Following on from my last blog post about electric cars, the oil sanctions that Biden has put on Russia doesn’t seem like a win-win at all.
And, at the end of the day is it really worth it?
Pull up the horse and let me finish.
I’m all for putting the squeeze on Putin, but the way I see it, all it’s going to do is ramp up oil production elsewhere. For example. One thing you can be certain of, the US oil industry will start producing more as Biden starts looking for ways to plug the gap.
I’ve even heard they’ll get some of the shortfalls from Venezuela and Iran – both countries currently heavily sanctioned by the US. But I’m sure it won’t stop the ongoing sanctioning of these countries; just the oil trade will open up. Let’s trust that they will get paid for the oil, and if they do, it will be a win for them.
It appears this crisis has been a bit of a dig at the EU to smarten its act up regarding its dependency on oil and gas. They announced they’ll reduce their reliance on Russia by the end of the year. Great. But no doubt they’ll just shop elsewhere. However, there was talk of increasing renewable hydrogen production and improving energy efficiency in households. I won’t hold my breath there will be any huge developments in those areas, going by past results. But, hey, I’m always open to being proved wrong.
It’s a wait and see.
So why do I think that the oil sanctions on Russia are not a win-win? Russia is the world’s third-largest producer after the US and Saudi Arabia. By my reckoning other oil-producing countries will have to ramp up production putting more pressure on the environment. I’ll almost guarantee more licences will given out for exploration and drilling. The rich will get richer, and the poor will keep bearing the brunt of the increased costs to the pocket and environment.
Are electric cars the answer to the ever-increasing cost of fuel? Or are they a pipe dream?
It happened again! Out with friends and the rising cost of fuel came into the conversation. One person (who drives an EV) stated that it was good that the price went up and that it should go up even higher.
Now I’ve had this discussion before with electric car owners. So this argument was no different. He believes that the fuel price is excellent and could even be higher as it will force the automobile industry to go electric.
I beg to differ.
So I asked him. “Will you buy me an electric car? Because I certainly can’t afford one along with the majority of New Zealanders.”
The fuel price is only one part of the cost of living and hits the most vulnerable. And those who are ‘comfortable’ have no idea (or lousy memory) of what it’s like to live from one week to the next trying to eke out the rent money, put food on the table and pay the utilities bills.
Yes, the price of fuel is outrageous, and because of it, anything that requires transport is also increasing. Who will suffer the most? Those who are already struggling to stay afloat.
So, those of you who believe we all should be driving EVs – come up with some way that I can trade my vehicle in for an electric without any further cost, and I’ll stand at the front of the line.
I do take public transport when I can, but as I pointed out to my friend (who I do love), where the gang met that evening, I had no alternative but to use my vehicle to get there. And I will add that I used it to carpool (I assigned myself the designated driver). So I was being as environmentally conscientious as possible.
By the way, if you do drive an EV and are thinking how clever you are for doing something tangible to save the environment, let me ask you, “are you vegan?” – No? I thought not. It’s way easier to buy an EV and expect others to do the same when clearly they do not have the funds to do so.
Yet if we all went plant-based, the emissions saved are roughly the equivalent to the entire worldwide transport sector = every car, plane, train and boat on the planet combined.
And it is cheaper! A can of beans or lentils goes much further than a piece of chicken or beef, plus costs way less.
So next time you talk to me about how petrol prices going up is a good thing, remember that, as, throughout history, it’s the poor who end up paying dearly in more ways than just through their pocket.
I got married to the same man – twice within a month!
Like many others, my catholic parents held firm to the belief that marriage was for life. So when their youngest daughter came home with a man who was – shock, horror – separated and declared her intention to marry him, you can imagine the reaction.
So, plans were put in place that when the divorce was finalised, we would wed from our home with only close friends around. My two step-boys were to give me away, and my husband’s family would also be there to help celebrate.
But, two weeks before the wedding day, my parents relented and said we could marry in the family home with a celebrant they knew.
A bit of back story. I had my oldest brother to thank for their change of heart. He convinced them that if they disagreed, they would lose me forever. Their hearts melted, and they sort the advice of a priest who, bless his soul, said,
“who is man to say that God will not bless this marriage?”
Now came my dilemma. The caveat of having the wedding at the family home was that it was restricted to only immediate family and no children.
I could have said no but chose to honour my parents because I understood the struggle they would have gone through even to contemplate the idea, let alone act on it with their puritan views.
So, not to be short-changed, we went ahead with the planned, fun wedding with friends and new in-laws, saying our vows to each other in front of witnesses. We just missed out the part of signing the register.
A few weeks later, we travelled to the family home and did it all again, only this time signed on the dotted line.
I never did tell my parents of the first wedding. My siblings finally knew after both parents left us for their catholic afterlife. And to this day, I have no regrets at all.
20 happy years of marriage did come to a mutual end, but we remain the best of friends with fierce family love.
I must admit that I struggle as to why the powers that be actually take the time to have these COPs.
Let’s face it, this “Conference Of the Parties” (COP) is simply a platform for corporate, politicians and billionaires to pedal their propaganda. And COP26, the farce that it was, was no exception.
I don’t even know where to begin.
Before the conference began, the youth climate activists confronted Joe Manchin (West Virginia US Democratic senator who you could say is funded by fossil fuel) as he stepped off his yacht and chanted, “We want to Live”. He is one of the Senators who blocked the significant investments in climate in the ‘Build Back Better Act’.
The same chant was heard in Glasgow as the leaders from more than 200 countries flew in their private jets, eating meat meals to the conference’s opening. They didn’t even have the decency to curb their polluting actions and show some sense.
Right at the beginning, it seemed that something was actually going to be achieved. More than 40 countries committed to shifting away from coal by 2030. WOW, even major coal using countries like Poland, Vietnam and Chile were in on the pledge. But wait! Where were China, Australia and the US? Yup, they weren’t going to sign any coal agreement.
Some 20 countries (including the US) did sign up to end public financing for “unabated” fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022…. like, not even in their own backyard!
The more the coal deal was worked out, the more loopholes were inserted. Instead of reducing coal emissions to 1.5%, the deal put the world on target to an increase to 3%. And guess who was drafting this? The major polluters and big business!
And just so you know:
The earlier draft called for the phasing out of
“coal and subsidies for fossil fuels”
The final draft was re-worded to say The phase-out of:
“unabated coal power and inefficient subsidies for fossil fuel”
Then there was the question of gasoline and diesel cars and trucks. Six major automakers and 30 governments pledged to phase these out by 2040, BUT Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan-Renault and Hyundai-kea refused to sign, as did the USA, China, and Japan.
There was another Whoot-Woo moment when the world leaders agreed to halt and reverse global deforestation over the next ten years. YAY, finally, the earth’s lungs will be restored, and instead of emitting around a billion tonnes of carbon a year, it can go back to absorbing it. Reference: Amazon’s co2
And there was not only China and the USA declaring this, but Jair Bolsonaro from Brazil the worst culprit of all.
Hold on! What? It’s not the Amazon they’re talking about?
Nope. It’s the second-largest rainforest. The one that runs from the eastern Siberian taiga to the Congo basin – nowhere near the Amazon.
And then, to make matters worse, the one big polluter was not even on the agenda – animal agriculture.
So here’s my tuppence worth. Capitalism drives the climate crisis.
Capitalism and expanding the pie. “What pie is being expanded?” I hear you ask. It’s the pie of commodity production, not the pie of citizen welfare.
The environmentalist movements do an excellent job to the extent that they’re able, but they’re limited in several respects. For example, they tend not to have a sufficiently robust understanding that capitalist growth ultimately drives the problem. They think of it in terms of individual consumption and behaviour and believe these must change.
The crises we face is driven by the production system, which is organised around perpetual expansion. Capitalism is constantly overproducing. It then has to find a way to absorb this overproduction to maintain value.
All this comes under the heading of growth. That’s how governments sell it to us. And it’s that growth we buy into.
The problem is that the issues are structural. They’ve been hard-wired into our economies from slavery, colonialism, imperialism to neo-liberalism. The rich are growing richer on the backs of the ever-growing poor.
Sadly everyone knows what needs to be done with the energy and food systems, but no one is willing to take a dramatic stance and say out loud that we need a new economic model.
Many delegates from different organisations, frustrated and fed-up at being locked out of the talks, on the 2nd to last day banded together and did an impressive down tools walk out and walked en-masse out of the building to join the environmental protesters.
One bright spot is that Denmark and Costa Rica have launched the “Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance”. This is the first high-level diplomatic initiative to phase out fossil fuels. It doesn’t surprise me as both countries are very environmentally conscious.
And then to show that the two superpowers are good people!!! USA and China announced an agreement to work together to address the climate emergency. And so they should; they are both the highest polluters!
Although with the tensions between them, how much they can agree on is any ones guess.
It seems to me that these COPs over the years have been a total waste of time and money. Nothing has been achieved. The world has already heated up by around 1.2°C since pre-industrial times. And, according to science, results from a wide range of climate model simulations suggest the average temperature could be up to 5.4°C warmer in 2100 than today.
However, we don’t have to be lost – there is a way forward. Take a look at this video:
What if you only had one year left? Have you ever thought about this?
I read this in an email I subscribe to
“Treat this question like a journaling prompt, answer it uninterrupted in a quiet, screen-free space, and it just might change your life, as it has mine: ‘If I had just one year left to live in good health, what would I do and who would I be?”
Now, surprisingly, I’m not big on journaling. I will do it periodically when I need to pick something, meaning that I’ll make a list of pros and cons. Or, I might use it if I have a problem to solve. But I’m not one for free-flowing my thoughts. Which, I know, seems odd because I’m a writer. I prefer rambling a blog post instead!
Getting back to the task at hand.
I took the time and did journal. I found a suitable notepad, turned on the ‘nothing’ music – you know the type, the mediation music of peaceful lake, sunrise, autumn forest or mystic temple. I’m not into dolphin or whale music.
I took the time and did journal. I found a suitable notepad, turned on the ‘nothing’ music – you know the type, the mediation music of peaceful lake, sunrise, autumn forest or mystic temple. I’m not into dolphin or whale music. Then with pen in hand, began.
I started with a sigh.
I don’t know what to write.
I have good health – I am pretty much who I like being, and I’m working on what I want to do.
Other things such as travel to see my girls are out of my control.
So the journaling didn’t amount to much; instead, I thought I’d write a rambling blog post.
This question is an important one if you are in a state of soul agitation. And what I mean by that is when you’re not happy with the way your life is, you want changes. Then this question is definitely one to consider.
I generally put it another way
“What do you want for you?”
Taking everyone else out of the equation, what is it that you want for yourself? Once you’ve figured that out, and believe me, it’s an incredibly tough question for most people; then you can start adding people back into the mix. Not surprisingly, they will come in differently!
Now, it’s not to say that my life is perfect, far from it. I am in a continual state of learning and developing, but after all the years I’ve been on this planet, I am grateful for where I am and look forward to continuing the journey.
Just don’t ask me to keep a journal.
The email I subscribe to is free at you can subscribe here: Dense Discovery It comes in once a week and is filled with all sorts of odd things that I find incredibly interesting. The author is Kia Brach, A young German now living in Australia.
Thanks for dropping by, my name is Fee O’Shea. I’m a mother and grandma, an author and an Improver. I’ve got a resource website to help peeps go plant-based, I’ve scribbled six bookscentred around veganism, and have helped others write and publish their own stories. But this blog is for my thoughts, my rants, raves, reviews and things that have grabbed my attention. From politics to social media to beauty, health and the environment. Fee’s Ramblings Over Coffee is written to bring you a smile or get you thinking. Enjoy.
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