Environmental Reasons to Protest
Prince Salman's #TrillionaireTour
Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, the royal running the Saudi Arabian kingdom, is visiting the U.S. In a just world this trillionaire* would be barred from the U.S. because of his horrific war against Yemen and the total lack of rights in his absolute monarchy. There’s another reason. He runs a petrostate which is filling the air with global warming gases.
1. Aramco, the kingdom-owned fossil fuel colossus, is the single company most responsible for CO2 increase in the air (since 1880). It caused some 3% of the rise in carbon dioxide all by itself.
2. Saudi Arabia has the second largest proven oil reserves in the world, some 266 billion barrels. It intends to pump all of it out. Burning this Saudi oil would in itself use up a huge amount of the carbon dioxide “budget” that we have left before we go over the tipping points to uncontrolled warming.
3. Renewable energy use is presently just 1% in Saudi Arabia. A much touted renewable energy program there may bring that total up to 4% by 2020. To compare the U.S. at the start of 2017 got 19% of its energy from renewables.
4. In 2015 the year of the Paris climate talks, the Saudis did all they could to block moving the goal of climate efforts to a vitally necessary 1.5 degree Celsius limit. They got their way. The goal was not lowered. It remains at an unacceptable 2 degrees.
5. Though the world has far more fossil fuel than it can safely use Aramco is still hunting for more. It’s investing in shale gas drilling and expects to double its methane gas production in a decade.
6. Prince Salman’s kingdom does all this even though scientists predict that within a few generations extreme heat waves in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf will make work outdoors impossible.
* Aramco is at the moment 100% state owned, but in Saudi Arabia where the division between public money and the king's money is fuzzy at best one can argue that Prince Salman, the effective ruler of Saudi Arabia, is a trillionaire.