem. It is not enough for one spectator to say, “I personally do not kill this person.” They are not exactly spectators). Our goal for any kind of time, rights and voice resources must be part of the solution by pushing for systemic change. To stop the killing.

Accordingly, it is a conflict of opinion as to whether we are consumers or citizens. Consumers express themselves in what they buy, hold, watch – or do not do. Citizens consider themselves to be part of the civil society, actors in the political system (and I do not mean people with citizenship status, but those who participate, non-citizens often do it by force). Also, even personal virtue is more or less possible in the systems around us. If you have solar panels on your roof, it is ready with your energy company to compensate for the sun and smokers market and manufacturers and possibly the energy they put into the grid.

In my case, I speak as a personal virtue, some of which can only be achieved through collective action. I have 100% pure electricity People in the house are organized to make that option and the solar and wind power behind it. Because I do some of my work on a bike San Francisco bike combination He has worked for decades to keep the city on bicycle lanes and another two-wheeler. Because I am there, I can take public transportation it is Public transportation. He was at the forefront of working on the overseas city of Berkeley All electric houses Criteria for the future; More than fifty California cities And the districts followed suit. Paired with Pure electricity California promises, this is a must. Having all the electricity in the house or driving an electric car with renewable energy is not a good choice in the future. It will be normal.

But individual and collective action should not contradict each other. Individual preferences are added (they do not duplicate McKibben words). Those vegan options are available in many fast food chains because they create enough profitable markets for consumers. We influence others by our choices. Ideas are disseminated, values ​​are disseminated, experiences are disseminated; We are social animals and both good and bad behaviors are contagious. (For bad, see Special Anti-Vaccine Arguments.)

Vegetarian and vegan diets (and low-fat or red-meat diets) have become very common, creating markets for fresh produce and a variety of menus. But they did not abandon or improve the bull industry Severe climate impact. Climate change requires that we know how everything is connected. To see yourself as a citizen is to see yourself as connected to social and political systems. As citizens, we have to follow in the footsteps of fossil fuels corporations, the livestock industry, power companies, the transportation system, plastics and many more.


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