You’ve heard of Bill McKibben and the incredible global climate movement he started, 350.org, right? His book Oil and Honey details how he became an activist and what it takes (incredible energy, ideas, speaking and writing ability, and almost no time at home relaxing with family or friends).
My two major takeaways from the book were:
- We have five times as much oil, gas, and coal reserves as any scientist thinks is safe to burn.
- The value of ExxonMobil and other oil companies is in their reserves, estimated at $28 trillion dollars. Wow. That’s a lot of mullah to kiss good bye.
You can see the rub, right? If renewable energy isn’t as profitable, there is no real incentive for oil companies to change their product and become renewable energy companies. Bill McKibben writes about this conundrum in detail in his 2012 Rolling Stones article Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.