The price of staying on carbon: Increasing oil spills, then a long ride down

This is a simple piece that makes a simple point that is nonetheless lost, thanks to Carbon Industry advertising.

1. The only solution to global warming is an immediate, crash conversion to non-carbon energy sources. That’s discussed here — the Zero Carbon economy.

2. Crash conversion means energy discontinuity — rationing — while coal-, gas- and oil-burning plants are taken offline at the fastest possible rate and replacement sources are built. All carbon consumption puts greenhouse gases (GHG), like CO2 and methane, into the air. We have already dumped enough GHG to guarantee global warming of +2°C from the pre-Industrial norm. That means, we must take carbon-burning sources offline faster than their replacements go online.

Extreme rationing — there’s no other way. Any carbon indulgence means we risk, as a species, going over the carbon cliff. The planet will be fine, but it’s Thelma and Louise for us.

3. Carbon companies know this. That’s why all of their advertising these days emphasizes continuity — “That TV of yours; know where its energy comes from?” Subtle appeal to maintaining energy continuity. (Translation: “That TV-electronics lifestyle of yours; you’d be sad if something happened to it.”) Then the “mix” of energy sources, the good ones and the … carbon … that keeps everything in your current life in place.

Bottom line for these ads: They’re selling you continuity, and the price is carbon, CO2 and methane, as a (large) part of the “mix.”

4. The price of continuity is high. It not only includes our Thelma and Louise ride, something today’s 15-year-olds will take part in, but also an ungodly amount of pollution.

And there you have it. Four talking points that tells you all you need to know. If there’s a fifth, know that buying the BS in those carbon ads is making David Koch very very happy — and much more rich. His hubris drips like a bad runny nose, which the whole planet is forcing itself to share.

The price of energy continuity is massive pollution

That last point, number 4, isn’t made much. We see the pollution, but we don’t see it as the price of energy continuity, of our slavish dependence of the carbon industry and their advertising.

To her credit, Rachel Maddow has been making that point lately. Here’s one fine instance, from a recent show. Do watch; it’s only six minutes long:

Just so you know. Wouldn’t want your children to say you weren’t informed, right? (Click for the full scene.)

Thelma & Louise, taking a dive for the Kochs.

Thelma & Louise, taking a dive for the Kochs.

Just saying.


Twitter: @Gaius_Publius. Facebook: Gaius Publi.

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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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