Tuesday, March 28

black month

As if it were the carousel of environmental disasters, in these last four weeks the minute and result of fossil discharges has been devastating:

Peru, January 15, 11,900 barrels dumped by Repsol on the coast of Callao, more than 50 km of beaches, two reserves and 3,000 fishermen affected.

Ecuador, January 18, 57 m³ of oil spilled by PetroEcuador in the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle, 107 communities and 300km of river affected.

Thailand, January 25, 50 tons of oil spilled by a Chevron affiliate, 47 square kilometers of the Gulf of Thailand affected.

Nigeria, February 4, SEPCO warehouse ship explosionL in the Niger Delta. The extent of the spill is still unknown.

Each disaster could be said to be four spills in one:

Discharge of devastating consequences on life. No matter how many containment means and barriers are used, this black substance, which should never have come out of the bowels of the earth, is introduced into the fauna and into every corner of the ecosystem, altering it for decades.

Destructive spill on neighboring towns. In the short term, the inhabitants of the area usually participate in the resources injected into the local economy to clean and form the lines of people who, protected as they can, strive to clean what seems impossible. But in the long run they lose much more than they gain and these regions do not usually return to their previous model of life.

Wave of propaganda and lies from those responsible. The fossil companies involved try to spend as little as possible on the cleanup, basically “clean up the big stuff”, but they spare no money when it comes to launching media campaigns that minimize the impact of the spill, maximize their involvement in the cleanup and reiterate their commitment to the ecological transition. Protecting decades of your million-dollar investments in green image is usually your priority.

Greenhouse gas discharge into the atmosphere. Corporate marketing campaigns and government statements often state that these errors are isolated events that can be improved. Obvious that if everything “works”, that fossil fuel when it reaches a “good port” is going to produce greenhouse gas emissions. Each barrel of crude oil or cubic meter of gas that reaches its destination and is burned in power plants, cars or boilers releases gases into the atmosphere, irreversibly affecting the global climate. Even fossil gas, the so-called “green brother” of oil, has large methane emissions during its journey from wells to homes and industries, in addition to CO2 discharges when used.

In this black month it is necessary more than ever to say loud and clear that oil spills are a huge problem, but they are also the tip of the iceberg of the impacts of an energy industry that is directly sacrificing local communities and ecosystems, but also on a global level, launching us into climate disaster.

The thing is very simple, the only way to stop having oil spills and continuous CO2 and other gas spills is to stop needing them as soon as possible. The only reasonable investment in times of climate crisis to avoid these discharges of all kinds is to make a firm commitment to renewable energies and in the hands of citizens.

For this reality to become apparent, we need to give the fossil corporations like Repsol a quintal of loudspeaker, we need to regulate the advertising and sponsorships of companies directly involved in making money from these discharges