It’s always interesting when Old Money steps up, speaks out, and takes a public position on an issue of immediate importance.
The culture’s behavioral compass almost always points toward a constellation of polestars: reserve, discretion, privacy, silence, and secrecy. Voicing one’s opinions on public affairs is for politicians, who, Old Money or not, have thrown their hats into that ring and made that deal with the devil…otherwise known as the public.
Not unlike the Abigail Disney post that I shared recently, two more household names have decided to voice their opinions in the media. Is it a trend? I doubt it.
But it is worthwhile (and encouraging) to note that a Getty and a Rockefeller are jointly calling for a global rethink of fossil fuels. Yes, the cynical can argue that their families already got theirs (profits that is) from the mass exploitation of finite natural resources. So it’s easy for them to say ‘enough is enough’.
More accurately and probably more fairly, it’s probably best to view their opinions as simply the latest verse in a chorus of ‘enough is enough’. Global warming, or global heating as The Guardian now refers to it, is a tangible, immediate threat to us all.
To deny, discount, or distort that reality is the work of lobbyists, lunatics, or liars. (Fair warning: purveyors of corporate propaganda or those uninformed on this topic are advised not to comment. I won’t be my usual easygoing self, accommodating others whose opinions differ from mine, as this issue is too important and the science behind it too well documented.)
The only arguments now seem to be: which way forward, and how quickly? How do we balance our economic dependencies and ambitions with the behavioral adjustments now required of us by Mother Nature?
Some say it’s already too late. Perhaps, but human beings seem to have a way of pulling a rabbit out of a hat at precisely the time it is needed. We also have the capacity for change, for resolve, for upward evolution. Just as Martin Luther King, Jr. noted that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, so the arc of the social universe may be said to unfold toward enlightenment.
I’m confident we’ll get there. Just how quickly, painlessly, and safely we’ll arrive–those factors in the equation remain troubling.
As we bend and unfold, sometimes blindly and often unevenly, into a better world, we should keep things in perspective: the sky will not fall if we move away from fossil fuels like oil and coal. Automobile manufacturers once wailed that being required to install seat belts in cars would bankrupt them. So take industry doom and gloom predictions with a measure of salt, if not a grain.
You would also be wise to ignore glossy ad campaigns about how oil companies are really ‘green’ in their practices. They aren’t. They want you to think they are so they can keep doing what they do.
Capitalism’s nasty, redeeming, fascinating, and eternal characteristic is that, like water, it will find a way. It will seek out solutions to needs. It will innovate, often mercilessly so.
The injustice many businessmen felt when the horse and buggy business went by the wayside with the invention of the ‘horseless carriage’ will soon be felt by those who have profited so handsomely for so long from fossil fuels and the automobiles that feed upon them.
Solar, wind, electric, and hydrogen–or perhaps some other energy source that we aren’t even aware of at present–will be invented or discovered, refined, marketed, and implemented by a new generation of Getty’s and Rockefeller’s. Or perhaps developed by existing energy companies as they see the writing on the wall and change…rather than perish.
Either way, change has to happen now with regards to the way we live, consume energy, and manage waste. The consequences for inaction will be too severe and, trust me, only Old Money will be in a position to ride them out in any measure of comfort.
Trust me, too, when I say that Old Money doesn’t want the social upheaval that would like result from a climate crisis: it would be an economic crisis and probably a political crisis as well.
Here’s the link to the article.
Enjoy…then let’s think about how we can reduce our daily impact on the planet. Thanks.