Today, we celebrate the creation of one of the world’s most ecologically destructive companies. On November 30, 1999 the world witnessed the merger of Exxon and Mobil, two of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, to create the world’s largest company, ExxonMobil. While this may have been seen as beneficial for the job market, it was certainly not beneficial for the environment.
In its 13 years of existence, ExxonMobil has been responsible for some of the worst eco-crimes on the planet, including (but not limited to) the horrendous Exxon-Valdez oil spill and the Greenpoint oil spill. And that’s not all.
Not only has ExxonMobil caused several eco-disasters, they have also funded climate skeptics with the intention of discrediting the work of climate scientists. This is a sad example of scientific bias as well as an unethical act.
Several groups have dedicated themselves to ending ExxonMobil’s unethical practices. Leading them in the fight is Greenpeace. Greenpeace has dedicated a section of their organization to research on ExxonMobil. Exxonsecrets documents the web of corruption that stems from ExxonMobil.
However, ExxonMobil remains untouched by the media, mainly because of its influence on the job market, as well as world economics and politics.
Anthropogenic Climate Change. When you look at this term, you think of many things. The first thing that hits you is the size and complexity of this term. Then you look at this phrase: Global Warming. It is straightforward and easy to understand. The world is heating up. Now when we compare these two terms, we see that the second is easier to understand, smaller, and gets to the point. So whenever we see a media report, they will use the second phrase. But this phrase is misleading. It allows us to say, “Ok the world is warming, but the world has always doing that. It gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter.”
The truth of the matter is that if global warming is real, it is probably caused by humans. When we use the term anthropogenic climate change, this point is clarified. Anthropogenic means “originating in human activity” and climate change means that the overall condition of the atmosphere is changing. When you put the two definitions together, you see that the weather of the world is changing due to humanity. However, when we use the term global warming, we say only that the Earth is heating up. There could be a number of reasons for this warming. In fact, the Earth goes through cycles that make it heat up and cool down. The problem with this theory is that humanity has never played such a large role in climate change. So one problem in the media is the use of misleading phrases.
Another problem is coverage. If you go to CNN, you will not see a story about global warming. You will see something about either politics or a famous actor/actress. And the reason for this is because the public doesn’t want to hear about issues that will affect them in 30-50 years. The public want gossip, arguments, and exciting things that will keep them on the edge on their seats. For example, if you see the Google Trends page for Global Warming vs. Kim Kardashian, Kim Kardashian outweighs Global Warming for 5 out of 8 years.
This sad fact shows how narrow minded we are. We pay more attention to a reality TV actress than to a problem that threatens the life of this planet. I believe this fact might be seen as a slight problem. We need to get ourselves back on track, otherwise we will fail our responsibilities.
How we judge global warming depends on 3 factors: the media, the politicians, and the scientific data that is filtered down to us. These three factors contribute to our views on anthropogenic climate change. It takes two to fight, so there are obviously 2 sides to the argument. On one extreme there are the alarmists, those who wish to scare us into believing in global warming. On the other hand, there are the skeptics who are not willing to listen to any side of the global warming argument. Some of the alarmists and skeptics are quite famous while some are universally hated. The fact that these people have such a heavy presence in the public mind only adds to the confusion of the general public.
And confusion is exactly what the oil and gas companies need to prove their point that global warming is just a theory not a cold, hard fact. This uncertainty furthers their profits and makes the consumer feel less guilty about the impact of the purchase of the oil and gas company products.
On the other end of the spectrum, the alarmists aren’t helping further the cause of ending climate change. They are making it look ridiculous. Take for instance the BBC documentary, Hot Planet. It makes a complete laughingstock of global warming. The film shows scenes of cities being wiped out by floods. While this event may occur in the distant future, this representation is clear misinformation because this future is extremely improbable in the near future. And while alarmism may work on some people, it only strengthens the arguments of the skeptics.
What the public needs is cold, hard facts, not watered down reports or exaggerated accounts. The public needs the truth.
If all the American people know all of the facts they will never make a mistake.
We live in a changing world. A thought can get around the world in seconds. Demonstrations can be organized in hours. It is estimated that a week’s worth of the NY Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century. So why is it that we cannot stop global warming.
The problem lies not with technology as some people suggest. The problem lies with our thinking. We do not want to go out of our way to save our home. We would rather throw paper in the trash than the recycling bin, simply because it is closer to us. We would rather drive a car to work than ride a train or bus, simply because we don’t want to wait for that extra 10 minutes. We are lazy. The only time we DO go out of our way to change something is when it affects our peaceful lives. We do not want to accept that global warming is real. We want to believe that is a myth, made by those who dislike oil and gas companies, who want to ruin our way of life.
But we must this belief and urge ourselves to fight this falsehood. Global Warming is agreed upon by 97% of climate scientists. There is a misconception that some scientists do not believe in global warming. This is false. Scientists are in disagreement on whether global warming is caused by humans or not. However, they all agree that climate change is most definitely real and occurring. While we need not believe everything we are told by the media, we must come to grips with our fate, before it is too late.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
~ Albert Einstein
So let us change our thinking, in the hopes of a better tomorrow.