New research shows that fossil subsidies in the Netherlands amount to a staggering 37.5 billion euros annually; it includes tax benefits, price support, and government investments.
It is unthinkable to readers of The Planet that fossil fuel corporate leaders are capable of prizing their own pockets, profits, and power over LIFE. I normally avoid making generalizations about people I do not know, preferring to imagine that we are more similar than different, and that we can compromise in the best interest of everyone. In this case, the evidence is lacking. That fossil fuel corps and governments keep relentlessly doing what they are doing, I must speculate that they are addicted to self-interests, power, and wealth. Industries and lifestyles are built on addiction, rewarding those who fuel (bad pun) their addictions. This is why, along with environmental justice, we must prioritize democracy and the power of citizens to hold governments accountable.
Que lastima. I feel the mindset of fossil fuel/tax incentives for large users is the same thinking as "8 men have as much wealth as 3.5 billion people, but sure, the single mother on welfare is the problem." And this greed in my mind is about short-term interests over the welfare of this planet.
This quote sums it up for me: We can either save the planet from catastrophic warming or protect fossil fuel CEO's. Not both. Do the Math.
Yet as the sun sets in the Sonoran Desert, there is a hope of Fall in the air as I listen to my favorite playlist. Jackson's lyrics: "While the sand slipped through the opening and their hands reached for the golden ring, with their hearts they turned to each other's hearts for refuge. In the troubled years that came before the deluge."
Music can cross every barrier of time, space and language. It gives us a shelter from the storm just as the stunning desert sunset or the comfort of your island home. Thank you for protecting all of it.
Thank you for writing this beautiful piece again, Alex. I often wonder. How come the State of the Netherlands gets away with not obeying judges verdicts, whereas a number of the activists receive punishment for their action in reminding the government of the verdicts of the judges. You will probably say that it is for the way they protest. But at least they are heard and in the news. Otherwise nobody would bother, I guess.
It has been a very interesting and intense weekend.
Excellent article, Alexander. I think it is fundamental that we expose these subsidies for what they are, and with forward-looking climate and environmental justice lenses, correct the errors and injustices of the past with the utmost urgency. We don’t have a Planet B option, so we need to recognize these failed policies/incentives/subsidies and act now.
I saw and heard a dramatic rock opera unfold. A beautiful sunset. Industrial silhouettes. Classic rock soundtrack. The plot of those knowingly poisoning us getting wealthier. Brave citizens pleading with world leaders to come to their senses and receiving violence in return. And while you arrive at a beautiful, peaceful place, there is no happy ending. Only a question mark. 🌻 Beautiful writing amidst the madness.
I will never understand or condone the payment of subsidies to fossil fuel companies.
Why would we pay big oil to destroy our home?
I just saw an article that not only shows ‘Exxon kew’ but they now blame consumers for getting hooked on their lies.
Thankfully, the remainder of your article soothes the anxiety with the lovely descriptions of your drive. Your words are calming and welcome as you reminisce of your many trips on the route to home. I like that part best.
Will we one day be able to deal with our unbearable lightness of conscience?
“People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It’s not true. The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past if full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repent it. The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past.”
- Milan Kundera
There is so much in this timely article to comment on! 1) The outrageous-ness (is that even a word?) about the tax breaks that the large companies receive to continue destroying the planet is totally unacceptable. Climate change is costing governments world-wide a BAZILLION annually. Governments' reaction to the heartache of their constituents losing everything one holds dear to catastrophic wild fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes/tornados, etc., is appalling and their reasoning against transition (key word!) from fossil to sustainable energy is unbelievable! Those governments that apply this logic (?) are playing checkers while other governments who have heard the word/know the meaning of the word "transition" are playing chess and I applaud them. 2) Your description of your journey home is so vivid; I can picture it in my mind as if I were in the car experiencing the drive myself! Bravo!! 3) Lastly, your reference to Carol King (one of my personal favs, BTW) is so apt for this article. I'm fairly sure she was referring to that "special someone" not to the earthquakes caused by fracking since fracking hadn't been discovered as a weapon against our beautiful, unique planet Earth in the 70's. I'm not sure about the rest of the planet but, here in the USA, I'm fairly sure the residents of the Dakotas, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma would disagree with the US Geological Survey and that their earthquakes (however minor) were a direct result of that practice.
Typo on transcription: where is.…” or repent it” must be read “… or repaint it”. My apologies.
This is so beautifully written that it's difficult to focus on the hard truths you write about.
The Extinction Rebellion protests in/near The Hague have certainly made headline news here, but what will change. Lizzie mentioned "Exxon knew", you mentioned millionaires & taxes and Sharon mentioned fossil fuel CEOs. This is what's so infuriating to me. It's been known for decades, but we're protecting the money - not the planet. It's insane.
I remember driving past the port of Rotterdam - what a stunning sight that is. I'd never seen anything like it. Fascination gave way to a wtaf moment a bit later. Now I need to look into taxes and trains/planes/cars in Switzerland. I know that there is a vehicle tax and you pay to use our freeways, not entirely sure about trains - especially SBB ones. Flights are probably the same here. Encouraged by the re-introduction of night trains across Europe, but that's about the only positive right now.
Thanks for all you do and this beautiful piece of writing. Happy traveling today - wherever that train might take you.