We Can’t ‘Just Stop’ Fossil Fuels. People Would Riot

Fuck around with fuel prices and find out



Scenes from the recent Kazakh protests, caused by many things, but triggered by fossil fuel prices

If you cut off fossil fuels, people will not be quiet. They’ll fucking riot. Look at Kazakhsatan now. Look to Myanmar or France in the past. In Sri Lanka our cooking gas cylinders have been exploding, forcing people onto renewables (firewood). This is good for the climate I guess, but we’re fucking pissed.

This is what many western climate activists do not understand. Yes, greedy elites sell fossil fuels for profit, but the hungry masses also use this shit to eat.

Hence why the fuck would any government actually reduce emissions? Any government that does what’s actually necessary would cease to exist. They’d get toppled within days. Fossil fuels are a death wish for human civilization in the future, but stopping them is a death wish for any government right now.

This is the circle climate activists need to square. How do you save the future without starving the present?

Why We Can’t ‘Just Stop’

Vijay Prashad puts it best, I’ll just quote him here:

The climate justice movement is a movement that says we’re worried about our future. What future? What future? Children in the African continent, in Asia, in Latin America, they don’t have a future. They don’t have a present. They’re not worried about the future. They’re worried about their present.

Your slogan is we’re worried about the future? What future? That’s some middle-class, bourgeoise, western slogan. You’ve got to be worried about now. 2.7 billion people can’t eat now. And you’re telling people ‘reduce your consumption’? How does this sound to a child who hasn’t eaten in days? You’ve got to clue into this guys. You’ve got to clue into this. Otherwise this movement will have no legs in the Third World. No legs.

When I first heard Vijay saying this at COP (Out) 26, I was a bit surprised. Of course we need to think about the future, I though, people in the Third World will actually get it the worst. But now I’m experiencing what he’s saying.

In Sri Lanka we use LPGs (liquified petroleum gas) to cook and those cylinders have been blowing up for some reason, killing people…




Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at www.indi.ca, or just email me at indi@indi.ca.