June 2023 was the hottest June on record. July 2023 was the hottest July on record (and the hottest month ever on record)1. The ocean surface temperature was the highest ever recorded2. Rome had its highest ever temperature recorded (after breaking the previous record in 2022). These are just some of the heat records that have been broken in 2023.
Canada had its worst ever wildfires on record3. In Italy, years of drought made the ground less able to absorb rainfall which then led to devastating floods in the region of Emilia-Romagna.
Maui’s devastating wildfire is a stark reminder of the dire state of this climate crisis and the urgent need for action.
We ask that you support the Hawaiʻi People’s Fund as Maui begins to heal and rebuild ⬇️https://t.co/ripQ4iU5zx
— 350 US (@350_US) August 10, 2023
It’s been a summer of broken records. The planet is getting hotter, fires are getting more frequent and more catastrophic, droughts more severe. Right now, we are seeing the terrifying impacts of deadly fires in Hawaii.
For me, the only way I can deal with climate news like this is to remember three things: We know who is to blame. We will make them pay. And there’s another way.
First up: We know who’s to blame.
Fossil fuel companies like BP, Shell and TotalEnergies have known about their role in causing climate change for decades. They’ve watched heat records be broken over and over, yet they’ve not only continued to dig and drill for oil and gas, but have also lobbied politicians and governments to support them in doing so. Not to mention their endless greenwashing – where they, almost in an act of gaslighting, use ads absolutely crammed full with wind turbines and smiling, happy families to convince us they’re actually part of the solution, not the problem.
Secondly, we’ll make them pay.
Oil and gas companies knowingly wrecked our planet, and it’s only right that they pay up – both for the transition to clean, affordable energy for all and to fix the damage they’ve already done. Some countries, like the UK, have already introduced a so-called windfall tax – a tax on the enormous profits the companies were making during the energy crisis. But in the UK’s case, the tax didn’t go nearly far enough and was full of loopholes – some of which even gave fossil fuel companies tax breaks for investing in more oil and gas! We need to do more. We need a proper tax on fossil fuel profits that can be used to change our economic and energy systems to prioritise people over profit and help develop thriving communities.
And finally, we remember that there is another way.
A renewable energy revolution is within our reach. But we need to work together to make sure the transition is just and leads to affordable, green energy for all – not more mega-profits for big corporations that don’t benefit people and our communities. That’s why we are taking action together on 3-4 November – across the world – to Power Up for energy solutions. Join us! Read more and sign up for updates now on globalpowerup.org.
Things can seem hopeless right now, but we know what we need to do. Let’s get started.
1: Carbon Brief
2: The Guardian