It’s scary to think that a tiny group of ideologically driven lunatics are unravelling our planet’s ecosystems to add to their already obscene wealth. But as difficult as it may be to comprehend, we must face this reality head-on, because quite simply, there’s no upside to avoiding the truth. We need to know exactly what we’re dealing with if we hope to pool humanity’s collective ingenuity and prevent an ecological disaster. There’s still time!
The Mainstream (Ruling Elite) Narrative
Climate change is a serious problem. The burning of fossil fuels has caused an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and the planet is warming. We can already see widespread impacts in the form of bigger storms, raging forest fires, worsening droughts, intense flooding, and warmer summers. We’ve also seen some strange winter weather with something called the polar vortex where deep freezes reach as far south as Texas, but thankfully most of these problems are short-lived.
Humans are natural-born problem solvers and while we’ve made some mistakes, we’re making progress and 2050 net-zero is still very much attainable. The electric car market is booming along with solar and wind power. We can all be part of the solution by recycling, taking public transit, eating less meat, and letting the marketplace do what it does best — solve problems. Together we can defeat climate change!
Some might call this the most dangerous work of fiction ever created.
What They’re Really Saying
Capitalism is the system that has enriched us and turned us into de facto kings. We will defend it using all the tools at our disposal — trillions of dollars, our corporate media, and our puppet politicians.
We are the .0001% so we know what’s best because hoarding wealth makes you an expert in everything — at least that’s what society tells us — so listen closely. The best way to solve climate change is for government to get out of the way and to let the private sector find solutions. In fact, if you’re trying to convince us that there’s a solution that takes our power away and hands it to a wasteful and inefficient government — we will reject it on principle.
At this point, there really shouldn’t be much confusion as to what we want. We’ve done everything but write you a memo but then again we have hired the best marketers and spin doctors to create an impressive narrative so maybe our propaganda is just that good.
Let’s be perfectly clear; the game plan has largely been written and we’re going with deregulated capitalism and so-called “free” markets all the way. And for those who really believe that they’re working with our mainstream puppets to find solutions, it always gets a good laugh at our $5000/plate political fundraisers, especially that new one about ESG.
Reclaim the Truth
We need to stop deluding ourselves. Our planet is under attack by a destructive system that is devouring our resources and has us teetering on the edge of widespread ecosystem failure. Some might find this language to be unnecessarily alarmist while others might be feeling a sense of relief that maybe we’re finally ready to pull back the cloak of deception and talk honestly about the state of our planet.
Both emotions are valid but there’s only one truth. Only one scientific reality. And if we’re going to build a strategy that has any chance of protecting our ecosystems from unravelling I’d just as soon rely on the truth as the foundation that shapes our response. Only when that happens will we be able to truly harness the collective ingenuity of our species and find solutions. The clock is ticking…for the sake of future generations, let’s leave fiction to the movies.
The appeal in believing the truth is that you don’t fall victim to flawed assumptions that can turn your hopeful solutions into catastrophic failures. How can we possibly muster the necessary response to a complex challenge like climate change with a flawed understanding of the extent of the challenge, the urgency, the timeline, the risks, and most importantly, what’s causing the problem in the first place?
We need to know the unfiltered truth no matter how scary or inconvenient it might be. Like an addict that can’t get healthy until they admit to their illness, we can’t hope to solve this problem until we accept the extreme urgency of our situation. If we build our climate strategy on flawed assumptions it will be like bringing a knife to a gunfight — we won’t stand a chance.
Change Will Be Orderly
According to the latest IPCC report, our ecosystems are under tremendous stress and it’s only a matter of time before we have a major collapse. It might sound ominous but the indicators are there and instead of heeding this warning, we’ve chosen to ignore it — to look in another direction where optimism reigns supreme and anything is possible. But our optimism is based mostly on hope and it’s led us to a reckless assumption — change will occur in an orderly fashion. BUT unfortunately, nature doesn’t care about our optimistic spirit and she’ll only move “slow and steady” for so long. My fear is that sooner than we think we’re going to learn exactly why it’s called a tipping point. And then we’re going to learn our second painful lesson — all of earth’s ecosystems are interconnected and when one fails, they will all come tumbling down.
The mainstream narrative on climate change has held us back from taking decisive action. Now instead of having time to act methodically with a measured response, we’re forced into a corner where our options are limited and success is more uncertain.
We can no longer ignore what we see and feel. The signs are everywhere; unusual weather patterns, extended heat alerts, and natural disasters are all occurring with greater intensity and frequency. And while even our best scientists can’t pinpoint the timing, these warning signs strongly suggest that our ecosystems are nearing a collapse. Consider what’s been happening in the arctic.
1. The rate of arctic melting is occurring faster than at any time in the last 10,000 years. This is concerning because as the reflective ice melts and reveals the dark ocean, it absorbs additional heat which causes additional melting — this is called a positive feedback loop. But perhaps what’s most alarming is the new downstream changes that are having a multiplier effect on this already dangerous warming cycle.
- The arctic is now experiencing heatwaves and rampant wildfires where none used to exist — this releases more CO2
- The permafrost is warming and releasing huge amounts of methane — a greenhouse gas 20–30 times more potent than CO2
- For the first time it rained on the summit of Greenland’s ice cap — this adds to the already rapid pace of melting and is potentially destabilizing the entire Greenland ice sheet.
This video, Blue Ocean Event: Game Over? provides a great summary of arctic warming.
Yes…Even the IPCC
It might seem like a bold statement but it sure seems like every mainstream institution on this planet has been corrupted by the wishes of the capitalism-protecting elite. If you find that difficult to believe then just think about it for a minute. They’ve infiltrated the IPCC!! The one scientific body that is supposed to communicate the unfiltered scientific truth about climate change. Perhaps this is why:
Once the scientific data has been submitted, the work of the scientists is largely done. Now it’s up to representatives from 195 countries to agree on the language used to communicate the findings. Each line of the distilled Summary for Policy Makers is written and rewritten until a consensus is found. And as you may know, the biggest carbon emitters like the US, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia are all very much part of this process. As big oil infects the political process in Washington, it is equally involved with how the findings of the IPCC are shared with the world.
It doesn’t matter where you look — the tentacles of the elite are always there to convince you that the system that is destroying our planet is good and that it just needs a tweak or two. This idea is injected into every aspect of our lives; our education system, our corporate media, our consumer lifestyle, and even in the way that our corrupt politicians speak to us. The way they position capitalism as the only way to solve our climate challenge. The way the media parades psychopathic billionaires in front of us to promote their self-serving ideas of how deregulated capitalism can find win-win solutions to even the most challenging environmental and social problems. Of course, we’re still waiting on those promises but it must be the best way forward, after all, to believe anything else is communism.
Please Don’t Discuss
Without science, truth, and planetary wellbeing as our guide there are different ways to frame the climate story. Unfortunately what we’re getting is a self-serving storyline created by a class of people whose unquenchable thirst for wealth and power has left them blind to the dangers of a rapidly warming planet. But from their delusional perspective, there’s no alternative.
They have to keep their foot on the gas and continue to sell their reckless narrative because once they succumb to the overwhelming scientific truth and admit that we’re in deep trouble and that drastic changes are necessary — the entire approach to climate change would need to be altered. A new level of planetary consciousness would be awakened. Instead of zooming into the effects of climate change and talking about floods, droughts, forest fires, sea level rise, heatwaves, etc, we would start to have truly meaningful conversations about what’s at the core of our environmental and social challenges.
First, it would be questions about our current failed strategies and what needs to be done to protect the planet. And then it would lead to questions about the system itself that has led to the planetary plundering that has caused so much harm. And then finally, what the elites were hoping to avoid from the beginning — capitalism would be put under the microscope and we would have an honest debate about a system that rewards the destruction of ecosystems so that a tiny slice of the planet can become obscenely wealthy.
Only We Can Change the Narrative
Humans make sense of the world through stories. Stories tell us about who we are, where we belong, and what’s important. They can bring us together to do incredible things or sometimes it can turn us into monsters to do the unthinkable. There is tremendous power in a story.
Right now we’re being told a fictitious story about climate change and the stakes are literally everything. If we don’t get control of the truth quickly, we’re going to be watching helplessly as our life-supporting ecosystems unravel before our eyes. Climate change isn’t about new technology or a new business case. It’s not about stakeholder capitalism, ESG, or new reporting frameworks. It’s about replacing a false narrative that inspires division and complacency, with one that inspires urgency and a chance for us to come together and do something incredible.
There’s no solution to climate change without the truth. And with that truth comes the obvious solution — the fossil fuel industry needs to be dismantled immediately. What will be the repercussions? How will it affect the economy? Both are good questions but a better question is — what will be the repercussions if we don’t?
Energy Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Energy & Sustainability writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.
Brad Zarnett is a Sustainability Strategist, Writer & Speaker based in Toronto, Canada. His research explores how business as usual capitalism fails to protect environmental and social capital, and what we can still do about it. He manages a Substack Community, and can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.