In September 2012 we met with representatives of Partex and the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon to find out about their role in the planed fossil fuel business in the Algarve basins. We left feeling deeply concerned by the possibility that they are not treating this issue with the honesty and seriousness that it deserves.
To justify Repsol, Partex’s (Gulbenkian) and others involvement in the fossil fuel industry in Portugal, they have provided a list of unsubstantiated beliefs in place of evidence-based arguments during our discussion. Unsubstantiated beliefs will not suffice to protect our children and grandchildren from damages arising from planetary climate change.
We wrote to them with our concerns. These are still unaddressed, although in our opinion, it is important to address them - after all it will affect many people.
The lack of reply led us to proceed with our campaign against the planned offshore drilling program already in motion because we do not believe that anything will induce fossil fuel companies to become clean energy companies—it requires evidence to demonstrate that they are really serious, and we are not aware of any evidence to suggest that:
- fossil fuel companies don't have any interest in becoming clean energy companies anytime soon, if ever;
- that it is possible for such companies to become clean energy companies while maintaining fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders.
When carbon dioxide is put into the atmosphere, it requires 25-50 years to cause the bulk of its warming effect, which then affects every living thing on the globe. Thus, when we use fossil fuels today, our children and grandchildren bear damages as a result - along with everyone else's children and grandchildren.
These future damages are large, they are accumulating and they are unpaid for.
Fossil fuel companies are particularly profitable today because no one is paying for these damages. None of these facts are secrets. Through investing in fossil fuels, oil companies and all the other investors in this industry just seeks to profit, and does profit, from these future damages.
Many oil industry supporters claim that there is a drive to change fossil fuel companies to clean energy companies, but our own research indicates otherwise.
We believe that public debate and discussion are required to separate the sense from the nonsense. Climate change presents a long fight that will likely require generations of action.
At the end of the day, we are acting for our children and grandchildren and for the generations beyond that in the Algarve.
When convenience is chosen over the truth, we ultimately slow progress, and future generations pay the price.
They will not care about who won an argument on a particular day, and they will not care about the clever excuses we come up with for doing nothing. They will care about what was actually true and what we actually did on their behalf – but if we do nothing now, it will be too late for them then.
We invite you to join us in the Algarve by saying NO to Deep Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling and Say YES to Clean Energy Solutions for the Algarve.