Yes, I completely agree with you that fossil fuel companies are fighting for their lives.
History is no longer on their side. The misinformation has become too much. The pushback against government responses to market failures and the social costs of capitalism has become too great. The collusion and co-opting of mainstream politics have brought nothing but tyranny.
The fossil fuel industry is ideologically wedded to the idea of free market capitalism as the only protection against a descent into Soviet-style totalitarianism. Ridiculous cold-war thinking that gave birth to neoliberalism and profit at all costs. It’s absurd to realise people can still think this way.
Failure to accept climate change is failure to accept the reality of market failure. This is what happens when companies, operating legally, sell a product that has huge and detrimental external costs. The market system doesn’t have any means of preventing this damage.
People don’t want to accept the reality of climate change, don’t want to accept that capitalism has failed so spectacularly. They don’t want to admit that capitalism is imploding.
Can carbon pricing or other market-based remedies work to negate the damages fossil fuel companies are inflicting on us? We use market-based mechanisms to decrease tobacco use, lower air pollution. Why not use carbon caps, trade bills?
Because when the fossil fuel companies have had the opportunity to embrace a market-based mechanism to address climate change, they turned their backs. These companies claim they want to be part of the solution. But when you look at their actions, it’s the last thing they want.
Instead they’ll keep paying us - well, actually, you now - to keep spinning the disinformation, the obfuscation, the lies.
We could have chosen a different road 30 years ago. We could have moved these companies towards a brighter, fossil fuel-free future. Instead they’re continuing to seek out new sources of oil and gas, continuing to destroy the environment.
We’re in a race between energy transition and massive, unalterable climate disruption.
And while the fossil fuel companies keep fighting to make money, they’re just going to keep lying.
Thank you for reading this chapter of “The Sorrows”, an experimental serial novel about the end of the world written in real-time by Stefano Boscutti. Subscribe now to receive new chapters for free via email.