Monday 30 January 2023

The Carbon Column – Who is to blame?

The Carbon Column – Who is to blame?

Over the last two weeks I have been dipping in and out of Assaad Razzouk’s book, Saving The Planet Without The B*******.

Razzouk shows his frustration with Big Oil in the early stages which weaves its way through the chapters. Razzouk sets out his argument about climate change and the destruction and deceit by Big Oil.

He claims for the oil majors profit came first. People and planet came second and that fossil fuel companies have been fixated on switching the narrative away from themselves and onto us, the consumer. Making us believe it is our problem.

One example in his book is when Shell offered the consumer the ability to pay an additional 1p per litre for fuel. Shell claimed they would use the funds to offset the fuel through tree planting schemes by investing $300 million over 3 years.

Razzouk says Shell flipped their problem into a consumer one, whilst turning a $300 million commitment into $750 million of revenue.

Hearing these stories, it’s hard not to side with Razzouk. Throughout the book, the arguments are compelling and supported by academic resources and data.


Shame on us?

One of the main things I took away was the shaming we do. We inherently shame other people for not adopting the same behaviours as we do. Making others feel as if they don’t care about the planet because they go on holiday, or eat meat, or want to have children, buy plastic, drive a car. You get the point.

Although these behaviour changes at household or business level may elevate feelings of morality, the books says they have little to no change on the outcome of man-made climate change. The changes Razzouk wants to see are systemic. He points the finger at fossil fuels over and over again.

“Individual action, while good and important from a moral standpoint, makes little actual difference and may even be counter-productive in some cases. We are in critical need of major systemic changes.”

This book offers more than what I can cover in 300 words.

It makes the topic of climate change clear. It focuses on solutions, existing ones that can get us to where we need to. It hones on the ‘Nasty Ninety', the ninety companies responsible for two thirds of all emissions. It makes you feel an array of emotions but leaves you feeling frustrated and inspired.

I would recommend this book to anyone.

If you’ve had a chance to read this book, let me know your thoughts. Please email me or find me on LinkedIn.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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