While the shock at the horrible ecological catastrophe off Spain is fresh in our minds, we should focus on solutions to address this problem.
Offshore windpark off coast of Denmark.
We may be largely helpless to do much about the spilled oil, but
we can push national governments and the International Maritime
Organisation to prevent
these unsafe tankers from sailing under flags of convenience
As long as we are dependent upon fossil fuels as the main driver
of our economy, this accident, the thousands that have preceded it,
and an untold number of future disasters will be the inevitable
consequence. To avoid human-induced climate change and to protect
our seas, land and air, the only choice is to transition from a
fossil fuel-based economy to a clean energy future.
While we don't have all the answers, and the transition will
take decades, we have to start now. We offer the following
- Kyoto is the first step of the climate solutionRatify
and implement the Kyoto Protocol in all countries, the first step
toward curbing our appetite for carbon-based fuels. Join our campaign against
ExxonMobil/Esso, the company that's doing the most to sabotage
climate protection efforts.
- Shift subsidies from black to greenRedirect the US$
250-300 billion annual government subsidies to the fossil fuel
industry. Direct lending and export credit guarantees that
currently flow into the fossil fuel industry towards renewable
- Real targets for renewablesEstablish aggressive national
renewable energy targets, enabling independent clean power and fuel
Wind energy is already growing at a rate of about 40 percent
annually, and the same could happen for
solar, solar thermal, geothermal, small scale hydro, marine
energy and modern biomass fuels.
- Hydrogen, fuel of the futureInvest in 'green hydrogen'
research. Hydrogen seems destined to be an important portable fuel
for the future. But we need to make sure it's produced from green
energy sources, not from fossil fuels.
- "Nega-watts" not megawattsConserve energy to reduce our
dependence on fossil fuels as well as the number of tankers at sea.
After the oil shocks of the 1970s governments instituted various
policies which were very effective in the short term, but have now
- Make oil accountable for the true costsMake the fossil
fuel sector fully responsible for all of the costs associated with
the industry, including oil spills, air pollution, melting
glaciers, rising seas, and more extreme weather events. See how
quickly the money shifts towards renewables.
- Take responsibilityChange your energy use. At one level,
all of us who use fossil fuels are responsible for the disaster off
the Spanish coast. Think about the car you drive, your household
energy consumption, and your travel choices. Most importantly, let
your voice be heard loudly on this subject by the politicians you
elect, the media you watch, and the companies whose products you