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'Great News for the Climate' as Banking Giant Ditches Tar Sands, Arctic Drilling


'Great News for the Climate' as Banking Giant Ditches Tar Sands, Arctic Drilling

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Climate campaigners praise move by BNP Paribas, call on other banks to follow suit

A 2015 protest targets banks as climate change profiteers. (Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr/cc)


Any good news is welcome, but this is especially important because it shows that organized protest works. ¡Hasta la victoria siempre!


Not convinced - not even a little.

There is regulatory capture, which many of us are familiar with. There is also NGO capture, which is just as effective for the continuation of business as usual, which is precisely what this bank is doing.

Simply put - they are looking for more profitable avenues - for their investors.

It is most emphatically NOT good news for the climate, because business as usual IS the problem.

These guys at this bank are just getting off a sinking ship - like rats, which is what they are.

Here in Canada, Sears is liquidating some one hundred and thirty outlets, and laying off 12,000 people - this, after Target did the same a couple of years ago, also, coincidentally, about a hundred and thirty stores, one right beside me - just gone - in the blink of an eye, after an entry into Canada only as year or two previous - staggering - until one looks at the bigger picture, which words can only begin to describe as Armageddon.

Just this morning, on my walk for groceries, I saw three new vacancies in the small strip malls around me, and in The Globe and Mail, reporting on the Sears liquidation, it was mentioned how much trouble the entire retail/mall sector is and has been experiencing.

Once I was a stockbroker for a year, before that a small business owner and wellsite geologist, after all that I framed houses for six years, somewhere in between I climbed mountains full time for seven years.

I’ve seen and experienced it all, in a manner of speaking.

What I see now is collapse - happening - now.

I have studied climate and paleo-climate assiduously, being a geologist by training and a physical geographer by instinct and training, and the long and the short of this is that until we mobilize an all out effort, and I mean all out - to physically remove carbon from the atmosphere to at least 350 ppm, thus triggering the oceans, now acidifying, to release some of their load of CO2, we are headed off the proverbial cliff, and no amount of ‘investment’ in ‘feel good’ green technologies will change that.

There is an article by a NOAA scientist and administrator on this site this morning, which I read, being a big fan of NOAA, NASA, and science. But the language is controlled, rational, you know the tune.

That’s not nearly enough - we need, as I have said, a wartime assault on the powers that be - and on business as usual, in order to have a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving in some semblance of meaningful existence.

Right now the fight is all we have - all that we can expect for the foreseeable future.

So let’s not, at the least, delude ourselves further by celebrating a bank’s desertion of a sinking ship.

Though I am not conventionally religious, I believe it says somewhere, something about:

being neither a lender nor a borrower,

and that is most emphatically not business as usual, and is a path we should at least try to follow in our thinking.

What we are seeing in Puerto Rico reminds me of the collapse of the Roman Empire, when Rome sent a note to Britain - saying, if effect - you’re on your own now - we are collapsing - which they did.

The Dark Ages followed, and legends were born - think Arthur, a British ‘wearer of the purple’ - but even he succumbed.

Is that what we want, while we protect a system not worth protecting - an abject failure in every meaningful way ?