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Danny Schechter Inspired millions (including the founders of this network)

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Danny schechter, "The News Dissector"

In March of 2002, at an event focusing on arts and media at a time of globalized consolidation, some of the Mobilized founding team took part in a conversation focusing on what we can do to preserve democracy and safeguard the health and well-being of people and the planet. Mobilized is proud to present the keynote by media dissector Danny Schechter whose words of wisdom inspired and empowered the creation of this network.

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Chuck W.

Truth or Consequences

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“At the root cause of our problems is the failure to recognize that Independence is a man made concept. The truth of our reality is that everything is connected to everything and therefore, everything impacts everything.  Every action impacts the whole. Mobilized is firmly rooted in this natural law.”

Everyday a new story of systematic breakdown, of tragedy, a shooting, a broken system, the election of incompetent psychopaths, media companies at war with each other,  it’s a constant struggle to keep up with it all.

We can stand high atop a mountain and cream “What the F%&K is going on here?” or we can go down the rabbit hole and discover the root cause–the epicenter of all of our inherent, continual and on-going problems.

The Age of Consequences of Systematic Failure: Our existing situations are not problems. They are Consequences

By Chuck Woolery, Former Chair, United Nations Assn., Council of Organizations (not the TV host!) and Steven Jay, Creative Director, Mobilized

Summary:  After the Great Depression and the end of WWII the general sense of the common good generated by these crises gradually disappeared from public discussion (with the exception of the civil rights forces that yielded some important civil progress).

America’s success in the world and our fear of Communism helped fuel individualism, greed, and selfishness (the illusion of individual separation from the whole). This largely un-examined mind set eclipsed the ‘united we stand’ American character. It was an aberration of logic, compassion, and empathy that basically steamrolled American politics into the train wreck we have today. Recently, technology greatly accelerated this trend that had been well established by a largely unregulated capitalism system that had spread the dangerous meme of Independence globally for the past few decades.

The tragic and lethal consequences are now upon us. And instead of recognizing our collective mental flaw that got us here, and confronting it, many people have doubled down on it. They want to make American Great Again by going back to the comforts, conditions, and selfish mindset that tragically nurtured our disconnect from reality. The truth that “United We Stand” is still stands. Divided we will fall And, this time it will be a hard fall. One we may not recover from.

  • Trump is not the problem. He’s a consequence. And…
  • Climate change isn’t the problem. It’s a consequence.
  • Unprecedented obesity rates, opioid deaths, mass shootings, and suicides rates are not emergencies. They are consequences.
  • Flint, Michigan’s contaminated water, Honeybees’ Colony Collapse Disorder, Florida’s red tide are not environmental problems. They’re consequences.
  • The continuing wars in Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria are all consequences.
  • Radical extremism, nuclear proliferation, and Russian cyber hacks are not national security threats. Growing economic inequality, fake news, and loss of privacy are not dilemmas.

That’s right, they are consequences.

  • All of these, and most of the other problems that we are now encountering at breakneck pace in newspapers and in our lives are the inevitable consequences of our thinking and actions.

They are the result of our collective failure to do what we know is needed to prevent such problems.

All Americans have solemnly pledged dozens, if not hundreds of times, “Liberty and Justice for all”. But our desire for comfort, wealth, distractions, popularity, and freedom comes with all too real life and death consequences.

Americans love freedom. Some freedoms have arguably been worth the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives and trillions of our tax dollars. But it has been our overindulgence in freedom without responsibility that is the fundamental cause of our (and the world’s) growing list of profoundly dangerous, destructive, unhealthy, and increasingly lethal consequences. Unforgiving consequences that were predictable and often warned about. Costly consequences that were, and remain, related to a simple conceptual flaw within our mental calculations.

We believe and act as if we are independent. As Americans, we reinforce that sentiment every 4th of July. And yet, as a concept, independence has no foundation … in sane thought or practical application in the known universe.

It is this unyielding faith in, allegiance to, and reflexive defense of this flawed principle that essentially disconnects us from much of our personal, civil, environmental, social, and economic responsibilities. Like Neo in the Matrix, we all sense something isn’t right… but can’t see the truth;

In reality every aspect of our lives is dependent on other people, the environment, our nation’s laws, and most importantly, the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” as expressed in the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.

The growing mass of undesirable consequences that threaten our freedom, security and prosperity were as inevitable as they were unintentional. But they are only self-evident if we are honest about reality.

Our Founding Fathers called reality “Self-Evident…Truths” based on the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”. Their catastrophic error was failing to codify this wisdom into their new government blueprint — the U.S. Constitution. The consequence was a civil war that killed more Americans than all the wars our nation has fought in since then, combined. And some of the consequences remain with us today.

Far more Americans will die from preventable causes in the years ahead related to global factors SUCH AS terrorism, pandemics, climate change, wars, and poverty because the the systems and structures that our Constitution protects today on both the national and international level still fail to codify the wisdom of “liberty and justice for all” in a world of irrefutable and irreversible interdependence.

Interdependence … is accelerating because exponential advances in technology are accelerating, while our government’s capacity for change (or adaptation to change) has virtually stopped, and in some arenas … actually reversing.

The illusion of Independence underlies most of our thinking, planning, policy making, and actions.

We assume without question our individual, budgetary, institutional, and national independence. The endless war against terrorism (a tactic that cannot be defeated) only accelerates our loss of freedom and security. Our modern world of unprecedented and increasingly powerful, affordable and ubiquitous technological capacity for WMD creation – and the increasing difficulty in accurately attributing the identity of the attacker, puts everything at risk.

Imagine the loss of lives, freedom, and prosperity from a bioterrorist attack or global pandemic as bad, or worse than the 1918 Flu epidemic. Unlike nuclear war, such a biosecurity threat is inevitable. And, we remain lethally unprepared for a catastrophe that will NEGATIVELY affect every system and structure in our bodies, our homes, our economies and THE world.
We have based our policies on the illusion of independence (a concept created by humans, not existing in nature) instead of obeying nature’s fundamental principles that are used in science and technology to engineer things that work to save and protect life, and make our lives more comfortable, profitable, and secure. … It is the flawed human principle of independence that leads to our abuse and misuse of the amazing science and technology that creates most of our problems. Often with catastrophic results, but still preventable … if we had followed the laws of nature and nature’s God.

Now imagine a government engineered on the fundamental principles offered in the Declaration of Independence. A government that … soundly embraces and promotes the responsibility of inclusion with ‘liberty and justice for all’.


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Some have asserted that the primary fundamental principle in both the laws of nature and nature’s God is justice. The basis of every major religion is the Golden Rule of do unto others as you would have them do to you. And anyone experiencing an injustice doesn’t need to be a religious believer to understand the supreme value of this. Our US Justice Department offers two quotes engraved in its exterior’s stone.

“Justice is found in the rights bestowed by nature upon man. Liberty is maintained in security of justice.”

And,

“Justice is the great interest of man on earth. Wherever her temple stands, there is a foundation for social security, general happiness and the improvement and progress of our race.”

Yet our federal (and lower) systems and structures of justice are profoundly unjust. In reality we have a legal system in which it is better to be guilty and rich than innocent and poor. Many of our laws are unjust. And unacceptable injustices can also be found in our national economic, electoral, education, healthcare, agriculture, military, foreign policy, and intelligence systems and structures. Is it really any wonder that things don’t work, Trump was elected, wars persist, the environment is trashed, and our society is ailing?
Every time I see or hear of another failing in our nation, a phrase I heard last year comes to mind; ;“How healthy can we be if we are well adjusted to a profoundly sick society?” We are afflicted with a mental illness; Our capacity to believe anything! Literally, anything. Fake news and conspiracy theory should make that stunningly clear…but so should our worship of the illusion of independence.

In reality, every system and structure in our body, our house, our environment, and our world is interconnected and interdependent on the health and sustainable functioning of a just world. Our … mind’s illusion of independence … disconnects us from our bodies’ vital needs; Love, peace, community, … and nature’s vital systems and structures that we have largely taken for granted. Natural systems that maintain our planet’s capacity for sustaining all life, human health, future prosperity, and ultimately our species survival.

There is … zero guarantee … our nation will last.

The Federalists worried that hostile nations could exploit any domestic divisions. George Washington warned in his farewell address that partisan “factions” could rip the country apart. James Madison feared that liberty could be lost by the “gradual and silent encroachments of those in power.” John Adams said, “There never was a democracy yet, that did not commit suicide”. But, many in our Republic praise democracy, and rightfully blame both parties that are dominating our flawed two-party system that’s giving us the consequences we are suffering today. Some are proposing the creation of “People’s Party”. They put too much promise in the will of the ,masses and offer a platform based on creative progressive ideas that are largely devoid of fundamental principles. In other words – they are engineering a political party that relies on creative and popular proposals that could win a majority – but completely incapable of transforming the profound flaws in our current system and structures, on both the national and international levels.

FYI: Earth itself has an expiration date. And we the American people (and probably most of the world) still reflect the opinion offered in the second paragraph of their Declaration of Independence which states “accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.”

The bad news however is that Unfortunately, the suffering that’s coming in our age of Consequences may be so great that our species may expire long, long before Earth. With the consequences of the acceleration of technology (WMD proliferation and AI) already knocking on our door, the majority of Americans or people in the world may not even get the chance to suffer the full effects of climate change. Because of multiple factors, time is NOT on our side.

If you are seeking the most practical action to take, a ‘justice for all’ system won’t be welcomed immediately by many policy makers or political parties. This would require the legal protection of all inalienable human rights …by the force.

What can be done is funding the provision of those rights by the force of political will. President Roosevelt offered the basics in his four freedoms speech; freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and … fear.”

Universal access to clean water, safe sanitation, adequate food, access to basic health services, basic education, and an equal opportunity to earn a living wage would be a great start. The fastest, most affordable, practical, and effective means of maximizing such ‘Liberty and Justice for all” here and abroad, thus laying the foundation for maximizing everyone’s freedom and security is the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed to by every nation in 2015 for achievement by 2030.

Seventy years ago (December 10, 1948) the world approval of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was offered in the context of world security. Those who experienced World War II, the holocaust, and a new weapon that could vaporize 100,000 people in a second understood the essentials of ‘justice for all’ as a preventive measure. Unfortunately, they (and we) were … given an international system (and structures) committed to protecting national sovereignty (another human created concept). The system has failed to protect humanities God’s given inalienable human rights. This structural flaw in the UN resembles the original flaw in the US Constitution that led to our catastrophic Civil War.

It’s obvious that we will not get an enforceable Global Bill of Rights any time soon. But we could virtually enforce most essential human rights by funding the SDGs. The growing array of global threats to our freedom and security demand we to this as rapidly as possible.

A set of less ambitious but, measurable, achievable, and affordable goals were set for the year 2000 a the 1990 World Summit for Children. Even though all governments at the time signed a pledge to make the resources available, few of the goals were fully funded or achieved. Another more ambitious set of “Millennium Development Goals” were set in 2000 for the year 2015. These were also shorted and the wars, terrorism, climate change, refugees, starvation, revolutions, state failures, infectious diseases, international crime and genocides we see around the world today ARE largely a consequence. If we fail this time in achieving the SDG’s our deteriorating global conditions may overwhelm any chance of our children setting things right.
The depressing news is that achieving the SDG’s will cost trillions that governments cannot spare.

The exciting news is that they don’t need to.

Governments just need the political will to freeze and seize a good portion of the $32 trillion dollars that is now stashed in offshore bank accounts by kleptocrats (dictators and their cronies), drug cartels (illegal gains), and wealthy capitalist (legally and illegally avoiding taxes) that should be going to basic government services.

The political will could be generated if the general public is aware that their nation’s security and cherished freedoms depend more on meeting the SDGs than on more military spending or a new “Space Force” branch of the US military.

That level of political will in the US will require a movement of movements of informed and active citizens recognizing that voting is the least powerful civil action they can take. Petitioning our elected officials is infinitely better than protesting, resisting, or counter protesting. If the peace, environment, and economic/social justice movements combined in petitioning their elected Members of Congress (and those running for office) a dysfunctional congress could actually prove useful. And we would finally have a government of “We the people” …”with liberty and justice for all”.

Essentially, it truly doesn’t matter who is in office or what party they belong to if fundamental principles are codified into laws, budgets, and all government action.

Given the multiple threats we face as individuals, nations and a species it must be clear that few can be stopped with military power. And, many are exacerbated by its unprincipled use.
Our primary goal as voters and citizens must be to recognize our global interdependence and the profound value of “liberty and Justice for all”. Make it your personal goal to educate your policy makers on this fundamental reality.

Connect the dots (we are all connected). See the web of life (all systems and structures are connected). Work for justice (for all) …or prepare for the consequences (which will inevitably be catastrophic).

Chuck Woolery, Former Chair ,United Nations Association, Council of Organizations
Steven Jay, Founder and Creative Director, Mobilized.news
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Mobilized is creating a collaborative constructive solutions network dedicated to our collective human potential, economic and ecologic justice, and human rights. We are a network of media producers, investigative journalists, deep-thinkers, scientists and pro-active organizers who believe that an enlightened and well-informed populous is important for a society to truly flourish and are committed to working towards bringing it about. Please join us as a collaborator in creation of a better world: It’s Free to sign up, your registration will never be compromised. Share the news of solutions and empower a brighter tomorrow, today. Click here to sign up!

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Systemic Change Driven by Moral Awakening Is Our Only Hope

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Our core ecological problem is not climate change. It is overshoot, of which global warming is a symptom. Overshoot is a systemic issue. Over the past century-and-a-half, enormous amounts of cheap energy from fossil fuels enabled the rapid growth of resource extraction, manufacturing and consumption; and these in turn led to population increase, pollution and loss of natural habitat and hence biodiversity.

The human system expanded dramatically, overshooting Earth’s long-term carrying capacity for humans while upsetting the ecological systems we depend on for our survival. Until we understand and address this systemic imbalance, symptomatic treatment (doing what we can to reverse pollution dilemmas like climate change, trying to save threatened species and hoping to feed a burgeoning population with genetically modified crops) will constitute an endlessly frustrating round of stopgap measures that are ultimately destined to fail.

The ecology movement in the 1970s benefitted from a strong infusion of systems thinking, which was in vogue at the time (ecology—the study of the relationships between organisms and their environments—is an inherently systemic discipline, as opposed to studies like chemistry that focus on reducing complex phenomena to their components). As a result, many of the best environmental writers of the era framed the modern human predicament in terms that revealed the deep linkages between environmental symptoms and the way human society operates. Limits to Growth (1972), an outgrowth of the systems research of Jay Forrester, investigated the interactions between population growth, industrial production, food production, resource depletion and pollution. Overshoot (1982), by William Catton, named our systemic problem and described its origins and development in a style any literate person could appreciate. Many more excellent books from the era could be cited.

However, in recent decades, as climate change has come to dominate environmental concerns, there has been a significant shift in the discussion. Today, most environmental reporting is focused laser-like on climate change, and systemic links between it and other worsening ecological dilemmas (such as overpopulation, species extinctions, water and air pollution, and loss of topsoil and fresh water) are seldom highlighted. It’s not that climate change isn’t a big deal. As a symptom, it’s a real doozy. There’s never been anything quite like it, and climate scientists and climate-response advocacy groups are right to ring the loudest of alarm bells. But our failure to see climate change in context may be our undoing.

Why have environmental writers and advocacy organizations succumbed to tunnel vision? Perhaps it’s simply that they assume systems thinking is beyond the capacity of policy makers. It’s true: If climate scientists were to approach world leaders with the message, “We have to change everything, including our entire economic system—and fast,” they might be shown the door rather rudely. A more acceptable message is, “We have identified a serious pollution problem, for which there are technical solutions.” Perhaps many of the scientists who did recognize the systemic nature of our ecological crisis concluded that if we can successfully address this one make-or-break environmental crisis, we’ll be able to buy time to deal with others waiting in the wings (overpopulation, species extinctions, resource depletion and on and on).

If climate change can be framed as an isolated problem for which there is a technological solution, the minds of economists and policy makers can continue to graze in familiar pastures. Technology—in this case, solar, wind and nuclear power generators, as well as batteries, electric cars, heat pumps and, if all else fails, solar radiation management via atmospheric aerosols—centers our thinking on subjects like financial investment and industrial production. Discussion participants don’t have to develop the ability to think systemically, nor do they need to understand the Earth system and how human systems fit into it. All they need trouble themselves with is the prospect of shifting some investments, setting tasks for engineers and managing the resulting industrial-economic transformation so as to ensure that new jobs in green industries compensate for jobs lost in coal mines.

The strategy of buying time with a techno-fix presumes either that we will be able to institute systemic change at some unspecified point in the future even though we can’t do it just now (a weak argument on its face), or that climate change and all of our other symptomatic crises will in fact be amenable to technological fixes. The latter thought-path is again a comfortable one for managers and investors. After all, everybody loves technology. It already does nearly everything for us. During the last century it solved a host of problems: it cured diseases, expanded food production, sped up transportation and provided us with information and entertainment in quantities and varieties no one could previously have imagined. Why shouldn’t it be able to solve climate change and all the rest of our problems?

Of course, ignoring the systemic nature of our dilemma just means that as soon as we get one symptom corralled, another is likely to break loose. But, crucially, is climate change, taken as an isolated problem, fully treatable with technology? Color me doubtful. I say this having spent many months poring over the relevant data with David Fridley of the energy analysis program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Our resulting book, Our Renewable Future, concluded that nuclear power is too expensive and risky; meanwhile, solar and wind power both suffer from intermittency, which (once these sources begin to provide a large percentage of total electrical power) will require a combination of three strategies on a grand scale: energy storage, redundant production capacity and demand adaptation. At the same time, we in industrial nations will have to adapt most of our current energy usage (which occurs in industrial processes, building heating and transportation) to electricity. Altogether, the energy transition promises to be an enormous undertaking, unprecedented in its requirements for investment and substitution. When David and I stepped back to assess the enormity of the task, we could see no way to maintain current quantities of global energy production during the transition, much less to increase energy supplies so as to power ongoing economic growth. The biggest transitional hurdle is scale: the world uses an enormous amount of energy currently; only if that quantity can be reduced significantly, especially in industrial nations, could we imagine a credible pathway toward a post-carbon future.

Downsizing the world’s energy supplies would, effectively, also downsize industrial processes of resource extraction, manufacturing, transportation, and waste management. That’s a systemic intervention, of exactly the kind called for by the ecologists of the 1970s who coined the mantra, “Reduce, reuse and recycle.” It gets to the heart of the overshoot dilemma—as does population stabilization and reduction, another necessary strategy. But it’s also a notion to which technocrats, industrialists, and investors are virulently allergic.

The ecological argument is, at its core, a moral one—as I explain in more detail in a just-released manifesto replete with sidebars and graphics (“There’s No App for That: Technology and Morality in the Age of Climate Change, Overpopulation, and Biodiversity Loss”). Any systems thinker who understands overshoot and prescribes powerdown as a treatment is effectively engaging in an intervention with an addictive behavior. Society is addicted to growth, and that’s having terrible consequences for the planet and, increasingly, for us as well. We have to change our collective and individual behavior and give up something we depend on—power over our environment. We must restrain ourselves, like an alcoholic foreswearing booze. That requires honesty and soul-searching.

In its early years the environmental movement made that moral argument, and it worked up to a point. Concern over rapid population growth led to family planning efforts around the world. Concern over biodiversity declines led to habitat protection. Concern over air and water pollution led to a slew of regulations. These efforts weren’t sufficient, but they showed that framing our systemic problem in moral terms could get at least some traction.

Why didn’t the environmental movement fully succeed? Some theorists now calling themselves “bright greens” or “eco-modernists” have abandoned the moral fight altogether. Their justification for doing so is that people want a vision of the future that’s cheery and that doesn’t require sacrifice. Now, they say, only a technological fix offers any hope. The essential point of this essay (and my manifesto) is simply that, even if the moral argument fails, a techno-fix won’t work either. A gargantuan investment in technology (whether next-generation nuclear power or solar radiation geo-engineering) is being billed as our last hope. But in reality it’s no hope at all.

The reason for the failure thus far of the environmental movement wasn’t that it appealed to humanity’s moral sentiments—that was in fact the movement’s great strength. The effort fell short because it wasn’t able to alter industrial society’s central organizing principle, which is also its fatal flaw: its dogged pursuit of growth at all cost. Now we’re at the point where we must finally either succeed in overcoming growthism or face the failure not just of the environmental movement, but of civilization itself.

The good news is that systemic change is fractal in nature: it implies, indeed it requires, action at every level of society. We can start with our own individual choices and behavior; we can work within our communities. We needn’t wait for a cathartic global or national sea change. And even if our efforts cannot “save” consumerist industrial civilization, they could still succeed in planting the seeds of a regenerative human culture worthy of survival.

There’s more good news: Once we humans choose to restrain our numbers and our rates of consumption, technology can assist our efforts. Machines can help us monitor our progress, and there are relatively simple technologies that can help deliver needed services with less energy usage and environmental damage. Some ways of deploying technology could even help us clean up the atmosphere and restore ecosystems.

But machines can’t make the key choices that will set us on a sustainable path. Systemic change driven by moral awakening: it’s not just our last hope; it’s the only real hope we’ve ever had.

Source: EcoWatch

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Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy finds that existing coal, oil and gas production puts the world on course to overshoot Paris climate targets.

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Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy finds that existing coal, oil and gas production puts the world on course to overshoot Paris climate targets. The report analyses global renewable energy potential, and finds that every region on Earth can replace fossil fuels with renewable energy to keep warming below 1.5ºC and provide reliable energy access to all.

The world already has more than enough renewable energy potential to comfortably make the transition away from fossil fuels while also expanding energy access for all, finds new analysis by Dr Sven Teske and Dr Sarah Niklas from the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney.

Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy shows clearly through detailed modelling that, even if no new fossil fuel projects were built from today onwards, carbon emissions from existing projects are still far too high to stay on course towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. Modelling in the report demonstrates the world would produce significantly more fossil fuels than it can afford under a 1.5ºC climate goal by 2030, leading to 66% more emissions in 2030 than is compatible with 1.5ºC. Therefore, the world needs to actively wind down existing coal mines and oil and gas wells while increasing renewable energy.

The report shows that this transition is not only required but completely feasible. The world simply doesn’t need any more fossil fuels. In fact, all regions have enough renewable energy to provide energy access to all using existing technologies.

This suggests that it is possible to meet the twin challenges of phasing out fossil fuels and increasing electricity access at the speed required through scaling up renewable energy, according to Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy: An orderly wind down of coal, oil and gas to meet the Paris Agreement.

This report comes shortly after the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 Roadmap that states clearly the world needs to stop investing in and expanding fossil fuels. The Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy report goes further by finding that it is also necessary to begin phasing down existing coal mines and oil and gas wells to have a chance of preventing catastrophic climate change.

Rebecca Byrnes, Deputy Director for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, said: “This report shows that a practical pathway exists where there are no new fossil fuel projects, existing projects are phased out, emissions are kept within a 1.5°C budget and energy access becomes universal, all while using existing and increasingly cost-competitive technologies. The hurdle is no longer economic nor technical; our biggest challenges are political. A cleaner future is within reach and, while international cooperation is essential for innovation and investment, nation-states can and should act now to regulate fossil fuel production decline”

The report, which builds on existing research on fossil fuel overproduction and renewable energy potential, analyzes fossil fuel phase out pathways that will be necessary to remain within a 1.5°C trajectory and compares this to a feasible scale up pathway for renewable energy. It does this while excluding technologies that are uncertain or require unreasonable amounts of land use, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), unlike scenarios provided by the IPCC and IEA .

Associate Professor Sven Teske, Research Director at the University of Technology Sydney: “National governments must establish binding limits for the extraction volumes for coal, oil and gas. A just transition for workers from the fossil to the renewable energy industry is essential. Any new investments in coal, oil and gas projects are not in line with the Paris agreement and would most likely be stranded due to favourable economics for renewables – especially solar and wind. The combination of renewable energies, storage technologies and renewable fuels such as hydrogen and synthetic fuels will provide reliable energy supply for industries, future travelling as well as for buildings. The fossil energy industry must be wound down.”

Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director at Stand.Earth and Chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative: “This new report shows clearly that we have more than enough fossil fuels above ground and under production and that we have the technology and renewable energy capacity to more than meet the world’s energy needs. Fast tracking a wind down of oil, gas and coal and focusing on expanding renewable production and infrastructure is not only possible, but it will save lives.”

Sanjay Vashist, Director of Climate Action Network South Asia: “There are no more excuses to further delay accelerated uptake of renewable energy and ending the age of fossil fuels. At a time when renewable energy has emerged as a reliable and cost effective alternative, to continue to expand the fossil fuel sector is a criminal waste of money that will have devastating climate and humanitarian consequences, especially on the poorest of poor and most vulnerable people of the global South. G7 leaders must set an example and shut down coal plants in their countries immediately and assist the developing world in leapfrogging to renewable energy with technological and  financial assistance.”

Iman Bashir, Programme Assistant at Power Shift Africa says: “It is clear renewables provide an opportunity for Africa to not only power its future in a safe and sustainable manner, but also a chance to gain a strong footing as a global clean energy leader. The report provides irrefutable proof that Africa can power its economic development using renewable energy pathways and leapfrog the exploitation of fossil fuels through a combination of national policy and international support.”

Ilan Zugman, 350.org’s Director for Latin America says: “For oil, gas and coal companies, this conclusion will probably be unwelcome, but it makes no sense to ignore it. There is no time anymore. We need public policies that promote clean energy infrastructure and financing, as well as access for all. And this must not happen in parallel to the expansion of fossil fuels, but rather by replacing them. The era of fossil fuels must end now so that the future is in the hands of humanity and not in the hands of this industry.”

Frode Pleym, leader of Greenpeace Norway: “We’ve known for a long time that the world has found far more oil and gas than we can ever use. This report emphasizes the urgency of the climate crisis. But it’s also encouraging to see it’s still possible to reach our climate commitments, without relying on risky and problematic technologies such as carbon capture and biofuels, if oil producing countries such as Norway start a just transition away from fossil fuels.”

Mitzi Jonelle Tan, Convener, Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines & Fridays For Future Philippines: “My country has had the most number of extreme weather events for the past 20 years. I grew up with thunder and howling winds banging on my doors and windows. The current level of warming is already hell for us in the Global South. With all the destruction and devastation we have faced, expanding and supporting the dirty rotten fossil fuel industry when it will clearly put us past the 1.5°C limit is a death sentence to the most marginalized people. Global North countries have a historical debt to pay to the countries in the South that they have overexploited and that begins with an end to expansion of fossil fuel production, a phase down of existing production, and supporting renewable energy transition especially in the global south. With this report, it is even clearer to everyone that world leaders have no excuse. We must act now, the science and the people are united in calling for justice.”

Truls Gulowsen, chair of Friends of the Earth Norway: “Another expert report shows us that we have the technology required to phase out fossil fuels, and phase in cleaner, more efficient energy, without destroying enormous areas and worsening the parallel crisis of biodiversity loss. What we lack, as always, is political will, with Norway looking increasingly isolated globally in its seemingly unending faith in the continued profitability of petroleum. Norwegian politicians need to start telling the truth about the need for a just transition of the oil and gas industry; if not, we risk an unprecedented economic crash in addition to ever-worsening, more catastrophic climate change.”

The report’s main findings include:

  • Even if fossil fuel expansion ended overnight, too many fossil fuels are already under production in existing coal mines and oil and gas wells to remain within a 1.5°C budget.
  • To keep warming to below the temperature goal of 1.5ºC there must be both an end to expansion of fossil fuel production, and a phase down of existing production.
  • The world has more than enough renewable energy resources that can be scaled up rapidly enough to meet the energy demands of every person in the world.
  • The report shows that, by 2030, even without any new coal, oil or gas projects, the world would produce 35% more oil and 69% more coal than is consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.
  • Every continent in the world has enough renewable energy potential to provide 100% renewable energy access to its population.
  • As the cost of renewables has dropped, economic potential for renewables has grown alongside technical potential. Even when taking into account environmental safeguards, land constraints and technical feasibility, solar and wind energy could power the world more than 50 times over.
  • Continuing to expand the fossil fuel sector will only lock in further infrastructure that will become stranded assets, with devastating climate and humanitarian consequences.
  • The report was produced by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney and conducted in cooperation with the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative. The full report is available below and a suite of report graphics, animations and charts can be downloaded here.

About the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative is spurring international cooperation to end new development of fossil fuels, phase out existing production within the agreed climate limit of 1.5°C and develop plans to support workers, communities and countries dependent on fossil fuels to create secure and healthy livelihoods. Cities such as Vancouver and Barcelona have already endorsed the Treaty with more considering motions to endorse. Hundreds of organizations representing thousands more individuals join the call for world leaders to stop fossil fuel expansion.

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