The Guardian has launched a massive campaign this week urging dramatic action on climate change with one very simple action point: keeping fossil fuel in the ground before we roast ourselves to death. The campaign centers around an email petition asking the the world’s two biggest charitable funds to move their money out of fossil fuels.
The open letter to the charitable fund states:
To Bill and Melinda Gates, founders of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Jeremy Farrar and Sir William Castell, director and chair of the Wellcome Trust:
Your organisations have made a huge contribution to human progress and equality by supporting scientific research and development projects. Yet your investments in fossil fuels are putting this progress at great risk, by undermining your long term ambitions.
Climate change poses a real threat to all of us, and it is morally and financially misguided to invest in companies dedicated to finding and burning more oil, gas and coal. Many philanthropic organisations are divesting their endowments from fossil fuels. We ask you to do the same: to commit now to divesting from the top 200 fossil fuel companies within five years and to immediately freeze any new investments in those companies.
Lest you think the liberals at the Guardian are being alarmist, they are most certainly not. A two degree rise in celsius would be absolutely devastating for mankind, and given we’re on course for up to 4C it is of the utmost urgency that dramatic action is taken. Here’s what the World Bank has to say about a 4C world:
As global warming approaches and exceeds 2°C, there is a risk of triggering nonlinear tipping elements. Examples include the disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet leading to more rapid sea-level rise, or large-scale Amazon dieback drastically affecting ecosystems, rivers, agriculture, energy production, and livelihoods. This would further add to 21st-century global warming and impact entire continents.
The projected 4°C warming simply must not be allowed to occur—the heat must be turned down. Only early, cooperative, international actions can make that happen.
Will the Guardian’s campaign do anything? Hard to say, but it is worth a shot and their video is quite impactful:
We don’t do advocacy here at The Daily Banter, but for this we’re making an exception. Sign the petition here, and spread the video to as many people as you possibly can. It is of the utmost importance that every rational person on the planet takes action on this given the overwhelming odds against anything significant happening. The likelihood is that we have passed the point of no return and the oil and gas industry gets to determine the course of human history. But maybe, just maybe there’s a chance we can do something. So we at least have to try.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.