If you were in town a few weekends ago when the “once in a lifetime” heat wave hit the PNW you shared in a horrifying glimpse of what every summer weekend could very well look like for the future families of all those Lakeridge Lions, West Mercer Wolves, and Island Park Eagles (heck even for us current residents).
The last 7 years have been the warmest on record, and it’s unfortunately very fair to think of them not as the warmest years of the last century but as the coolest years of the next one. At this point the science is clear – human activity, specifically our insatiable appetite for fossil fuels, is largely to blame for the “heat domes” and “fire seasons” we’ve been experiencing. If we think of all carbon emissions as filling up a bathtub we are currently sloshing around at the brim about to spill over. Though humanity is at fault the good news is therein also lies our potential cure – if we act decisively now.
If you walked in on an overflowing bathtub the obvious first step would be to turn off the faucet, that same logic applies to our emissions – the International Energy Agency has stated that new fossil fuel exploration must stop imminently if we are to avoid catastrophic global warming. The US already has the daunting task of phasing out 900,000+ operational oil and gas wells – we can’t afford additional drilling and pipelines. However, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission there are still over 20 oil and gas pipelines in development and the Biden administration has approved 229 new drilling permits on federal land, this is unconscionable.
I am calling on Congress to support the Keep It in the Ground Act, which would prohibit new and renewed permits for drilling and infrastructure development for any fossil energy project on public lands that has not yet begun extraction. You can too (https://climatechangemakersact.web.app/).
Furthermore, a 2021 report by Rainforest Action Network found that 60 of the largest financial institutions have poured in $3.8 Trillion in financing fossil fuel projects in the years SINCE the 2016 Paris Agreement. This despite pledges from many of them to align their activities with the Paris commitments. The top three worst offenders were JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo. As a chagrined Chase customer I am reaching out to my bank to let them know their actions are speaking louder than their words – please join me!