Guardian: “Jeremy Leggett among 100 signatories to letter opposing oil firm’s likely influence over university’s climate change studies.” “The veteran environmental campaigners Jonathon Porritt and Jeremy Leggett are among 100 past and present students and staff who are accusing Oxford University of hypocrisy for accepting funding from
50 months: Open letter on the climate crisis and the carbon incumbency.
In 50 months from now greenhouse-gas concentrations go beyond the point where it would be “likely” we could keep global warming below the dire-danger threshold of 2 degrees, on current emission trends. It seems incredible to many of us that the world is not galvanised by this.
50 worried people have today written a collective note of their dismay that world leaders are being so ineffective in the face of “one of the greatest threats to human progress”, especially considering that “tackling it could be a huge economic opportunity.”
Why is this happening? A key reason, as most of you on this bcc list know well, is that society currently allows the carbon-fuel incumbency – the coal, oil, and gas companies, their bankrollers, and their institutional supporters – to get away with a deeply dysfunctional defence of their narrow short-term interests. I see this daily in my vocation, but I have rarely seen it more clearly than at the recent FT Global Energy Leaders’ Summit, where bosses from Exxon, Arch Coal, and (ex) BP opined on the question “Are We Entering A New Fossil Fuel Era.” Yes, they said, provided we overcome a few issues of what they call “social licence.” Not necessarily, I said, if those of us who care succeed in progressively removing your licences to operate, and / or if you have got your exuberant supply projections wrong (i.e. peak-oil risk). I invite you to have a look at the arguments in the FT video of the debate.
The 50 worried people referred to above were all invited to contribute prescriptions for the climate crisis. Mine includes progressively removing “financial licence” from those who seek, actively or by acquiescent default, to play roulette staking civilisation.
Many of the people reading this on my website are no doubt working to remove the carbon incumbency’s licences, by demonstrating the power of alternatives, trying to correct current skewed policies, consuming (or not consuming) as though carbon matters, and the like. To those who are, I wish you strength, with some hope. To those who aren’t, I politely plead for a rethink.