I pit the idea that "100 Companies are reponsible for 71% of global warming"

It takes a lot for something that’s not a thing the current leaders of the US or the UK just did to aggravate me nowadays but this kind of thing, which I’ve been seeing a lot of on social media, seriously pisses me off.

The idea that its big bad companies causing global warming not you and I, and everyday people in the western world driving cars, eating food, and using electricity is utter bullshit. Its just global warming denial for Bernie Bros. Entitled “woke” white kids in the developed world don’t want to accept the fact that they are causing global warming.

I get there was a study that link large amount of emissions to a small amount of companies. But saying because of that they are responsible INSTEAD of us is patently ridiculous. You might as well say “Ordinary people don’t cause global warming, the ground does”, those companies aren’t sitting around manically laughing while burning carbon for the hell of it. They are releasing carbon by selling it us, to fuel our cars, deliver our stuff, and host our dank socialist memes on social media.

If you are fortunate enough to be in the richest 10% of the world (by earning over $35,000 a year), then YOU are overwhelmingly responsible for global warming, not some big nasty oil or coal company.

Its not that the companies on that list of 100 are not pretty fucking evil, but they aren’t forcing us to use carbon biproducts. Breaking up BP, Exxon and those other companies (many of which are state own companies like China Coal or the Iranian national oil company) into 1000 employ owned co-operatives wouldn’t cause a gram less carbon to be emitted into the environment.

I agree mostly with the post, but this bit does omit the reality that fossil fuel companies have supported a lot of denialist efforts and funded efforts to defeat even Republicans that were in favor of starting efforts to add taxes or cap-n-trade to emissions.

These woke people want carbon taxes, renewable subsidies and enforceable global agreements. But they can’t get any traction because the fossil fuel companies and their allies are spending billions to lie about climate change.

I’m an old woke person who’s been banging the drum about climate change since 1992, and this has been a constant since then.

But saying “Oil lobbyists are bad” is not same thing as saying “Oil companies are responsible for global warming not me” . When you say “carbon footprint is not a thing”, that’s nothing to do with being against lobbying, its just evading personal responsibility. Oil company propaganda didn’t make you or I use carbon today.

It isn’t even the primary reason proper emissions legislation hasn’t passed in the US, its definitely A reason, but if every voter in the US said passing meaningful legislation regulating carbon emissions was their highest priority (it should be but humans aren’t logical creatures) then all the lobbying in the world wouldn’t stop it happening.

What we (globally) need to do is align incentives (prices) to the externalities. Something that takes political will. The political will that’s being actively undermined by a massive misinformation campaign.

But no. Blame humans for being humans. Fucking libertarian tools of billionaires.

The fact is that is where the blame lies. The fortunate 600M humans that live in the developed world are fucking it up for everyone else. Denying that is just a way for us to feel better about ourselves.

Is that 10% claim (earning $35,000 a year) accurate?

Don’t they have to figure in that person’s debt and net worth and stuff? I thought it would be more complicated than saying that earning $35,000 a year makes someone rich (the 10 percent). I made almost $50,000 and I am far from rich.

And what am I expected to do? Sit in the dark and starve? Not drive my car to work so I can earn a paycheck?

Every impoverished person living in the DRC would drive an SUV and live in a 4000 sq ft house if he or she could. They just can’t because they don’t have the money.

If gas was $6 a gallon, I’d drive less. That’s the way humans work. Keeping gas at $2 a gallon isn’t human nature, it’s the global economy.

A bit of sloppy terminology. $35K means you’re in roughly the top 10% of worldwide earners. Not assets; income. And not locally to your country (USA?) or state (NY?), but measured worldwide.

So that’s you (and me) versus all the folks in Haiti, the Philippines, India, China, Mozambique, and yes, richer places like Switzerland and Germany and Japan.

Global warming is a planet-scale problem that only planet-scale thinking about planet-scale humanity can contend with.

By those standards a poor American is fairly well-off. And a comfy-class American has insane money to burn.

A slightly better measure would factor in not just income but local prices. You’re $50K goes some way in e.g. Syracuse, would not go very far in NYC, but would go a lot farther if you lived in Kinshasha or a medium-sized town outside Montevideo.

But for middle class Americans, the amount your income is bigger than the global norm is far larger than the amount your expenses are bigger. So looking just at income rather than income vs expenses is a distortion, but not a fatal one.

^^^Makes sense.
Thanks for explaining.

That just makes it even more our fault. When that changes (if global warming doesn’t completely reverse the quality of life improvements in the developing world over the last 50 years) and people in the developing world approach our standard of living why the fuck would they put any effort into reducing their carbon emissions in the process? We in the developed world spectacularly failed to do even the tiny-est fucking thing at all to reduce our carbon emissions as we improved our standard of living, why should they?

Sure its not guaranteed that if we in the developed world reduced our emissions, the developing world would follow suit, but NOT reducing our emissions would guarantee they won’t IMO.

By the same token, neither are we forcing them to produce them.

Partially correct, as many countries in Europe are showing, if there had been less sabotaging at the government level we would had advanced a lot in guiding the issue so people would had changed gradually. As it is, that meddling from the fossil fuel industry (and it was not just in the USA) has delayed the work that was needed by decades.

Again, this is not denying that we all should do our part (Vote all the rascal denier Republicans out!), it is that it is getting harder thanks to powerful interests.

Well we kind of are, by using fossil fuels we are ensuring someone produces them. And the atmosphere doesn’t care if the carbon has been produced by Exxon-Mobil or Tarquinn’s Artisinal Oil Co-operative.

True. But …

Just like much of Africa today is not bothering to build a wired telephone or internet infrastructure but is jumping ahead to wireless/mobile, we (the whole world) only “need” to burn carbon as long as we don’t have a better choice at a comparable (after tax) price.

“We” in the rich world have more invested in our current carbon-intensive infrastructure, so we’ll probably wean off it more slowly, or at greater expense, or both, than the countries who grow into their energy intensity later when carbon-lite or carbonless equivalent tech exists that delivers the same quality of life gains we now take for granted.

Assuming, as you say, that we don’t boil the economy along with the planet first.

If they weren’t selling (and especially at the collusive pricepoints they do), we very well might not, and instead could be using the many ff alternatives we have available. It’s a fallacy to think just anyone could rock up and start producing oil or extract coal. It requires significant capital to extract fossil fuels now. It might not have been these particular 100, but it would have been a set of BIG companies, all sneering quips about artisanal producers aside.

BTW, on a previous discussion I checked and found out that Shell oil is just about the only company that still puts money in working with energy technology that will result in an emissions free future.

All other fossil fuel companies recently dropped any ideas of working towards that.

There’s a chance that the underlying idea that the “100 companies…” quote is getting at is actually true. And at any rate, it’s not cars that are driving greenhouse gases overall- even here in the US they’re around 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

According to that, only 16.2% of greenhouse gas emissions are from the transportation sector, and only 11.9% are road transport. Even if personal cars/trucks account for all of that, they’re only about 12% of the TOTAL greenhouse gas emissions out there.

Meanwhile, the rest is split up between industrial energy use, industrial emissions, agricultural emissions, waste and building energy use.

So it’s conceivable that if things fell just right, 100 companies could be responsible for 71% of those emissions. Especially if they do dingbat things like claim that BP/Exxon/Total/Chevron/etc… are “responsible” for that whole transport sector because they provide the fuel.

I can’t speak for every single poster out there, but I am pretty sure most people quoting this number are quoting the CDP study in the OP, or the Guardian article that publicized it. And that report absolutely did just that, the 100 companies are all oil, gas and coal companies.

But even if it’s factually “true”, that’s not the point of the thread. As the OP said, e.g. BP isn’t making e.g. gasoline for the hell of it. They’re making it because you and I buy and burn it. Discussing the truth-ness of the article amounts to a misdirection tactic whether or not you or the others in the controversy realize that.

The cause of carbon in the air is me driving; the oil company is just the middleman that enables me to put carbon in the air. The folks who made my car are also middlemen who help me put carbon in the air. And all the carbon they emitted in creating my car was not because they liked making emissions for fun. It’s because I asked them to build me a car.

That is the point of the OP: we’re the source of carbon emissions. You and me and everybody. And until you and me change our behavior, and demand our politicians enact and enforce incentives to help everyone change their behavior, all these companies are just our servants helping us to pollute.

Now as the OP also says, those businesses are also engaged in massive skullduggery to maximize short term sales at the expense of long term planetary damage. So they’re not innocent sweethearts here.

My bottom line: Shaming, e.g. Exxon for making gasoline is stupid and counter productive. Shaming them for lobbying and funding disinformation campaigns is another matter. Their top management should be drawn and quartered for their role in that.

But until we look hard in the mirror and grow a pair about the havoc we’re really creating via our ordinary daily lives, it won’t get better.