If you live in a big city, rural area, or small island state, if you invest in the stock market, if you care about justice, about children’s futures I’m appealing directly to you: Demand renewable energy. Demand an end to coal-fired power & fossil fuel subsidies. Climate actions and plans must be turned into reality now. It’s time to stop burning our planet and start investing in abundant renewable energy all around us. ~ António Guterres, U.N. Secretary-General
On April 4, 2022 the final “now or never” warning to governments of the world on the climate crisis was delivered via the third installment of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report. (https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-3/)
The report indicates that we now have the tool set to get the world back on track to the 1.5-degree pledge that nearly 200 nations made in Paris. BUT, it also acknowledges in the words of Jim Skea co-chair of the working group behind the report: “It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5C. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”
In other words, unless the citizens and decision makers of the leading nations and corporations of the world heed the appeal of Antonio Guterres and the science of the IPCC report/s ASAP and repent from their unjust and unsustainable “business as usual” approach to life on earth, it’s game over. Assessing the fidelity and intent of world leaders to reach the 1.5C goal Guterres has stated: “Some government and business leaders are saying one thing – but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic.”
So it is that on today’s observance of Earth Day 2022, as we reflect on the assessment and urgent appeal tweeted by the United Nations Secretary-General, I lift up the PBS documentary series, FRONTLINE, as our Earth Care Champion for the month of April. For the past decade or so, this Public Broadcasting System program has shown time and time again that it is a champion of caring about justice and our children’s futures. FRONTLINE truly has been on the ‘front lines’ of the battle against the powerful perpetrators of environmental injustices, the liars whose lies have led us to this “now or never” (“do or die”) moment of climate crisis.
We moderns live in an “information age” unlike any generation before us. It is an age in which information has become a commodity that is quickly and widely disseminated and easily available. Such an environment, however, is also rife with mis-information and dis-information with the intent to deceive for personal/party/corporate gain and at the expense of the common good. Most citizens are far too preoccupied with their own personal concerns to be attuned to the nefarious propaganda battle being strategically waged around them and against them day in and day out. Armed with cunning powers of persuasion, propagandists make easy prey of an uninformed and gullible public. FRONTLINE documentaries seek to combat naivete and deceit with wisdom and truth.
It is one of the primary merchants of mis/disinformation that the newest FRONTLINE series seeks to expose in ‘The Power of Big Oil’. (Search for The Power of Big Oil in your favorite web browser) The lens of each episode focuses in on the 3-part strategy that makes up the playbook of the fossil fuel industry in its battle to maintain status quo in the midst of the urgency to transition to renewables:
Part One – Denial, April 19
Part Two – Doubt, April 26
Part Three – Delay, May 3
Anyone keen on paying homage to the intents of Earth Day and becoming better educated about the history of deceit by the fossil fuel industry will do well to tune in to ‘The Power of Big Oil’. But don’t stop there. Make time to also watch past climate related FRONTLINE programs at this link: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/climate-change-documentaries-environmental-threats/
I recommend beginning with the 2012 program that first laid bare the underbelly of the climate change denial movement, ‘Climate of Doubt’.
And here’s a parting thought for followers of the Christ. The apostle John saw Jesus as the Word of God become flesh to dwell among us full of Grace and Truth. Jesus identified himself as the light of the world, dispelling the darkness of deceit. He saw himself as the embodiment of Truth, and only in embracing that Truth would a person be truly free. In an age of mis-information and dis-information, of deception and lies it behooves the children of God to be wary and alert to the wiles of those ‘lesser angels,’ those ‘birds of prey’ who without conscience and moral backbone malign and manipulate Truth for their own benefit.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32 NIV