Fossil fuel logos are everywhere, for example the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. France had banned fossil fuel advertising this year and her opinion the rest of the world will follow suit. The industry is fighting back with mind boggling budgets.
New figures published just today show that air pollution is killing 100 European children every month.
Every day from our missionary base deep in the Amazonian forest, we trekked three kilometres to meet with a community of Achuar. Later, I wrote in my diary…
…we slowly made our way through soft muddied tracks under the most awe-inspiring canopies penetrated by shimmering light, through a narrow, cloister-like pathway surrounded on either side by tree-pillars. In this most sacred of cathedrals … trees towering above us for countless metres that had our heads titling upwards, our necks straining to the sky…
Even I didn’t make the connection, fuel companies’ campaigns were so brilliantly marketed that they were hiding in plain sight, inside our culture. Since the 1970s and 1980s Exxon and Shell knew they were changing the chemistry of the planet but they chose to retain the business model for profit over the future of life. They need to be kicked out of our schools.
In the face of their inexcusable and catastrophic impact on the planet, fossil fuel companies like Chevron-Texaco are desperate for a ‘social license’ to operate. In Ireland they hope to boost that license by coughing up €130,000 – peanuts to them. Irish sports, famous the world over, are better than that. Please don’t take their tainted money.
What’s involved here is a matter of principle, a matter of fundamental principle in terms of what schooling is about, what sport is about, what community is about, and what fossil fuel companies are about.
It’s particularly pernicious when they go after children as I think is happening in your country. I’ve seen this story all over the place. It’s not new. The response of the Irish campaigners could be a model and a symbol for what can be done by dedicated citizens. I salute everyone, all you folks and I’m so appreciative of what you’re doing.
Irish sports clubs need to understand that Texaco’s offer of support is intended to greenwash its reputation as a serial polluter and major contributor to global warming. Chevron-Texaco was found by courts in Ecuador to have deliberately dumped 16 billion gallons of cancer-causing toxic oil waste into the rainforest, causing a cancer epidemic that has killed thousands and has deci- mated five Indigenous nations who are teetering on the brink of extinction. After it was held accountable in court by the communities it devastated, Chevron refused to pay the $9.5 billion judgment and threatened the Indigenous peoples with a ‘lifetime of litigation’ unless they dropped the case.
When it comes to respect for the environment, it is being sued in dozens of countries around the world for its irresponsible and harmful environmental practices.