Oil Companies Aren't Evil, and Working With Them Could Be the Solution We Need to Global Warming
Demonizing Does Nothing to Solve the Fundamental Problems
It is so easy to play the blame game and start throwing bombastic labels at companies like Exxon and British Petroleum (BP) and Shell. At the end of the day, we have oil companies because we, the American consumer, drive cars that need oil. We run our air conditioning when it gets hot, and turn on the heat in winter. Doing these things means burning oil and gas. Blaming anyone, when everyone is complicit, does nothing to solve the core problems facing our planet that endanger all of us as global climate change will continue to increase the stakes in our need for green, carbon-neutral, sustainable energy sources. Working with corporations, especially oil and gas corporations, is the solution to our global crisis.
Corporations Aren't People, But People Work Inside of Corporations
Critics of corporations attribute a borg-like consciousness to them, describing these amoral, apathetic operations that are indifferent to the suffering of the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. A corporation is a piece of paper in a legal office. What gives that corporation power is people. These individual people run the gamut of human society, from democrat to republican, from black to white, gay, straight, and everything in between and outside of these definitions. These people, individually and all together, work together with corporations to ensure their success and the success of the customers they serve. If you think for a minute that oil companies don't care about global warming, you are fooling yourselves. What corporations care about is the method global climate change is resolved.
Government regulations, taxes, and intervention are the clumsiest, broadest method to solve social problems. They're often the most expensive. Just because someone is a Republican, doesn't mean they don't care about global warming. They just don't believe the government should be the one to fix it!
Oil companies have the power to create a global change. The fact that they are only dipping their pinky toe into alternative energy solutions doesn't mean they're evil. It means that they are refusing a leadership role in the global climate crisis. Instead of demonizing oil and gas companies, consumers should be calling upon their business leaders for meaningful, lasting leadership. Oil and gas companies have the most to lose with the global climate crisis. They're the ones who have the most to lose as regulations are about to fall upon them from all over the world, with new taxes and new limits. These companies are poised to face a dramatic shift in fortunes if they don't do something to embrace the need for alternative fuels.
And, they know it.
One of the recent innovations that oil and gas companies are championing is "frakking". Personally, I think it is no surprise to see that an oil man thinks the solution to the global climate crisis is mining up a new commodity to turn into a combustible. This is what they know, after all, and what they've done successfully for generations. It's no wonder this is the technology they espouse.
However, as consumers, we need to communicate to our corporate leadership, and our political leadership, that just finding new things underground to dig up and burn is not the solution we want, as consumers and citizens.
We Need Gas-Burning Engines
Fact: our global economy requires the reliable, sturdy, and efficient energy we receive from burning oil. The shift we need, as an economy, is not to more mined things to burn with different engines. We already have the engine we need to convert our entire economy to a green fuel: the deisel engine!
Bio-deisel fuels made with natural oils, waste cooking oils, algae grown in waste water or grown with organic waste matter could become the future of our global economy. We wouldn't need to make any more of a conversion than switching over to diesel-powered cars that are already a common, and easily-purchased commodity on the market today.
Oil and gas companies have the infrastructure to distribute bio-deisel fuels, and the facilities that could be converted to producing bio-deisel from their current role processing petroleum. an aggressive push by oil and gas companies to convert every deisel engine in this country into a bio-desel engine would be an amazing first step in the push to save the world from global climate change.
After a strong push to convert the deisel engines of the automobile industry to bio-deisel, the coal and gas burning power plants should be converted into bio-desel power plants.
The real advantage of bio-deisel, as a fuel, is that the very act of creating more of it involves planting carbon-swallowing plants, or growing more carbon-hungry algae. The fuel comes ready-made with its own carbon offset!
After Bio-Deisel, What Can Energy Corporations Do To Promote Green Energy?
Few companies have as many brilliant, innovative engineering and scientific minds as a corporation like Exon-Mobil. The notion that Exon-Mobil, BP, or Shell do not want to stop the global climate crisis is a ridiculous one. Far too many of the rank and file employees at every level are smart enough to acknowledge the findings of the Nobel-Prize Winning, international community of scientists that proved, without a shadow of a doubt, that human consumption of oil and carbon-producing activities are propelling our world on a path towards dramatic and deadly climate shifts that threaten our very way of life.
These men and women do what they can, in their role, to promote the green cause. However, if leadership in Oil and Gas companies granted their visionary employees the power to unlock their full potential, nothing could stop the innovation in green technology. Tidal power, geothermal power, nuclear power, and wind power are some of the most promising technologies to emerge in the last 100 years to diminish our reliance on burning fuel to generate the power that we rely on for our lives and livelihood.
What Can Political Leaders Do? What Can We Do?
As a Republican, I am disgusted by my political party's refusal to acknowledge the scientific fact of global warming, and the potential for global climate change to destroy human society and our planet. If Republicans don't take a leadership role on climate change, then the Democrats will have no choice but to provide solutions.
Unfortunately, Democrats never saw a problem that couldn't be solved with more taxes, more clumsy and broad regulations, and more programs. Personally, I'll stand by the Democrats if I have to, because if someone doesn't do something, we're all doomed! Even a clumsy solution with big government regulatory practices is a better solution than pretending there is no problem!
GOP leadership need to embrace global climate change as a very real threat and take a leadership role on this issue. Oil and gas companies can be persuaded to do something about the global climate crisis with a clear and simple message from Republican leadership:
If you don't fix this problem, the government will, and you know what that means: clumsy regulation, solutions that hurt your bottom-line, and lots of fat cat government bureaucrats breathing down your neck. Here's the kind of leadership role we need from you to prevent government involvement.
- You've got five years to convert half your deisel production to biodesel fuels.
- In ten years, we want biodesel fuels to be the only form of deisel available for sale to the consumer.
- In five years, we want 25% more green energy production across the board, coming from the oil and gas industry.
- In ten years, we want half of all the energy produced in the country to be produced by renewable sources.
- The government doesn't need to give you any grants or tax breaks. You're going to do this because if you don't the GOP leadership will NOT protect you from Democratic involvement in this issue. Meet these milestones, or we will openly join the Democrats, and your pal Al Gore, to fix this problem that you are uniquely positioned to resolve.
- The world needs your leadership, oil and gas. The ball is in your court. Step up.
What Are Companies Doing Today?
Exon-Mobil has already sunk 600 million dollars into Algae-Based Biofuels. Good for them! This is a drop in the bucket compared to what we really need to happen, but it is a clear sign that Exon-Mobil is not populated by a bunch of evil corporate monsters chomping cigars and twirling moustaches. Corporations aren't evil. Some of the best scientific minds work in leadership roles at Exon-Mobil, and they have to live on this planet with their families, too! Everyone wants an end to the global climate crisis! By taking a leadership role on this crisis, Exon-Mobil, as the largest and most successful company in the world, is also uniquely positioned to save the entire world!
General Electric has also been an early pioneer on green technology, recently announcing their plans to construct the largest solar cell factory in America, to power the change that needs to happen in our energy consumption. Good for you, General Electric! Keep up the good work! This is, again,a drop in the bucket of change we need, but it is a huge first step in the right direction that didn't come from government regulation. It came from strong, visionary, compassionate corporate leadership!
The difference between a Republican that cares about this issue, and a Democrat, is that the Republican wants the business community to take the leadership role on this crisis, instead of allowing the government to push through clumsy regulations, Republicans should be pushing their allies at all levels of corporate America to be the leadership the world needs to survive this century in a manner that also allows the global economy to thrive.