Fossil fuel corporations want you to be obsessed with the Paris climate talks. They want you to see quotes from the Paris agreement text, and glaze over. They want you to forget the words of Margaret Mead, that “…a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” And those citizens don’t need suits and a board room in Paris.
Don’t be inspired by my empty rhetoric. Follow the money trail of the Paris treaty talks. GDF Suez, the largest fossil fuel company in the universe, with an $80 billion annual piggy bank likes the idea of a big, fancy convening. So much so, that they used their pocket change to help bankroll the event. Now, why would they want to do something like that?
They want you to focus on Paris, and not on the small, committed groups of people making waves. Groups in a city in California, in the small towns of Alaska, and in a post-industrial city of western New York. These communities are taking leadership at the frontlines of our deadly economy. In the shadows of towering refineries, or off the shores of oil land, they’re building new jobs to make our country resilient to climate super-storms, fair to workers and safe to live in.
Fossil fuel corporations don’t want you to use the Paris buzz to highlight these leaders. They didn’t like the Chorus Foundation’s big announcement, to fund and support these communities for the next ten years. By the end of Chorus’s funding agreement, my yet-to-be born niece will be in middle school, and will know how to say “fossil fuel.” That’s dedication.
Au revoir, fossil fuel industry. Lets follow the lead of the Chorus Foundation and small, committed groups of people to use the next Paris to talk about better things.
Photo Courtesy of PUSH Green in Buffalo, New York.