If we know we are facing an existential crisis, and we know the solution to it, why are we not moving in that direction as fast as we should?
India is in the grip of one of the worst heat waves ever recorded. Temperatures are hovering around 50ºC (122ºF), with land surface temperatures rising even higher. Meanwhile, the American Southwest and Russian Siberia burn, engulfed by gigantic wildfires. Cyclones have been pounding Madagascar and the Philippines for months. And, of course, a fossil-fueled war relentlessly devastates Ukraine.
This is just a snapshot of what is in the headlines the week I’m writing this article. Take any week, any month, and you’ll find similar stories from around the world. Very recently, the IPCC published another sobering (or call it terrifying) report on the impacts the world is heading to experience as we fail to contain global warming below 1.5oC. It’s no secret: the climate is in a very dire state and getting worse every day.
Not all news is bad, though. Just one month after the release of the impacts report, the IPCC reported again, this time on solutions. Long story short: we can make it. We know the path, we just need to stay on it. The main point is gorgeous in its simplicity: keep fossil fuels in the ground. Here at 350.org we listen to the facts. And because we do, we have known the solution for a long time.
Don’t just take it from us, take it from science: we are still on time to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, but we need to act immediately and decisively. We know this, and world leaders know this. Decision-makers know this.
So then, the following question arises: if we know we are facing an existential crisis, and we know the solution to it, why are we not moving in that direction as fast as we should?
A big part of the answer lies at the feet of the fossil fuel industry. Their obstruction has knowingly hampered climate action for decades. We know they are powerful and influential, a formidable opponent. But we also know they have weak points, and that they’re on their way out into the dustbin of history.
Our strategy is to confront the climate-wrecking industries wherever they are. We help partners and communities organize, we mobilise against fossil fuel projects, we provide training, amplify stories, and we help you connect the dots.
Every day, our teams and the activists we support all around the world are working on three main fronts. We pin responsibility on the financial institutions which underpin fossil fuels. We are building people power and keeping up the pressure to stop fossil fuel projects and infrastructure and keep coal, oil and gas in the ground. And we are building the tools to empower and encourage communities to take the solutions to the climate crisis into their own hands.
We oppose Big Oil and its enablers, but we keep our eyes on the prize: a clean, community-led and renewable energy model for all. A just transition into a fairer world, and a goodbye to the era of dirty fossil fuels that feed inequity, violence and misery worldwide.
Every year, on World Environment Day, we join in the celebrations of our planet, our home. But as we move into the future, we want to make sure everyone understands that every single day is Environment Day. And that every day is the day to take down the dirty fossil industry that destroys it.