IF (and it's a big IF) financing for oil and gas projects was reduced, that might increase the price, or at least make the price more volatile as supply couldn't be increased quickly when demand increases. This would be offset by the fact that as a self financing industry outside finance is more about managing capital costs than supplying it. It's also worth noting that supply is at least partly controlled politically (by Opec and the Saudis etc), not by actual availability. You might stop all new developments and investment and still find the price falling if the Saudi's decide to turn on the tap.
And it will be very very difficult to actually reduce the supply of capital to oil and gas companies: many are state funded and new ventures are among those most likely to receive state funding. Add to that that money is fungible: you might think your buying Walmart bonds, but then you find out Walmart used the money to lend $1bn to Exonn and suddenly you funded oil and gas exploration without knowing it. You need basically EVERYONE to agree to stop, as long as one bank/hedge fund/Private Equity firm/Big Corporation will still take this business it will continue (and that firm will become very very rich and successful).
In fact even the fossil fuel asset owners are starting to do this. For instance the Saudi Arabia plan to do an IPO of Aramco is because they know they need to rapidly diversify their economy away from oil. The idea the oil industry is going to remain financially healthy while all this is going on is quite unrealistic.
This is the thing I don’t understand from climate... um... super activists.
We know of no more efficient, safe, and easily convertible storage of energy than petrol hydrocarbons. So even if everyone else stopped today, someone will keep using them, and that group will have an advantage over their peers.
Second, if we stop using oil in engines, guess what? It’ll go into lubes, and plastics, and other forms. We have a material we know no better alternative for. You know how composites like carbon fiber enable windmills and solar panels and electric vehicles, and all the new cool things? Carbon fiber is non-recyclable burnt plastic. It’s very oil heavy in production, they take plastic bars, spin, spool, and burn them to get the fiber. It’s extremely non-green, then you have the resins and epoxy that uses oil in its production, and all the greases, lubes, finishes, etc.
If you agreed to get everyone to stop, it basically can’t stop. Someone won’t and they’ll do well because of it in the short term. And obviously we’ll need oil for far more than cars, we use most of it in energy production and cars, but remove those and we’ll just usher in a different era of plastics and composites.
Now of course you can argue plastic in a landfill is better than vaporized in the atmosphere! But to pretend big oil will just “go away” is very foolish.
Gas should have a $2 tax to offset the carbon it puts in the air and a 2-10$ tax for the historically untaxed pollution. (per gallon).
The production of oil for plastics and other materials is paltry compared to fuel. Of course that will continue.
The point of this activism is to start the process of disincentivizing oil production, since governments are completely corrupted by oligarchy and economics for the rich and won't impose proper regulation.
Your straw mans are "all oil production will cease immediately" (impossible) and "oil is the BEST POWER SOURCE" (it's not due to impending climate crises)
The point of the article is that activism is actually having a potential effect on financing of oil extraction projects.
Which is utterly shocking, I didn't think that was possible.
There's a lot to unpack here. "Efficiency" of a hydrocarbon doesn't make sense, unless you talk about a specific application, such as an internal combustion engine, in which case you're comparing 100+ year old technology and chemistry to relatively newer forms that simply haven't had as much light of day becoming more "efficient". Depending on what exact "efficiency" is being measured ("energy density"? Nuclear wins) will open more questions than answers.
"Safety" is another interesting one. For example, regions of the world with high concentration of oil reserves, such as Venezuela and the middle East, have seen a lot of combat and instability post-WW 2. I don't think those regions are comparatively safe. While, on the other hand, fighting over wind and sunlight could happen, I wouldn't count on it.
"Easily convertable storage" I don't even know what this means. Once a fuel has been converted to electricity, or kinetic energy, the storage problem is all the same.
It's not that controversial.
The "haven't had as much light of day becoming more "efficient" is not relevant, as the parent means among forms existing today (he said "we know of". Even if there might be a future more efficient, we don't "know of" it yet).
And the measurement is usually EROI, and looks to be as the parent said:
>I don't think those regions are comparatively safe.
I'd say the parent doesn't talk about that safety, it's about in applications, transport, etc. Wars happened before oil too...
However I don't buy EROEI as being a good measure in a discussion about long term climate change and the wholistic picture of an energy source. EROEI is too short-term focused (on energy break even) instead of looking at the lifetime of an energy source. Oil plants and internal combustion cars need to account for the years of shipping logistical distribution and mining/drilling when looking at the lifetime of an oil plant or the lifetime of the car. Compared to the marginal energy cost of maintenance of a PV cell or wind turbine over the lifetime of those power generating structures. The EROEI at the end of the energy production lifetime may favor energy-intensive short term sunk costs with low long term marginal costs (wind and sun) instead of favoring low-entry-incumbents with high energy operating costs (oil and it's existing logistical infrastructure).
So I disagree it's "not controversial" and I also think looking at EROEI for the break even point is kind of like looking at bullet holes on planes without Abraham Wald around.
Consider arguably the worst scenario: a civilization that has to derive all its energy needs from ethanol (which IIRC, has a 2:1 ratio). At least half of it is going to have to be dedicated to farming grain for energy and processing it into ethanol for the rest of that civilization to function. And of that non-farming half, how much of that will end up being support industry for the ethanol creating half? The amount of high technology industry that could ultimately be supported by that civilization would be dramatically lower because a much higher proportion needs to be dedicated to lower necessities.
You're right, it's not (climate wise), as it hides the externalities.
But it's my understanding that the parent meant "efficient" in the way EROEI is.
Or, you know, that group gets thrown to prison or bombed, and problem solved, how about that?
>Second, if we stop using oil in engines, guess what? It’ll go into lubes, and plastics, and other forms. We have a material we know no better alternative for.
Plastics compared to oil energy is a tiny percentage (which, still has its own problems).
But even if we had to do without both, and without modern conveniences, like plastics, and carbon fiber, and tons of others, and e.g. go back to a 1900 lifestyle, it still beats dying in a climate apocalypse (and returning to a 1900 B.C. lifestyle).
Are you really arguing we go to war with every country who doesn't stop using fossil fuels?
> beats dying in a climate apocalypse
I'm 100% for paying more to switch to 100% renewable energy, but none of the effects of climate change  will in any way result in an apocalyptic future.
The NASA effects are the Disney version. As many countries have already found (and many will discover) you can get an "apocalyptic future" with seemingly small changes.
Changes pile up beyond the immediate ecological impact -- e.g. droughts and climate disasters mean more immigration, tension between neighborhooding countries, wars for resources (if wars of oil where bad, wait for wars for water), increased lack of global collaboration and so on...
What countries have experienced an "apocalyptic future" due to climate change seeing as you are smarter than NASA?
> if wars of oil were bad, wait for wars for water
How! I am flabbergasted you think the trillion dollar market for oil will be usurped by water. Pretty much all cities are based around water sources (rivers usually).
Note that the latter part is an ad-hominem, and what it puts forward (that I'm "smarter than NASA") was nowhere in my message (not even implied). So I might not be "smarter than NASA", but you (or at least your comment) are ruder than needed.
As to the point I made. NASA presents the Disney version for a lot of reasons, not because of lack of smart people there. Two main ones:
One is that they are a government agency, and need to be political (e.g. balance the pressure from those that discard the climate impact altogether and "meet them in the middle").
Second, is that in such a public pronouncement they tend to be conservative and err on the side of caution.
As for the countries that have already experienced an "apocalyptic future":
And the migrant crisis that affects tens of millions (and a project 1 billion until 2050) is strongly affected by climate change already...
Who said you can't use oil when bombing to enforce no-oil use, if you need to?
Humans are surely no dumb computers taking all instructions literally, and can differentiate between one use (to enforce a rule) of oil, vs another (the industrial, transport, etc use you want to ban).
Who can say that you can't use oil that way? Whoever's going to bomb you for using oil. (Or did you assume that you were always going to be the enforcer, and never the enforced-upon?)
"We get to use oil for when we think we should, but we'll bomb you if you use it" sure smells like hypocrisy to me.
I didn't make any such assumptions: just that someone can enforce no-use-of-oil upon others.
And it doesn't have to be hypocritical either. To answer your other protest:
>"We get to use oil for when we think we should, but we'll bomb you if you use it" sure smells like hypocrisy to me.
Only in the same sense (and I already gave a similar example), locking people up against their will is bad and punishable, but not when the police does it.
If the enforcer only uses oil to enforce no regular oil use, then they're totally non hypocritical.
Besides the whole question is contrived, in the way the Liar's paradox is. "Yeah, what I just said about always lying is meta and excluded from my lying: I only lie when I say non-meta statements" is enough for this case...
I didn't suggest I personally do it, and I don't have the means anyway.
>Or who appointed your country to be the judge of other countries?
Notice how I didn't mention a particular country. Much less mine.
First, obviously, if there was a single country that wanted to do it, and if it had the might, nobody had to appoint them.
But it could be equally well that an extended alliance, or the UN itself, could form a force to do the policing.
The police didn't start out having authority either. Some nation state by its might (or the good will of another) gained sovereignty, formed a police force, and had some elites write the laws and give it authority. Then they allowed the populace to periodically vote, but with the police and the overall system already in place (and not allowed to be contested in its foundations unless another force -eg a rebellion- replaces it with might).
It seems you are arguing at points nobody made.
how can you draw a distinction. destroying your environment is destroying yourself. does existing not have value?
For them, destroying the environment is not destroying yourself. It's prioritizing short term gain at the expense of their children and grandchildren.
It's no coincidence that the majority of politicians and corporate leadership is in this age group, hence the lack of urgency in mitigating climate change.
I have three small kids that she smothers with love. It’s really hard to reconcile with the total antipathy towards their future world.
Are you sure you won't reach that same point at some time in the future?
But on the other hand they are constantly enraged over some perceived threat to America posed by Democrats. They have not cast a vote for anyone without an R next to their name in 50 years. They care very much about the future insofar as it shouldn’t look anything like “left coast ideas spreading.” And in the same breath they can acknowledge that climate change may doom us all. They would rather the world burn than a hated ideology gain one inch.
Unfortunately this sort of mindset is quite normal where I live.
My 27 year old nephew, on the other hand, couldn't care less. Well, I mean, he likes to roll coal, but I don't think he's necessarily doing it deliberately to spite the environment, he's just a jerk.
Here's what's going to happen:
1. Some places are going to be flooded. The important ones will construct sea barriers. The others: oh well.
2. Some places will become infertile while other places become fertile: sucks that the Midwest will become a desert but Canada is going to be a great place to grow things in 100 years.
3. Technology will improve if things get really dire but I'm sure human ingenuity will pull through.
The numerous “i’m young and also don’t care” comments completely miss the point.
No the ones that can afford it will.
"sucks that the Midwest will become a desert but Canada is going to be a great place to grow things in 100 years"
Do you have some evidence or are you just assuming? Day lengths, and weather changes means it wont necessarily work out how you expect.
"Technology will improve if things get really dire"
Such as.... Because by then it'll be too late for solar, wind turbines, battery storage, nuclear, electric cars/planes/boats and any kind of carbon capture that's currently plausible.
Most valuable places will be flooded. Sea barriers won't stop it. You're going to be able to sail over the Guggenheim. Maps of the US will have to be re-drawn to remove Florida.
> 2. Some places will become infertile while other places become fertile: sucks that the Midwest will become a desert but Canada is going to be a great place to grow things in 100 years.
Unlikely. Soil erosion is accelerated by climate change. There are roughly 60 harvests left. Fresh water is going to become extremely scarce. Constant, slow-moving storms will basically reduce yields on land that is still viable. Did you notice how much of this year's harvest was off because of the torrential rains?
The tundra isn't going to become fertile. It's a bubbling mass of methane and hyrdrocarbons. It barely has any soil. Who wants to try and grow things on a mushy field, full of mostly dead things, that might explode or re-introduce you to ancient diseases?
Plus you will have vast tracts of densely populated areas with people that need to migrate because the wet bulb temperature there is lethal to all humans. Mass migrations of billions of hungry, thirsty people.
> 3. Technology will improve if things get really dire but I'm sure human ingenuity will pull through.
Not fast enough. I wouldn't rely on it, "sorting itself out." We're already in the 6th mass extinction. That's not activism, that's just science. We're on the roller coaster and the time to get off was about 30-40 years ago.
If you look into any carbon sequestration technology out there it's simply not feasible at scale. Maybe it will be in 30-40 years but we'll already be into the worst effects of climate change by then.
If we do nothing now it will be worse later than if we try to do better.
The likelihood that you or I will make it to our twilight years in comfort is very low. It gets lower the more that we delay action to reduce our carbon footprint and try to slow down or stabilize the feedback loops. Things got this way because the generation before us didn't do anything about it knowing full well that this outcome was likely. It was known in the seventies that this could happen if we didn't reign in emissions. Well... guess what? It happened. And here we are. It's not the predictions of one person -- there are thousands of corroborating studies over decades of research.
You made my point for me. Sorry, that's just NOT going to happen. The extreme hyperbole of the climate change side is not helping matters.
It's possible it won't happen but it's not going to be because we do nothing today and continue with current emissions trends.
> You're going to be able to sail over the Guggenheim
The Guggenheim is 77 feet tall. We're not going to be sailing over it. That's my point about hyperbole.
All coastal cities will experience some flooding. I've seen projections of 4-6 feet sea rise. That's not insurmountable by sea walls.
That map is useless because it doesn't show projected depths. It gets people all riled up without also explaining, yea in mid-town Manhattan if we do absolutely nothing between now and then we'll be under a foot or two of water.
Sure, the impacts will only get worse, so logically the young should from a pure selfish point of view be more concerned. In practice I don't think age is the principle component separating those who care from those who do not.
A common mistake. In a neoliberal market economy nothing has value unless it can be arbitraged. For 'natural' products that means that unless someone can prevent 'free' consumption of that benefit, and contain and charge for access to that benefit, there is no value.
Money is more important that existing to economists.
It seems to me that economists are on board. It's politicians who aren't.
Edit: If you want an action you can take then change your pension fund to an ethical one that doesn't invest in companies that do harm.
However, with pension funds this is slightly different. Funds have a huge voice and customers switching investments can influence how they use their votes. It's very easy to do, so why not do this in addition to all the other things?
It's also less about removing funds from fossil fuels and more about putting your retirement savings to better work. If you move your fund to a "future world" style one then this provides capital to clean energy projects etc. The ethical funds I looked at even performed better historically than the standard ones, so it's win-win.
Divesting just shifts profits away from ethical people towards unethical people. It is a bad strategy.
And the banks know that. If they stop investing in something it is because an actuary somewhere has worked out that it is risky and unprofitable.
If they divest, they have no voice at all.
Also, does that mean that one has to pay to be heard? Isn’t that census all over again? (Not so /s)
I said no such thing. Voting with your wallet means changing who you do business with. Selling your stock in a company does exactly zero to their bottom line, you are not voting at all.
My thinking would be if they divest from Oil and Gas, they will invest this capital somewhere else such as Nuclear, or renewable resources.
The banks can raise the interest rate on financing. That has a huge effect on something like this where large investments and equipment and labor projects are required to get oil extraction underway, especially with commodity pricing fluctuations and the impending threats to fundamental demand from EVs and alternative energy.
Agreed. You create opportunity for at least a short term advantage.
>make alternative energy cheaper, and the demand for oil and gas will disappear
IDK, it seems the actual demand for oil will remain high. We’ll shift from using it in energy production and transportation to plastics, manufacturing, lubes and other refined oils, aviation which to shift to electric will need another 50 years of battery tech it seems, etc.
Agreed on the uses for oil, but I think planes are a lot closer than you think, but not via batteries. Fuel cells will be what is used, IMO. All of their disadvantages that make them a terrible fit for cars are pretty much null for planes. Electric motors are reaching 15 kw/kg. SOFC designs are now reaching 2.5 kw/kg power density and > 60% efficiency. With waste heat recovery, 80% efficiency is on the horizon. All combined, my napkin math (which could be wrong) shows those power densities are almost double that of even state of the art jet engines like LEAP.
Which just leaves the fuel aspect. SOFCs, due to their high operating temperatures, allow for a lot of fuel flexibility. Technically, they could still use regular jet fuel. While that wouldn't get rid of the fossil fuels, the much higher efficiencies would result in significant decreases in the demand for fuel, which have additional efficiencies (It takes a lot of fuel to fly a lot of fuel).
However, I wouldn't rule out hydrogen. The traditionally cited disadvantages of liquid hydrogen are significantly minimized for aviation. You don't really need heavy duty cryo tanks: planes operating at 15km altitudes are already at -50 degrees C, and the consumption rates would be higher than the evaporation bleedoff rates. When descending or ascending, temperatures are higher, but consumption rates are also higher. That means that the optimal insulation is a weight/bleedoff optimization problem, and I wouldn't be surprised if current foam insulation technologies were good enough. I've found an example of a 125kL vacuum-insulated tank that only needed a constant 390W of cooling to maintain zero boil-off , meaning that that rate of fuel bleedoff without cooling is <390W. That is 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than the consumption rates of jet aircraft, which gives a lot of leeway for reducing the insulation requirements. And even if it doesn't work, liquified renewable methane might still work, with its higher boiling point and higher volumetric energy density.
Aside from spaceships, planes are the most likely to kill you when something goes wrong. So I think that's why they are slow move to new technology.
So maybe fuel cells are the way to go. Maybe hydrogen. But, I still kind stick with the idea that if the tech was out and fully worked out today, in 40 years, there will still be planes flying around on piston drive ICE drinking refined kerosene.
>Removing financial support for hydrocarbon companies will put a major bomb under the future of emerging economies. ... affecting the global economy ... blah blah
As the investment swings from oil and gas to renewables, the emerging economies can also pick up use of renewables. There is no rule saying they are not allowed to do so. But the writer of this article pretends that cannot happen.
Sure, the oil and gas crutch will be needed at first, but it can be phased out eventually, and doing so will create a huge boom in development of renewable technologies that will provide plenty of economic stimulus to replace the destructive money that was being dumped into the oil and gas money fire.
I don't why none of the large Oil and Gas companies aren't leading the way to renewables?
You would think at least one or two of them would strategically realize that as the tech gets better, wind and solar will gradually become the main energy source.
And you can either hold on to your dying market (not dying now, but it will eventually).
NONE of them seem to have any real vision for a post oil and gas world.
My guess is that they are fixed on making sure that solar and wind power stays a small percent of energy consumption rather than being a market leader.
I wouldn't be surprised if in the near future more damming evidence comes out that proves the major oil and gas companies have been trying to fuck the solar and wind industries for decades now.
Further, banks typically "invest" on behalf of customers, not by themselves (are loans investments?). Pretty sure if ARAMCO is going IPO they want a piece of the business. What about M&A advisory work for hydrocarbon companies? Brokering corporate bonds?
It's great that folks are signing letters that they understand the problem, but I don't think one can read any significance into them until behavior actually changes. What downside is there to signing the letter?
EDIT: That said, I clicked. Not sure I'll ever go to this domain again though.
and thats just for that specific industry. 80% of what we surround us with and cool modern living is fossil based. If you welcome the death of oil and gas you welcome the death of millions.
A gradual carbon tax, that starts out at a level that’s politically acceptable, and grows to become massive, is what’s needed
> Around 130 international banks, all present at the UN climate change summit in New York, have committed themselves to decrease their support and investments in the oil and gas sector the coming years.
Saudi Arabia knows this as well, that’s why they want to IPO Aramco.
Yes, the oil and gas industry has rolling financial needs and we can't just stop depending on fossil from one day to the next, but it's all about creating a new ethical baseline where the planet, and not short term economic gains, become the priority.
The fate of fossil fuels has to follow what happened to slavery around 150-200 years ago. Back then slavery was also a huge economy that was considered absolutely crucial for making the world go 'round, but humanism became the baseline, changing how society perceived enslavement of human beings. Abolitionist laws were enacted and conflict followed, including long and bloody wars sponsored by the affected (land)owners and their partisans. I hope that's not the case now.
BTW, dropping oil and gas investment (which is not what this article is about yet, as it seems to impact mostly coal) has been on their agenda since 2017: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42011995
Thesr organizations are run by certified psychopaths, who don’t care about being good, but only about looking good. So they can keep doing what they do. Which is maximizing profit.
I’ll accept it when I have seen, checked, scrutinized and double checked evidence for at least ten years, for the obligatory sneaky technicalities and spin.