Fundamentally, fighting the climate crisis is about fighting the injustice that it magnifies. Preventing the poor, who played no part in fuelling the climate fire, from getting burned. Enabling those with little wealth to build dignified lives without the use of coal, oil and gas. Creating a better world, where we stop exploiting the planet as if its resources were infinite and, through cooperation, learn to live within our means.
There’s actually nothing in that first set of desires – hey, let’s not have global warming – which leads to that second – hey, let’s all be poorer. But guess which of the two makes Damian Carrington lick his lips?
As Prof Myles Allen of the University of Oxford has pointed out, slavery was once a highly profitable provider of energy and we brought it to an end because it was an affront to the values that make us human.
Well, actually, no, we didn’t. We brought it to an end because it was no longer economic. As Carlyle was so dismalled to find out. And the same will be true of our use of oil and gas etc.
So here’s one: 19 November 2020. That is when the UN climate change conference, hosted by Boris Johnson and the UK government, is due to end. Unless nations dramatically increase their pledges to cut emissions, we will remain on track for a terrifying 3-4C of heating.
No, we won’t. Because that is to assume that it’s only governments making pledges which cut emissions. Archetypal tosspottery from Damian there. No government pledged to cut emissions by fracking for oil and gas, thereby making coal largely uneconomic in the US. But it still happened, still reduced emissions.