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Climate Activists Respond to OPEC Official Calling Them ‘Greatest Threat’ to Big Oil
Climate campaigners were undaunted when the secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) called their movement "perhaps the greatest threat" to the oil industry.
"Thank you!" 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted in response Thursday. "Our biggest compliment yet!"
Thunberg has been credited with launching the "Fridays for Future" youth movement when her one-person school strikes outside Swedish parliament inspired children and teens around the world to skip classes to call for action on the climate crisis. Thunberg and the movement won Amnesty International's Ambassador of Conscience Award this June.
In remarks made in Vienna earlier this month, OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo seemed to single out the youth-led climate strikes when he said that the children of some of his OPEC-headquarter colleagues "are asking us about their future because ... they see their peers on the streets campaigning against this industry," AFP reported.
Barkindo said that "unscientific" attacks on the oil industry by climate activists were "perhaps the greatest threat to our industry going forward."
"Civil society is being misled to believe oil is the cause of climate change," he said.
However, at least 97 percent of scientists agree that global warming is occurring, and is caused by greenhouse gas emissions from human activities like the burning of fossil fuels, including oil. A 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said those emissions needed to fall by nearly half in 11 years in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.
Thunberg wasn't the only climate activist to welcome Barkindo's comments as a sign their efforts were paying off.
"Brilliant! Proof that we are having an impact and be sure that we will not stop," UK climate strike leader Holly Gillibrand tweeted, as The Guardian reported.
And it wasn't just the youth who expressed excitement. 350.org founder Bill McKibben, who has been campaigning on climate issues for more than 30 years according to CNBC, also took to Twitter to celebrate.
"Thanks everyone for your good work!" he wrote.
In remarks reported by The Guardian, McKibben reflected further on the impact of the climate movement on the oil industry.
"By this point, most people realize that the oil companies lied for decades about global warming — they are this generation's version of the tobacco companies," he said. "And it's clearly affecting their ability to raise capital, to recruit employees and so on. People set out to cost them their social license, and it's working. Whether it's working fast enough — that's another question."
In one example of how big oil is losing its "social license," the London Stock Exchange recently reclassified oil and gas companies under a non-renewable energy category to distinguish them from renewable energy companies, The Guardian reported July 3.
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Editor's note: The coronavirus that started in Wuhan has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed at least 100 in China as of Jan. 27, 2020. Thailand and Hong Kong each have reported eight confirmed cases, and five people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness. People are hoping for a vaccine to slow the spread of the disease.
By Nancy Schimelpfening
- Nutrition experts say healthy eating is about making good choices most of the time.
- Treats like cookies can be eaten in moderation.
- Information like total calories, saturated fat, and added sugars can be used to compare which foods are relatively healthier.
- However, it's also important to savor and enjoy what you're eating so you don't feel deprived.
Yes, we know. Cookies aren't considered a "healthy" food by any stretch of the imagination.
When you see an actor in handcuffs, they're usually filming a movie. But when Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, Sally Field, and other celebrities were arrested in Washington, D.C., last fall, the only cameras rolling were from the news media.
As the Pacific Ocean becomes more acidic, Dungeness crabs, which live in coastal areas, are seeing their shells eaten away, according to a new study commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).