Sunday, November 15, 2015

Students Rally For Divestment--But From What?

The Global Climate Change Summit will be held in Paris during November 30-December 11, 2015. Its goal is to set out a schedule to limit greenhouse gas emissions.  Every important political leader in the world will attend.

In advance of the summit, students are holding rallies, encouraging their universities to divest from companies that produce fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal).  Stanford, for example, has divested from coal-producing companies (but not companies, such as steel, that use coal).

Divesting from oil is more problematic.  Even the most ardent opponents of fossil fuels still fly and drive, some daily.  While about half of oil production goes into fuels, the rest is used in the production of some 6,000 products.  Here are several web sites you can copy into your browser that list some of the most common consumer products in which oil is used:

http://www.ranken-energy.com/products%20from%20petroleum.htm

http://www.oilandgasinfo.ca/oil-gas-you/products/

http://riversidetransport.com/2011/06/what-do-we-use-oil-for-a-huge-list-of-surprising-oil-uses/#.VkiQk5NViko

Renewables are fine but not until their costs become more competitive with fossil fuels.  That is still some time away.

Pardon the pun, but expect to see a lot of hot air emanate from the Paris summit!




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