We will have a fossil fuel-free economy by 2100.
That’s according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who announced that the Group of Seven (G7) nations have agreed to “decarbonise the global economy in the course of this century.”
The G7’s agreement is more of a goal than it is a hard-and-fast plan, but it’s still a big deal.
This week world leaders are meeting Bonn, Germany for preliminary talks before this fall’s climate summit in Paris. Apparently, the talks haven’t been going very well, but maybe, just maybe, the announcement from the G7 will kick them into gear.
That being said, even if the G7 nations do phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century, it won’t be enough to prevent severe damage to the planet – and to the human race.
Michael Mann, a frequent guest on this program and one of the world’s leading climate scientists, estimates that we only have until 2036 – 21 years – to prevent the Earth’s temperature from rising 2 degrees Celsius, the standard cutoff point for “acceptable” levels of warming.
After we cross that 2 degrees Celsius threshold, global warming will lock in with devastating consequences for every single living thing on this planet
Other scientists, like James Hansen, have an even gloomier view of how much more warming the planet can take.
In a recent interview with an Australian radio station, for example, Hansen called the 2 degrees Celsius number “nonsense” and warned that it’s “a prescription for disaster.”
Hansen now argues that we need to lower the limit of “acceptable” warming to 1 degree Celsius – a number we’re already dangerously close to reaching.
Whether you agree with James Hansen that we need to limit warming to 1 degree Celsius or with Michael Mann that we need to focus on 2 degrees, one thing is clear: We must stop using fuels way before the end of the century if we want to stave off total climate devastation.
Which raises the question: If the stakes are so high when it comes to global warming, why aren’t doing more right now to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions and move towards renewable power?
Tragically, the answer is that our political system, media and economy are under the control of an extreme climate denial death cult that’s also very, very profitable.
The goals of this denial cult are simple: spread “skepticism” about global warming and pump out bunk science “disproving” the link between greenhouse gasses and climate change.
Led and funded by the fossil fuel industry itself, this very wealthy death cult spreads its message though a multi-billion dollar denial industry that’s a toxic cocktail of corporate lobbying groups, media organizations and “think-tanks” like the Heartland Institute, ALEC and others. It’s the Kool-Aid to Big Oil’s Jim Jones, and here in the US, our media and the Republican Party are guzzling it down by the pitcher.
Thanks to the Big Oil’s non-stop propaganda campaign, the United States now leads the developed world in climate denial.
We’ve seen this kind of highly profitable death cult at work before.
Back in the 1990s, Big Tobacco funneled money through a bunch of PR groups and shadowy “think tanks” in an attempt to trick the public into thinking that there wasn’t a clear link between smoking and cancer.
They eventually failed, but some of the same people who led the tobacco-cancer denial cult are now running the climate denial machine.
In fact, Fred Singer, the founder of one of the one of the most influential denial groups, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), was one of the main players in the tobacco cult. In 1993, he joined up with the Philip Morris’ favorite PR firm, APCO Associates, to “debunk” studies showing the link between secondhand smoke and disease.
Today, Fred’s hard at work “debunking” man-made climate change, something 97 percent of scientists – and the Pentagon – know is real and is happening.
Like all death cults, the climate denial cult will eventually kill off its believers – in this case the US people and people around the world who will pay the price if global warming keeps on its current path.
But what makes the climate denial cult different than other cults is that the people who are running it aren’t doing it for belief – like the tobacco/cancer deniers, they’re doing it for the profit.
And while that means the death cult leaders have a lot of resources at their disposal, it also means that there’s still a chance we can stop them.
If we stop making fossil fuels profitable by imposing a carbon tax on the use and sale of greenhouse gas-producing energy, then we might, just might, stop this new death cult before it’s too late.