The Climate War We Can’t Afford to Lose | News, Sports, Jobs


Dear Editor,

Dr. Svitlana Krakovska, a Ukrainian climatologist and member of the International Panel on Climate Change, recently said: “Human-induced climate change and the war on Ukraine have the same roots, fossil fuels, and our dependence on them,” Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels from Russia is “finance the war” in Ukraine. Russia, the second largest producer of natural gas, has been accused of using the resource geopolitically against European countries dependent on its gas. Europe sees the worsening situation in Ukraine as a justification for doubling its investment in renewable energy and reducing European demand for natural gas. The IEA and EU leaders want to speed up permitting for wind and solar projects, review decisions to phase out nuclear power and double the conversion rate from natural gas boilers to heat pumps electricity in buildings.

However, oil and gas companies in the United States, as well as many politicians, including Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Bill Johnson of CD 6 Ohio, are using the war to rationalize more drilling and fracking in the United States, ignoring the real war on our doorstep; the war for a habitable planet. Natural Resources Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) said in a recent op-ed, “Doubling fossil fuel consumption is a false solution that only perpetuates the problems that brought us here in the first place.”

The new United Nations climate report clearly shows that we are losing the battle against climate change. UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteras said “the evidence detailed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is unlike anything it has ever seen, a”atlas of human suffering and a damning condemnation of failed climate leadership.

Don’t get me wrong, we are all witnessing a war; a war waged on our planet by the fossil fuel industry and those who financially benefit from these industries. As in most wars, money is needed to finance this enterprise. Federal taxpayer-funded grants, subsidies, and tax incentives are helping to fuel the climate crisis by providing financial incentives for continued extraction. “Conservative estimates put direct US subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at around $20 billion a year, of which 20% is currently allocated to coal and 80% to natural gas and crude oil.”

Just like a conventional war, propaganda and lies are used to shape public opinion.

“The fossil fuel industry has waged a decades-long, multi-billion dollar disinformation propaganda and lobbying campaign to delay climate action by confusing public opinion and policy makers about the climate crisis and its solutions.

It’s hard to win a war when the cards are against you, but the war for a habitable planet is a war we cannot afford to lose. It’s time to demand renewable energy and stop subsidizing the companies responsible for destroying our planet. As Dr. Svitlana Krakovska from Ukraine said, “We will not surrender in Ukraine, and we hope the world will not surrender in building a climate resilient future.”

Randi Jeannine Pokladnik


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