The worlds news abounds with commentary about the state of the planet, pollution, degradation, extinction, weather and climate, sustainability of natural resources, and energy policy and politics amidst conflict, poverty, starvation and the stupidity of religious extremism. Amongst this cocktail of planet killers lies a solution; the marriage of energy and poverty! As the energy mix changes, energy production will access more regions that are environmentally remote, extreme and hostile. Often these areas are home to millions of humans living in poverty.
The energy industry is set to lead a new era raising the majority of the human race out of poverty. However, the planet is sick and the human race tied closely to its demise or indeed its recovery. For example:
1. Conservationbytes has summarised a study that found abrupt warming periods over the last 60,000 years were at least partially responsible for the collapse of the megafauna in Eurasia and North America. ‘No, it wasn’t the cold events (check out the almost complete absence of events from the Last Glacial Maximum – LGM), but there was a definitive relationship with the warm (interstadials) instead!’
2. The Conversation has summarised a study showing that the chance to rescue the world’s ocean from climate change is slipping away. Humans are set to succumb to:
- Warmer and more stagnant oceans,
- Declining oxygen levels and productivity in some regions,
- Removal or modification of ecosystems,
- Fisheries and national economies are in the cross hairs in many regions,
- Rising seas and intensifying storms, and
- A loss of critical coastal features.
Fossil fuel resources will likely continue to supply the majority of the world with energy in the near future but current trends suggest growth of a global push towards repairing environmental damage by developing energy technology. The added focus on transitioning to a lower carbon emission economy and making non-renewable resource capture cleaner will assist developing economies to limit pollution and educate people before impacts to the environment and the planet become irreversible.
3. A Huffington Post article points out that:
- Exhibit A: the joint letter from the CEOs of several of the world’s leading oil and gas companies (sadly, none from North America), forcefully urging the heads of state to agree on a price for carbon at COP ’21.
- Exhibit B: The literally trillions in investor assets supporting organizations such as the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change in Europe —which alone brings together $10 trillion. And this does not include similar investor organizations in North America, Australia, and elsewhere.
- Exhibit C: The Climate Bonds Initiative, a collective, collaborative effort which has helped propel the issuance of green bonds to a 300% increase over the past two years.