In Pointing out the similarities between slavery and the use of fossil fuels can help us engage with climate change in a new way, says Jean-François Mouhot, visiting researcher at Georgetown University, USA.
In his opinion,the history of slavery and its abolition shows how blurred the frontier between what is considered good and evil can be, and how quickly it can shift. We consider slave-owners as cruel, sadistic, inhuman brutes. But we easily forget that aristocratic Lifestyles and healthy incomes were in fact dependent upon slavery, just as we today depend on oil. Interestingly slave-owners lived with the impression that they were decent people. Obviously, there are differences between the use of slaves and of fossil fuels. Fundamentally, slavery is a crime against humanity. Fossil fuel use is not a moral evil, but burning coal or oil contributes to global warming. States and energy companies‘ lust for oil also leads to wars and the toppling of democratically elected governments. Our addiction to fossil fuel is increasingly destructive.
Links and Sources:
- Fossil Fuels: We’re Not Dead Yet (thestreet.com)
- The great carbon bubble: Why the fossil fuel industry fights so hard (3eintelligence.wordpress.com)
- Industrialization and fossil fuels ended slavery and made economic growth sustainable (junkscience.com)
- Unearthing the True Cost of Fossil Fuels (3eintelligence.wordpress.com)
- You: Revealed: fossil fuel reserves match climate negotiating positions (ourworld.unu.edu)