Sunday, January 20, 2008

Beyond Beyond Petroleum

It used to be "Beyond Petroleum," before that it used to be "British Petroleum." The green mask came off the other day when it changed its corporate mind and invested in Canadian tar sands, the excavation of which Greenpeace has characterized as "the biggest global warming crime ever seen." Part of the story here. (H/t Common Dreams.)

George Monbiot puts this fracas in perspective:
When you review the plans for fossil fuel extraction, the horrible truth dawns that every carbon-cutting programme [from CAFE standards to insulating houses] is a con. Without supply-side policies, runaway climate change is inevitable, however hard we try to cut demand. The talks in Bali will be meaningless unless they produce a programme for leaving fossil fuels in the ground.

2 comments:

JB Powers said...

The term "crime" sounds a bit tellingly harsh. There is a certainly enough regular old crime to go around to not invent new ones aimed at people providing gasoline for your car.

There is certainly a large group of Leftists (and Rightists, I may add) that want to make everything a crime, and then notify you later whether you have been charged. I don't see much need to encourage them.

JBP

Paul Botts said...

Heh! Well put. Whether the Right or Left nowadays is the more puritanical in spirit is actually an interesting question, hmm. In the U.S. I guess it feels like the Left is, in other parts of the world the Right. Close call either way though.

Anyway regarding carbon, criminalizing its use is obviously the less-smart and less-effective path. I'd happily trade all the CAFE standards and other such command-and-control measures for a stiff widely-enforced carbon tax.