Oil Exploration Boom Is Heating Up

Maanantai 25.7.2022 klo 13:19 - Mikko Nikinmaa

With huge forest fires raging more carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere than the present restrictions in fossil fuel use diminish the emissions. The net result is further heating, leading to further forest fires, leading to further heating…and so on.

One would imagine that at least now the world leaders would start markedly diminishing our dependency on oil production, but no. It is only last November that virtually every country in the world pledged in Glasgow to do quite a bit to combat climate change. Notably, though, leaders of Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Iran (and a couple of other nations, which I don’t mention as they are not major global players in the production or use of oil) did not attend the Glasgow Summit. Well, the leaders made pledges, but what has recently happened?

Putin has started the war against Ukraine and ridiculed the European aim to shift from oil to green energy production. Since EU, UK and USA are stopping or have stopped to use Russian oil, oil production elsewhere is increasing. For example, President Biden visited Saudi Arabia, asking them to increase oil production. Norway is increasing oil production and offshore drilling. In view of these incidences, it is no wonder that Congo is slipping from its Glasgow pledge. In Glasgow, Congo agreed to protect its large rain forest for the next ten years. In exchange for this pledge, the international community promised to give Congo 500 000 000 USD.

Promises are made to be broken. Congo has now started an auction for oil exploration in its rainforest. It is expected that the oil production of Congo could increase 50-fold. At the same time the rain forest of Congo as a carbon sink would clearly decrease.

The poor countries like Congo maintain that the rich industrialized countries are again being colonial – trying to keep themselves rich and using poor nations as “carbon dioxide sinks” preventing them from economic growth if they have their way. There is some truth in this claim. After all, who are most likely to use the oil drilled from the rain forest in Congo. And the companies getting most of the profits from oil drilling are hardly from Congo. Notably, Elon Musk would rather spend his money on Mars than help people on Earth. He has already spent much more on space travel than the international pledge of funds to Congo is. I wonder which is more important for humankind – or even to him, his space travel or combatting climate change?

All in all, the best way to combat climate change would be to markedly reduce economic inequality.

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: climate change, fossil fuels, economic inequality

Start boycotting avocados!

Torstai 22.10.2020 klo 11:04 - Mikko Nikinmaa

Avocados are grown in arid areas for consumption mainly in the rich countries in Europe and North America. Cultivation of avocados requires a lot of water, four times as much as orange cultivation. Since the cultivation is done in dry areas, cultivation of avocados essentially makes the area infertile for subsistence crops of local people. The reason for continued avocado cultivation is that the grower gets a lot of cash from selling avocados, undoubtedly because they are mainly eaten in rich countries.

Eating avocados is not necessary for us. I remember getting my first avocado: I was quite disappointed of the taste. Still, the fruit has come to be a usual constituent of salads in European and North American households. In the interests of saving water for agriculture in arid areas, we should start boycotting avocados. If nobody bought them, they would not be grown, and the extreme water use of growing avocados would go to more important crops for local people.

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: water use, climate change, agricultural practices, economic inequality