73% of Americans polled by Yale University late last year agree that climate change is happening.
But major hydrocarbon producers – companies like ExxonMobil – still plan to produce more fossil fuels in future years than ever before, as a recent article in The Economist reported.
Exxon Mobil plans to pump 25% more oil and gas in 2025 than in 2017, in response to, according to ExxonMobil’s projections, global oil and gas demand rising 13% by 2030.
At the same time the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tells us that oil and gas production needs to fall by about 20% by 2030 and by about 55% by 2050, in order to stop the Earth’s temperature rising by more than 1.5°C above its pre-industrial level.
For now, there’s agreement that worldwide demand for oil is growing by 1-2% a year. What would it take to chart another path without the high costs of oil? Where oil demand is concerned, smarter city and county planning to reducing car miles traveled is essential (hey who actually likes being stuck in cars all the time, even in a ride hailing scenario) and at the same time getting more electric cars on the road.
The current global recycling crisis may mean an eventual shift away from single-use plastic packaging which is hard to decontaminate with stickiness or grease from the food it contained and takes up too much space when transported empty. Even air travel can and will eventually be zero-emissions. In the U.S. grand national-level action is overdue, and solutions like a market-based price on carbon and a bold Green New Deal to provide a just transition for disparately affected communities are in the works and with enough support from the public, nonprofits, and members of Congress pose a promising start!