By Matt Johnson
According to the Star Tribune,
The Minneapolis City Council on Wednesday asked staff to explore ways the city could ‘stop doing business with financial institutions that invest in the fossil fuel industry and in projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline,’ including Wells Fargo.
Council Members Alondra Cano and Cam Gordon proposed that city staff report back by July on how the city could end its relationship with banks like Wells Fargo.
Fossil fuels are in most everything we use each day. As the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association explain it,
Fossil fuels are used to fuel cars and airplanes, power electricity plants, and heat our homes. They are also used to make medicines, cosmetics, plastics, synthetic fabrics, and lubricants. When you brushed your teeth today, you used a product made from oil – toothpaste. Look at your shoes – they are a product made from oil. Sunglasses, tires, tennis balls and TV’s are all products of oil and gas.
As you can see, they are an intricate part of our economy, including coffee. Yes! Coffee!
Assuming the council meeting was in the morning on Wednesday, December 7th , which it usually is (this blogger may have some experience in such matters), it is probably the case Council Members Alondra Cano and Cam Gordon stopped by the break room to grab some delicious coffee before heading to the city council chambers to unanimously pass anti-fossil fuel legislation. And so this is where the rubber (also made from fossil fuels) hits the road.
Everything from the production of the coffee container in the break room to the supply chain management system that is needed to move coffee product from one location to another requires energy, and that energy derives from fossil fuels, i.e., coffee production and the transportation system. Matter of fact, the coffee maker itself probably contains parts made from fossil fuels.
So when Cano and Gordon fill up their coffee cups in the morning before heading to the chambers to pass anti-fossil fuel policy which will result in driving out 11,000 jobs according to the Star Tribune, and a competitor in the financial industry, which is the highest paying industry in Minneapolis (more on this in my next blog), well…? I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.
In fairness to Cano and Gordon, they aren’t alone. It is probably the case that a large proportion of Americans don’t realize how significant fossil fuels are in our society. From using a toothbrush in the morning to daily attire to getting to work and so on and so forth; fossil fuels are there and they’re not going away anytime soon.
Is it unreasonable for us to expect council members from any city to have some knowledge of something they would want to divest? Is it unreasonable for us to expect council members to have some knowledge about the impact divestment would have on the local economy and thus its citizenry? Is it unreasonable for us to expect council members to have some knowledge of economic policy, public policy, or science policy?
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Categories: Urban Dynamics Blog