Look out for formation-flying pigs! At last, the weight of the evidence and the severity of the crisis is hitting home for Big Business – and the ones with the biggest stakes in the denial game, too!
Some big companies have been active in climate change mitigation and adaptation schemes for some time – Apple, for instance, is a high-profile company which has for some time acknowledged climate change and sought ways to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. This week, Bloomberg reports Apple has invested $850 million in ensuring that it will be powering all its offices, machines, stores and data centres from solar sources for at least the next 25 years.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, had acknowledged the urgent necessity of dealing with climate change, reducing the world’s reliance on oil and switching to natural gas as a less polluting alternative, along with more renewables, and even called for governments to set carbon prices to discourage the use of fossil fuels.
Today, in reports from the Guardian and Telegraph, I note that British Petroleum, another massive multinational oil company, has stepped up to the plate. Increasing energy demand is not compatible with fighting climate change, its Energy Report has declared, and carbon emissions are ‘unsustainable’! BP, too, would like carbon prices, please.
Well, woo-hoo!! Finally, the emperors of carbon production are looking in the mirror and noticing a certain draftiness around their nethers! BP and Shell are two of the five biggest oil companies in the world – the others being ConocoPhillips, Chevron and ExxonMobil. When you consider the massive investment these companies have in exploiting any fossil fuel they can lay hands on, even two out of five ain’t bad (apologies to Meatloaf for misquoting!)
This is a long way from fixing any problems, but at least the big players are beginning to admit there are problems. If they withdraw their funding for climate change denial thinktanks and propagandists (and they should!) then the artificial and false “controversy” over whether climate change exists and will be a major existential challenge for humanity should begin to die down. With their financial clout, these companies also have the ears of politicians and have for many years been stridently arguing that jobs now are more important than TEOTWAWKI for the next generation.
Maybe, just maybe, we can look forwards to getting to grips with the adaptation and mitigation measures our grandchildren need us to put in place.