Big Oil is one of the largest carbon emitters on our planet.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Is big oil dead? The short answer is…definitely not. Today, we're going to talk about Big Oil (or as we've called previously, Big Plastic Daddy).
Here’s what we’ll cover step-by-step:
As climate change continues to threaten our existence and burn our planet up, Exxon is planning to intentionally release more emissions. Yes, intentionally. On purpose and deliberately. It’s time we part ways with one of our planet’s largest emitters.
🎯 Action step 1 of 4: READ — Let's start by looking at a few articles together.
Note: Exxon put out a press release claiming that the Bloomberg report is misleading, but we’ll take our chances and stand by this report. You can read Exxon's statement here.
Here’s a summary:
However, we also need to acknowledge the history of this colossal problem. Only 20 companies have contributed to a third of all CO2 emissions. We let this happen because of politics and capitalism. Fossil fuel companies receive huge sums of money from the government. In the US, fossil fuel subsidies are greater than federal education spending.
There's good news, though. Exxon's competitors, such as Shell and BP, have committed to net-zero emissions targets by 2050 because of shareholder demands. Putting pressure on corporations works and it's one of the best ways we can take action as individuals.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 1 of 4: READ.
🎯 Action step 2 of 4: LISTEN — we'll watch a short video or listen to a podcast to further expand on our topic.
This prompt is for you to ask your friends and family - especially if they're thinking about climate change less than you are. I'll share one every week.
Why do you think our weather patterns change from year to year? What's the wildest weather event you've experienced in your life?
Who knew oil companies were responsible for covering up climate change? What a way to learn about climate deception.
The main video below has more facts, here’s a 3-minute one for #ConspiracyVibes. Honestly, it almost seems fake with all the eerie background music. I wish it was.
Option 1: Watch the spooky video titled Big Oil Knew: The Confusion Memo. It's short and has a good timeline on how Exxon and its buddies created a decades-long cover up that's made its way to the American White House today.
Option 2: Watch this other NowThis video "How Powerful is Big Oil?" I've embedded it below, and if you keep scrolling, I've included 3 facts to encourage you to watch.
You'll learn that:
We know it’s a bit doom and gloom, but we just want to let it sink in that we can only substantially fight climate change when we act on a corporate level. Those with corporate employers, don't worry. We'll help you make a plan
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 2 of 4: LISTEN.
🎯 Action step 3 of 4: ACT — Now it's time to do something. Let's go!
It's time to end our reliance on Big Oil. It'll take a while to get there, but we can start in 3 easy ways.
1. Divest from Big Oil.
2. Switch your bank.
A majority of investment banks likje Chase invest heavily in fossil fuels. We use Mighty Deposits to find a bank that works for us — instead of investing in dirty energy, our money is going towards building community and boosting small businesses.
3. Use less plastic.
We learned that crude oil and natural gas are the main ingredients in plastic. Keep up your fight against Big Oil by reducing single-use plastic — our habits have the power to add up and cascade to the source. Check out our tips to be plastic free here.
From using our dollars to make responsible choices to changing our consumption habits, tackling Big Oil doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, there’s still many opportunities to say goodbye.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 3 of 4: ACT.
Before we go any further, it's time for you to pledge your commitment. It takes less than 30 seconds to pledge and we can bother you about it in a friendly way, so we can hold each other accountable. Pledge here!
🎯 Action step 4 of 4: REFLECT — what can you commit to? What fresh perspectives can we look at?
There’s not just one, but more than 70 options to choose from! The following insights are from the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers. They're exalting the pervasiveness of oil in our everyday products and habits, and are showing us 72 ways it shows up in our routines.
That's 72 opportunities to think about replacing it! Click on the infographic below to go straight to their interactive website. You can hover over each thing and it'll tell you exactly how oil/gas are used.
For example, here's what they say about clothing: "The most commonly manufactured fibers are petroleum based, such as nylon, polyester, acrylic, and spandex. Fabrics and materials created from petroleum keep us dry and warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather." To kickstart your search, here’s a few ways to challenge Big Oil when shopping for new clothes.
It’s difficult to admit that oil is an integral part of our daily lives, but identifying the problem is the first step in the right direction. We encourage you to drill deeper into this topic for more knowledge, NOT oil.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 4 of 4: REFLECT.
Check out our membership community for more resources like free weekly events with social justice experts, sustainable product discounts, pre-written email templates, a social impact job board, and in-person hangouts with new friends. Thanks for taking action with Soapbox Project!
Get our free bite-sized climate action plans before you go!