By Bill McKibben
May 28, 2020
President Trump touring Shell’s Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex, in 2019. The fossil-fuel industry’s political power has been the biggest obstacle in fighting climate change.Photograph by Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty
The coronavirus crisis has both obscured and illuminated one of the most seismic developments on our planet in many decades: I think it’s now clear that the power of the fossil-fuel industry has decisively passed its zenith. It’s not a spent force by any means, but, even in the past few weeks, events have shown it to be waning where for a century and a half it has waxed.
Remember the basic outlines of the story: although the industry knew about climate change in the nineteen-eighties, it chose to lie and deny. That prevented early action to slow the globe’s rising temperatures, and it allowed fossil-fuel companies to make record profits throughout the nineties and early two-thousands—record profits year after year.
Are We Past the Peak of Big Oil’s Power? | The New Yorker
By Bill McKibben, May 28, 2020