Organizing Against Climate Catastrophe

Paul Messersmith-Glavin

The forces responsible for changing the climate and endangering the future of humanity have names, names including Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Saudi Aramco, and Petróleos de Venezuela. They are the predominant names responsible for playing havoc with our collective future. In fact, two-thirds of historic carbon dioxide and methane emissions can be attributed to exactly 90 entities. They are based in 43 countries and extract resources from every oil, natural gas, and coal rich region in the world. They process the fuels into products that are sold to consumers in every nation on the planet. Of the top 85 emitters, 54 are in industrialized countries and 31 are in developing nations.2 Knowing who and where they are demonstrates that an end to the problem is within our reach.
In order to stop global climate change, all we need to do is put pressure on these isolated entities, right? Wrong. While these companies are the primary economic forces responsible for climate change, it would be a mistake to think if we stop them from conducting business as usual, then we can solve the problem. They are only the most public faces of a system that goes much deeper. 

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