Big Oil and Petroleum Products Multinationals have Divested from Their Own Fossil Fuels Products (Why Don’t We?)
Just in terms of how the perpetuation of Big Oil and its diabolical industrial minions harms the oceans and soils, the cost is untenable for any real feasibility projection for the futurity of viable planetary ecosystems and food sources. As the Trump administration seemingly works its hardest to degrade the futurity of life on this planet, it’s important to note the absolute, unnecessary waste of their single minded privileging of fundamentally obsolete fossil fuel products and industries. One of the biggest popular hold-outs from conversion to sustainable products sourcing concerns the misconception that we need the oil industry and derivative technologies and commodities so that we can continue to enjoy the convenience of plastics products. This is far from true.
Every single oil-based polymer-plastics product can be produced and manufactured from plant-based materials. They do not have to be made from petroleum by-products. High quality plastics can be made from cellulose, processed so as to have long durability without the environmental impact of artificial petroleum polymers, molecular chains that NEVER break down completely.
As there is nothing in nature to degrade and compost this artificial compound that does not exist in nature, particles remain in cohesive molecularly conjoined form indefinitely, and make their way into soils, waterways and oceans. Plants can not thrive in plastic-contaminated soils comprised of non-decomposing particulates, a situation that suggests the possibility of future barren wastelands where nothing can grow. Microscopic marine animals eat the non-degradable particular matter left over from even supposedly degradable petroleum plastics because they think the particles are food, then die. They are the life of the oceans. If they die, the oceans die.
Plastics are the single most toxic threat to the world’s oceans. We don’t have to inflict this man-made, non-biodegradable compound upon Nature, the Earth, and its innocent living systems. But governments and idividuals need to divest in Big Oil and petroleum products industries, and new cellulose-based plastics-technologies developed. It’s not that we will have to do without plastics, at all. It’s that we and other life forms can thrive with plastics made from plant resins and materials other than oil-based petroleum products.
Big Oil and fossil fuels petroleum products multinational corporations are the culprits in not switching away from the exploitation of fossil fuels, even while they themselves are divesting from fossil fuels industries, en masse, as Big Oil industries have no futurity, and they know it. They are only concerned with milking it dry when there’s even a penny to be squeezed out of the ground. Hence the rallying cry, “Keep it in the Ground” among environmentalists, Water Protectors, and Eco-Warriors. And governments, like those of the U.S. and Canada, who don’t support the technological and industrial/manufacturing shift away from fossil fuels and petroleum products toward sustainable materials and industries are also culpable. Because it’s all within easy reach, now, only waiting upon unethical business practices and government policies to catch up and tow the line of Climate Change directives and international environmental concords.
We can save plastic bags and use recyclables all we want, and it will not even be a finger in the dyke of the tsunami of plastics produced and discarded in soils and waterways daily, not least of all in Third World countries, where conservation or the reasons for it are the least of their worries, at least on a daily, minute to minute basis. We can not be blamed for having been stuck into a supply and demand cycle, when the only possible option as far as not using petroleum-based plastics is to opt out of contemporary society entirely, live like the Amish, and go back to the land.
The plastic products themselves need to change, and energy needs to be sourced differently and sustainably. And the shift away from fossil fuels exploitation needs to be subsidized, supported, and enforced by responsible industry and government. And that is the only way we will ever experience the grace of living inside of responsible and conscientious societies, that venerate the Earth. It IS possible, and within easy reach of current, state-of-the-art science and technology. The broad-based shift away from fossil fuel industries and economies presents the ONLY prospect for any kind of sustainable economic prosperity and growth.
It has happened before on this planet, among many societies, worldwide, where entire civilizations lived with comfort and security, within ethical and ecological economies and ideological structures, often for thousands of peaceable years at a stretch. Evidence has been amply provided over decades of research by scientists and scholars such as Marija Gimbutas, Rianne Eisler, and Carol P. Christ. The same is perfectly plausible for our technologically advanced civilization, in moving toward organic, ultimately biodegradable materials manufacture, with durability and permanence enough to accommodate many years of utility without poisoning the planet, awaiting only the ideological shift that will support such a benign, secure and sustainable reality.