Corporations to Blame

Corporations to Blame


According to a report by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDC), since 1988, only a mere 100 companies are responsible for 71% of the world’s industrial greenhouse gas emissions. This accounts for 923 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions, which is more than half of all global industrial greenhouse gas emissions since 1751. To put that into context, that’s about the time the Industrial Revolution began. The CDC report was published in 2015, so that means these corporations did this in a span of about 27 years.


The Carbon Majors Database also reported the 10 companies that emitted the most amount of carbon dioxide as of 2015. Unsurprisingly, China Coal is at the top with a whopping 14.3%, Saudi Aramco with 4.5%, and Gazprom OAO with 3.9%. The list goes with National Iranian Oil Co, Exxon Mobil Corp., Coal India, Petróleos Mexicanos, Russia Coal, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and the China National Petroleum Corp. China, America, and Russia make up 50% of emissions. 


We’re told we can make a difference by taking shorter showers, not taking any “extra” flights, not using plastic straws, not eating meat, and countless other ways. The truth is, personal behavior changes would only have a max carbon reduction of 8.5%. Truthfully, most people aren’t willing to change how they live. We just aren’t willing to give up our way of life, but that doesn’t make us bad or make it all our fault. 


Looking at all this evidence, why am I being told that I am destroying the planet by using a plastic straw? We are being told to invest in a bunch of new products that are more “eco-friendly” to do our part in saving the planet. While I’m sure it helps a little, we are not going to save the world by using paper straws. If these big corporations and governments aren’t willing to make a change, it’s not going to make enough of a difference. 


Of course, these corporations can’t just cease operations overnight. And I’m not saying they necessarily should. Obviously there is a demand for things and products, so we can’t get rid of them without drastically changing life as we know it. It’s not the average person’s fault that the earth is dying, and we can’t really do anything to stop it. The only way we’re going to have real change is if the big corporations either cease to be or change the way they function. However, that probably won’t happen because corporations are greedy.