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New 'Divest for Paris' Challenge Amplifies Global Pressure Before COP21

New 'Divest for Paris' Challenge Amplifies Global Pressure Before COP21

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

"By divesting we are taking the fossil fuel industry to task for its culpability in the climate crisis." (Photo: Light Brigading/flickr/cc)

Will it have any impact for private investers to divest, when our government is investing billions of our tax dollars every year in fossil fuel subsidies?


Perhaps a burgeoning movement will eventually end such subsidies. You surely aren’t suggesting that any other tactic wait for the end of subsidies.

The fossil fuel industry is driven by demand, just like all capitalist endeavors. Until people learn to live within their means, learn that hard work isn’t a sin - debt is - and get rid of capitalism, the capitalist myth of endless growth will abide. Consequently oil, be it tar sands crud or any other will, like water, flow and ooze however it can via the path of least resistance to meet the demand of the demand-ers.

Divestment in one aspect of the capitalist matrix is meaningless if the money is simply moved to anther aspect of it because every industrial process and product has a fossil fuel footprint, every investment is better understood as an investment in fossil fuels.

If you’ve got money you want to invest, put it in your home [insulation for instance], in your kids education, in your backyard garden or in some other positive change. Folks need to stop driving to the mall, stop consuming needless crap, just slow down.

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Lenin notes in his 1929 “Imperialism: The Highest Form of Capitalism” that commodities are the easiest things around which to form cartels. Fossil and nuclear fuels are the ultimate commodities, particularly when the centralized production of power is layered into the mix. (As other commodities such as minerals and agricultural products require power, it might be argued that these are the penultimate commodities.) Fighting cartels is a bitch.

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" There is no future for fossil fuels–or there is no future"

I agree with the above statement, but from my perspective, the greedy, egregious, fossil fuel industry could care less about us having no future. What is needed is a new paradigm,a world wide war on the REAL TERRORISTS! Not the pseudo terrorists that keep the MIC and the fossil fuel INDUSTRIES supplied with trillions of $, but the real terrorists that are devastating our future and this planet.

God bless Terra Firma, planet that I love; from all countries… to all oceans; white with foam; God bless the whole world; because this is our home sweet…sweet home.
Sung to God bless America.

Not sure about that. Isn’t it more some undesirable human emotions that drive capitalism? I think in turn they can create phoney demand in other people’s minds but, as you indirectly point out, it is not real demand - just consuming needless crap.

Agriculture may use a ton of power but that does not mean it requires it. Nature was here before any of this shit.

Most of what you are saying is true, but, I will have to say, your focus on “stop driving to the mail” etc… is rather … well, do you really think that all those cars on the highways, going to work, are NOT going to add to the co2 concentration?.. I mean, I am going to have to figure out a different way to explain my self because… I do not think I get my point across in most cases… you see, millions of cars on the road… GOING TO WORK… are really a big problem… sure, I suppose public transit would help… some, but that is not a complete answer either… we need to RETHINK our economy right down to WHERE people go to work. Sure, cities have to some degree but, really, there ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN RURAL AREAS and there really isn’t a solution … here in the Southern Tier of NY … there is no way in any near future that MONEY will be put out there for real public transit. The one bus that travels on the week days, One run in the morning one run at night. Then, you have the fact that the median in come around here is well, really low. Most people I know will be not be able to buy an electric vehicle, unless it is second hand and going for around peanuts. I am just saying, the ideas to not invest, that is fine.
What i get upset about, is that our economy WILL NEED TO CHANGE DRASTICALLY … and those in power are NOT SETTING UP SAFETY NETS, for the average person to survive… so, it’s up for grabs what will happen. All these ideas again, are fine, but it is not enough. We NEED TO CUT EMISSIONS DRASTICALLY BY CUTTING DEMAND DRASTICALLY… Getting ride of MOST of what we do and make is part of that… If we are serious about this.,… so that we are not kissing the *ss of catrosphic climate change… we need to reduce demand by a factor of …well, a really big deal.

Here’s an idea. How about employers, in rural areas, make their schedules around people’s ability to get to work. Most employers, make YOU work on their schedule. But, if in a rural county, you can only catch a bus at 7 am and have to leave work to catch it by 4:00, then you work that shift, even it that shift doesn’t exist for that employer. He should make it exist. In some cases, I have had clients have to leave work at 3: in order to catch the bus to get home. Other wise they are left. And that bus stays only on the main road, 17c … It does not deviate up in to the back roads.
Again, we need to CHANGE A WHOLE LOT. Mostly, I think people should just be able to stay home and work in a way that benefits their immediate community. Cottage industry.
Oh and many JOBS ARE CARBON INTENSIVE … so they have to go buy the way side. I mean, some are obvious of course… like coal mining. But how about any kind of job that makes PLASTIC STUFF… just for starters.

Ya, the problems are enormous, interconnected and all connected to materialism. My focus on driving to the mall to consume more needless crap is a kinda metaphor for that. i agree with your angst and your re-localization of a much smaller scale hands on economy as a solution. i dropped out a looong time ago and have had a wonderful life, but the thing is it’s hard work, it’s rewarding in that i’m proud of building useful things out of recycled stuff, i’m proud of the food i grow organically and share/barter with my neighbors, but most folks only see the patches on my clothes and the dirt under my fingernails.

Okay, I see… I know where you are comin’ from. Actually, you probably experience more joy in your life than most.