We all remember DAPL; one of the biggest fights in history against an oil company. A fight we unfortunately lost.
However, there are more pipeline fights that are currently happening and we must not give up because we WILL eventually win.
In Minnesota, artists and locals are protesting against Line 3. This is a proposed pipeline expansion that would bring a million barrels of tar sands per day from Alberta, Canda to Superior, Wisconsin. The proposal first came in 2014 by ENBRIDGE, a Canadian Pipeline company responsible for the largest inland oil spill in the United States. Enbridge’s plan is to build a new pipeline corridor that plows through untouched wetlands in the territory of the Anishinaabe peoples, through the Mississippi River headwaters to the shore of Lake Superior.
Everyone know pipelines spill. It's not a matter of “if” anymore, but a matter of “when”. These lands are untouched and sacred. An oil spill will decimate them. It's time to transition to a sustainable alternative.
We see these words we see over and over, but how do we actually get to the point where industry makes a sustainable switch?
There is a growing movement calling on institutions, including Universities, religious institutions, pension funds, local authorities and charitable foundations to divest from fossil fuels. According to a study done by Oxford University, divestment is one of the fastest growing-campaigns in history, that could actually cause damage to the coal, gas and oil companies.
In the past, divestment campaigns targeted the gambling and tobacco industry for funding violence and genocide in Dafur. Targeted divestment strategy was even used to fight apartheid in South Africa. Divestment campaigns are organized in the same way a general strike is organized. Needs are expressed on a massive scale and companies are forced to listen.
An argument is made that world is too westernized to divest from fossil fuels. Modern humans are reliant on fossil fuels for everyday life and there is no way not to use them. However, this misses the point of divestment. That does not mean that fossil fuels will not be used. It will, however, force companies to search for renewable alternatives. We are at a point of no return with climate change, but it seems pertinent to switch to more sustainable alternatives to keep our focus on what is possible. This argument also seems to forget that fossil fuels aren’t renewable, meaning at some point, we will run out. So why not start making the shift now?
Divestment is something that needs to happen on a massive scale for it to have a huge difference. Otherwise it is just good words and wishful thinking. There are still some things you can do on an individual scale, to lessen your own carbon footprint, though.
- Conserve energy
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Only use AC when you are home.
- Use energy-saving appliances if possible.
- Reuse Products
- Use reusable products whenever possible.
- Shop at thrift stores for home goods and clothes.
- If you cant find something used, look for post consumer-made goods, made from recycled materials.
- Green Living
- Live a lifestyle that has the least amount of impact as possible.
- Grow your own food.
- Ride your bike when possible.
- If you are a homeowner, consider switching to solar.
- If you live in an apartment building, unionize with the other tenants to start using solar panels.
Divesting from the fossil fuel industry is not an easy feat. It will take years to fight against and, to switch to renewable energy. However, it's not a fight we can sit back on if we want to ensure a green world for future generations.