Stop telling me to Recycle
It's not my fault that global warming is still happening
by Rosie Benny
Two weeks ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a damning new report. It essentially said that the planet has 12 years to drastically reduce its carbon emissions before the point of no return - before climate change becomes utterly irreversible. With a US President openly denying climate change and other heads of state following suit, this report kind of terrifies me. There have already been a series of devastating hurricanes in the US, droughts in Cape Town, and right here in the UK we had a freakishly hot summer. The idea that we are falling head first into a global disaster would terrify any rational human being.
So what can we do to stop this?
That is the natural response to reading this report, to immediately try and find some kind of solution to this impending disaster. Well, never fear, because the report does give some good advice. It suggests changing your diet, becoming vegetarian or vegan to reduce the carbon emissions associated with meat production. It advises that we should use more public transport to help cut down the number of fossil fuels burnt. Of course, there are the classics of reduce, reuse, recycle, to try and limit the amount of finite resources each person uses.
This is all well and good, and I of course would strongly advise that everyone try to help reduce the effects of climate change in any way they can.
However, what the report fails to do is blame the real culprits: Big Corporations.According to The Carbon Major Report from 2017, 100 companies are responsible for 71% of all carbon emission since 1988. These companies include ExxonMobil, Shell and BP – all companies which make fossil fuels into something we can use. They destroy the planet and then help us destroy it too, all whilst making an obscene amount of cash. It is these companies that are at fault. They should be held accountable. Until they change their behaviour, the entire planet is screwed. If these companies continue to use fossil fuels as they do now, in the next 30 years the global temperature will rise by 4 ͦC. This will have catastrophic consequences: sea level rises, widespread flooding, extinction of certain species, etc.
So yeah, you could become a vegetarian – heck, why not go the whole way and become vegan? You could invest in an electric car. You could recycle every single bit of plastic that you get your hands on. All that and it still wouldn’t be enough.
What we need is for companies to start taking responsibility for their actions. They live on this planet too – if it becomes a burning hellscape, then they are going to be just as screwed as we are. Not only that, but investing in fossil fuels now is like investing in print media – it won’t last, and you might as well get out now before you lose all your money.
As the sea levels rise and the weather gets even weirder, just remember it is not happening because you didn’t recycle that empty can. You are not to blame, not really. Just make sure you know who is.