Is it just me, or should there really be such a thing as Crimes Against the Planet. I’ve heard about Ecocide, but I think that word is too restrictive for the crime I had in mind. I was thinking about wilfully committing destructive acts against the Earth as a whole, such as knowingly increasing carbon emissions while trying to pass it off as “green technology”.
Let’s take hydrogen, for example. Big oil and gas companies, like BP and Shell, are touting hydrogen as one of the clean sources of energy for the future. At first glance, it looks like a good idea. Burn hydrogen and you produce water, superclean. What they don’t say is how hydrogen is produced. On an industrial scale, it is extracted from natural gas. A recent study by researchers from Cornell and Stanford Universities shows that, if we take into account the whole production cycle of hydrogen, greenhouse gas emissions are higher than if natural gas was burnt as such in the first place, without going to the trouble of converting it into hydrogen. And that is even taking into account the use of carbon capture and storage technologies to produce so-called blue hydrogen. So far, the production of green hydrogen from renewables is still not a viable option economically, and won’t be for some time.
Promoting hydrogen as “part of creating a long-term carbon-free future” is a lie. What probably isn’t a lie is that “the hydrogen economy could generate $140 billion in annual revenue by 2030” (for the oil and gas industry, obviously).
Now, what do you call someone who burns down your house, someone who kills your crops, someone who floods your village, someone who kills your friends, your neighbours, your family, your children and grandchildren for generations to come … intentionally, for the sole purpose of making more money? These people are not just common criminals, in my humble opinion. They rank up there with the Hitlers and the Pol Pots of this world.
And what are we doing about it? Absolutely nothing. Of course, how could I know, will you say? They don’t exactly advertise the fact that they are deceitful little shits. And their PR machine is quite impressive. Who wouldn’t believe them? Politicians believe them – although, that’s not really any indication of their trustworthiness. Cities are ordering fleets of hydrogen buses. Hyrogen production plants are being given planning permissions. Shouldn’t we expect at least our “leaders” to do their homework? How far up or down the chain does complicity go?
And what about you and me? It is not fair to expect you or me to know whether or not every “solution” put forward to solve the climate crisis will actually work or will add to the problem. That’s our politicians’ job before they implement these so-called solutions. Well, that is if they bother to do fuck all, of course. But now, you can’t say “I didn’t know about the issues with hydrogen” anymore. Now, you know! I just told you. And what are we doing about it? Are we writing to First Aberdeen and Aberdeen City Council asking them to scrap their order for 15 hydrogen buses? Or to the Scottish government demanding them to un-endorse the hydrogen industry until production is possible without harming the planet? Remember what Edmund Burke said and do something. Anything. Don’t become complicit to crimes against the planet by not doing anything. I don’t mean specifically about hydrogen. Change your lifestyle. Keep informed and don’t go for the first crackpot conspiracy theory you find on facebook or twitter. Keep really informed and do use your common sense. Then, inform others. And first of all, accept that the world and your life are changing, radically and a lot faster than you expect. So you must change too, not only to adapt to these new circumstances, but mainly to keep our planet liveable for all, human and others. I never said it would be a comfortable ride.
Once again, don’t become complicit to Crimes Against the Planet!