Are we destroying planet Earth and killing ourselves? All this is happening due to the increasing amount of global warming which is due to the expansion of the human population and the increasing negative effects of the greenhouse gases on the Earth. If the humans do not take appropriate steps to protect our planet, then we are not far away from the end of our survival on the Earth. Also, the temperature is rising rapidly and most of the change happened during the last 50 years of the Industrial Revolution. All this is happening because the greed that the humans are developing careless of the damage they are doing to the nature, and most of the loss to the environment is happening in the developed and industrialized countries. Global Warming is such a severe problem that can only be solved with the contribution of both personal and social change, so for this we need to take strict actions against the big companies, that are using all the fossil fuels on our planet and are most responsible for climate change. There are some political actions we can perform such as boycotting. In the past boycotting has brought some effective results. Oil companies need to be boycotted in order to ensure our survival and protect our resources.
One major cause of global warming is the carbon dioxide, which is a crucial part of the atmosphere. According to “A Blanket Around the Earth”, global warming is also caused by the greenhouse effect which is trapping of the infrared heat that firstly comes to the Earth in the form of light. About 90% of this heat is then absorbed by then greenhouse gases and are reflected back to the surface. These greenhouse gases comprises of the Water Vapors, CO2, Methane, Nitrous Oxide (N2O) and Chlorofluorocarbons. Water Vapors is the most abundant greenhouse gas available in the atmosphere. CO2, which is released through various processes such as natural which include respiration and volcanic eruptions and through human activities such as deforestation, burning of fossil fuels etc., which leads to the melting of the glaciers at the poles and increasing the sea levels. Methane, which is produced through both natural and human activities, methane is far more active greenhouse gases in comparison to carbon dioxide, but is available in small amounts. CFC’s, which is a synthetic compound, purely coming from the industries and chlorofluorocarbons are a major harm to the ozone layer. The fossil fuels like coal and oil have increased the amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to excessive burning.
There are a lot of solutions that an individual can perform to save the mother Earth. According to Al Gore in the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, a person can change the thermostat, use energy efficient appliances, walk or ride a bicycle whenever possible, switch to renewable sources of energy, like afforestation. He even asks people to join international groups such as Green Peace and also asks to put knowledge into action to save the environment. His solutions are not very effective, if we seriously want to bring a change and want to make our lives better. His results might bring an unnoticeable change, which would be of no use.
The solutions Al Gore suggested in his movie are not powerful enough to bring a change to the whole world and the problem we are focusing on is very fatal. According to Derrick Jensen in the article “Forget Shorter Showers”, he tells us that now the whole Earth is at risk, then why are we focusing on improving the individuals. In this article, he suggested, “Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, the U.S. carbon emissions would fall only by 22 percent”. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be rescued by at least 75 percent worldwide (Jensen). Also, we always think that the water is decreasing on the Earth, which is indeed true, so we start taking several steps to save water, but the problem is not with us, but it is with the large industries such as agriculture that use about 90% of the total consumption of the water, also the municipal golf courses consume lot of water. Most of the energy is used by the commercial and the corporate people (Jensen). We as individuals, don’t even consume a quarter of all the consumption of energy (Jensen). All the steps mentioned by Al Gore would have mere or no effect on global warming. Talking about waste, all the municipal waste is just 3 percent in the US and all the rest of the waste is from the industries and agriculture (Jensen). To bring some substantial change in the environment we need to think broadly and target the big industries.
It is a time to do the action and protest the companies that cause harm to the environment. One of the effective method is to boycott the companies that are releasing a lot of harmful gases and chemicals in the environment. Boycott is a very popular kind of protest used to stand against the unfair practices of social and political people. It is commonly used by the labour organizations to demand pay hike and improved working conditions from the management. The term “Boycott” was named after Irish tenants who effectively banished a British estate manager, Charles Cunningham Boycott. This term was generalized after Charles Stewart Parnell protested over high rents and land evictions in the year 1880 (Boycott). Even from the past, boycotts have been giving the desired results. For example, people during the American civil rights movement boycotted the stores and the businesses that discriminated the blacks and the whites, and their falling revenues made the owners change their policies (Boycott). In the world of technology nowadays boycotts have been taking place online through social media to publicize the companies that do not follow their values and perform illegal activities (Boycott). We also need to boycott the oil companies that are using all the fossil fuels available on the earth.
It is true that people have always been thinking for the environment from long ago, even before the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, for instance the Kyoto Protocol- the first international legal framework signed to address climate change (Elliott 9). A study by geographer Richard Heede demonstrated that just a small number of investor and government owned companies are accountable for two- thirds of carbon emissions caused by the humans since the start of the Industrial Revolution (Elliott 9). He even found out that were just 90 companies of which 50 investors owned, 31 state owned and 9 centrally planned nation- state owned which produce oil, natural gas, coal and cement were held responsible for 65 percent of the global carbon emissions between 1854 and 2013 (Elliott 9). The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), ranks eight of the top investor-owned fossil fuel companies on the basis of their increasing emissions magnitude some of listed companies are Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and few others, and they are jointly responsible for approximately 15 percent of the worldwide industrial carbon emissions since 1850’s (Elliott 9). So, there is urgent need to boycott these companies to make them realize that they need to take responsibility for their climate related actions. Boycotting will be very effective because if no one will use their products and their revenues will fall and, only then they will understand that they need to mend their ways.
Furthermore, boycotts are used as a social protest because they arouse as threat to the reputation of the companies, which would lower the profits of these companies (McDonnell and Werner 593). We can start using electric cars instead of using fuel operated cars, which will directly boycott these companies to an extent and on online boycott campaign through social media which will help this movement to reach more people. Preventing the companies to enter the public markets would create an impact on the companies because they would not be able to sell anything which will be a great achievement for the environment and the activists. Creating an influence over these companies would also hinder the new companies rising in these markets and would have to think twice before entering the market.
It is very depressing that our earth is being depleted day-by-day and we as humans are not performing our duty appropriately. It is an urgent need to save our planet so that we can save our resources and our home which we share with millions of species of plants and animals. Even if an individual takes all the steps he can take, will not be enough to make this Earth a livable place again. We should strictly change our views and focus on both social and personal changes. It is important to boycott the oil industries which is causing a lot of damage to the environment. If we do not take rigorous measures to save our Earth now, then it might create huge problems for our coming generations.