Denier’s walls are crumbling down. It an astonishing speech, ExxonMobil’s CEO Rex Tillerson, admitted that the burning of fossil fuel is warming the planet. Like many others, I was totally floored when reading about his revelation. Perhaps he had a moment of weakness or maybe the perpetual lying finally got the better of him. More likely reputation played a role; let’s face it, the silly-science arguments used by fossil-energy companies are making them look stupid and lacking in credibility.
Can you imagine the look on the Koch brothers’ faces when they heard about Mr. Tillerson’s speech? I bet they soiled their pants from moaning so hard.
Tillerson wasn’t, by any means, apologetic or gracious. He called the public illiterate, the press lazy and indicated that the risk of spills and accidents were worth the reward. The biggest industry challenge, he said, “taking an illiterate public and try to help them understand why we can manage these risks.”
Interestingly, Tillerson appeared to ignore any discussion relating to remedial activities that would curb global warming. I suppose this is not a surprise. Slowing the release of greenhouse gasses would negatively impact ExxonMobil financially since more energy burn means more profits for them. The CEO believes we can manage in a hotter world. “We have spent our entire existence adapting. We’ll adapt,” he said. “It’s an engineering problem and there will be an engineering solution.”
I give Mr. Tillerson credit for stepping up and acknowledging the impact fossil fuels have on the environment but I also find it obscene that these Wall Street-massaged companies go from “denying” straight to “it’s too late, the damage is done so let’s adapt to our new climate”. Again, not a surprise, it’s all about lining pockets with gold but obscenely sinister nonetheless.
As much as I hate to agree with Tillerson, it is too late. Even if we drastically reduced carbon emissions today, temperatures are going to rise and so will sea levels for the next 200 to 300 years. Forget about green or sustainable economies, we need to pursue an adaptive economy that makes today’s disasters tomorrow’s normal.