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Confront the Fossil Empire

Article Published At:
Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus
Date of Publication:
March 4th, 2023

Confront the Fossil Empire March 4 2023 Alan Betts

Every year there are international Council of Parties (COP) meetings on climate change, where it is simply accepted that the fossil fuel companies will not pay for any of the global damages from burning the fossil fuels, despite making hundreds of billions in profits every year. There is no choice. At COP 27 in November 2022 in Egypt, there were a record number of 636 fossil fuel lobbyists to ensure their companies’ profits were protected. Why do we just accept this?

Back in 1978, James Black, the chief scientist of the current Exxon-Mobil did the global modeling and correctly concluded that doubling atmospheric CO2 would be a disaster for the global climate and for life on Earth. He told management they had five years to change their business plan. Their response was simple: “Be quiet. We have trillions of dollars to bribe politicians and fund webs of lies and advertising to confuse the public for decades.” This is exactly what they have done.

Collectively I call the fossil fuel companies the “Fossil Fuel Empire”. For forty-five years they have deliberately hidden the truth that they are consciously destroying the Earth to maximize their profits. This is clearly a staggering crime against all life on Earth including our children. Millions are starving from climate disasters in poor countries and many have died or been forced to migrate. Catastrophic floods have killed many more. . It is also shameful that society and politicians have simply accepted the webs of lies and criminal deceit from the Fossil Empire. It is time to face the truth and save our children and grand-children and life on Earth from the climate catastrophe the Fossil Empire has consciously created. These lying criminals must be explicitly billed for the damages they have caused since 1978, and pay compensation for the millions of people they have chosen to kill or starve across the world.

Explicitly the COP27 loss and damage provision should be billed directly to the fossil fuel companies. In addition, the costs of every recent disaster in both rich and poor countries should be explicitly billed to them in proportion to each company’s annual profits. For simplicity, all nations should start publicly billing the oil companies now, starting with disasters in 2020, 2021 and 2022, since we have adequate data.

In principle, we could set up an international body to go back in time and calculate past costs, using perhaps a 7% tax on annual profits. However this would introduce endless delays, because bribery, corruption and deceit would be rampant.

Of course the initial response of the Fossil Empire will be evasive denials, refusals to pay and more political bribes and maneuvers. But now responsible nations should simply give companies 30 days, and then start arresting and jailing their executives, starting from the top and going down the hierarchy to the local level, since they have all been part of this criminal conspiracy for decades – and they know it.

Yes there will be protests, since so many politicians in the US have been bribed to back the Fossil Empire and “legalize” their crimes. At every step the media must be reminded that it is the Truth that sets us Free from the criminal webs of lies of these companies, who are killing our children and life on Earth to maximize profits. They will do this until they are stopped!

Either we confront the Fossil Empire, right down to the local level, or we continue to passively acquiesce and cooperate with this monstrous crime that the public has been brain-washed into accepting for forty-five years.

Alan Betts is the founder of Atmospheric Research in Pittsford.

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