Earth Doctor / Climate Troubadour

The Great Cartel of Carbon

There’s never been a storm so hard As crushed the Philippines.
And every island nation Knows exactly what it means.
The floods in Colorado, Fires in Yosemite,
We watch them from our living rooms On MSNBC.

It’s tough, the magic Carbon Cartel must say adieu,
So sad to  tell, the road to hell is paved with CO2
The great cartel of carbon isn’t good for me or you.
Say fare-thee-well, the road to hell is paved with CO2. 

As we argue over budget cuts, To fix the American dream,
And wonder what will happen To the price of gasoline.
Pretending nothing’s changing, We wave our flaming sword,
And claim the right to ignorance That no one can afford.

We always balk at climate talks, And cause them to derail.
Gas and oil interests Have got us by the tail.
We can’t afford to burn  it all, Yet still they look for more.
And places where they find it end up Worse off than before.

Black money buys the evening news, And universities,
While Congresspeople give out lots of Fossil subsidies,
Ignore red flags and science, With conclusions  they contrive,
And crush our self-reliance And our chances to survive.

They block us from the wind and sun, And energy for free.
The changing climate doesn’t mean A lot to them, you see.
There’s just one road to freedom: It’s giving up the drug,
Coming clean and going green, And pulling out the plug.

lyrics ©Doug Hendren and Nancy Beall 2013 A grateful parody of “Puff, the Magic Dragon, by Lenny Lipton and Peter Yarrow

What’s this song about? In a nutshell: 1) We have already started changing Earth’s climate.  Super-typhoon Haiyan this month was the most powerful typhoon on land in recorded history.  Dangerous and costly extreme weather events in the United States are becoming commonplace, including droughts, floods and fires. Wouldn’t it make sense to look at what is causing all this chaos? 2) It is driven by CO2, from the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, gas and oil). 3) Unburned natural gas (methane) escaping from fracking sites contributes heavily. 4) Climate change is causing a great increase in size and frequency of extreme weather events aroung the world. 5) A rational global response to this crisis requires cooperation, particularly among the wealthy industrial nations, in immediately recognizing the true costs of burning carbon fuels, adjusting the market prices accordingly (carbon taxation is the most logical), and urgent deployment of non-polluting renewable technologies (solar and wind are the cheapest and fastest. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels on many world markets). 6) The “CARBON CARTEL” (fossil fuel interests) are doing their best to slow down and block rational and lifesaving international response to our global climate crisis. They do this by trying to undermine and discredit climate science; by funding sophisticated propaganda organizationssuch as the Heartland Institute, American Enterprise Institute and others to produce junk science, confusing our legislators and the public, just as the tobacco industry did decades ago; hiring lobbyists to directly control energy policy in Congress, securing subsidies at taxpayer expense for the richest companies in the world (about $500 billion worldwide each year); directly obstructing deployment of competitive renewable technologies; intentionally misinforming both Congress and the public about the “safety” of fossil fuels and the technological feasibility of powering our domestic electricity grid without fossil fuels; and by decisively blocking global cooperation at an international level. The organized influence of the “Carbon Cartel” in Congress and in US mainstream media has intentionally cultivated confusion, ignorance and climate denial among otherwise intelligent Americans. 7) This behavior is motivated exclusively by corporate profit interests. “National security” is sometimes invoked to disguise financial motives.  If national security were really an issue, we would not be exporting natural gas to lucrative foreign markets today, which will reduce supply and raise the price of natural gas at home. If the Keystone XL pipeline is ever completed, it will bring private profits to refiners in Texas and Louisiana, and then be shipped out to foreign markets as well. 8) The only way out of this crisis is to wake up, see the Carbon Cartel for what it is, and dismantle their stranglehold over our political process and our economy.  This means getting their money out of our Congress, eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, and providing fair support (following Germany and other European nations) for the renewable energy industries that will both restore good jobs in our economy and turn around our suicidal unraveling a healthy climate supporting a liveable world. Other Resources: IPCC Report: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis Bill Moyers & Company / Todd Gitlin:  How to Stop Apocalyptic Climate Change Citigroup Report: Energy Darwinism: The evolution of the energy industry. REneweconomy: Wind at wholesale price parity in world’s major markets. Open Letter calling for rules to protect integrity of policy-making from vested corporate interests. Google Earth helps us see forests disappearing.  

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