Carbon is Not the Cause

Is carbon the cause of climate change?

Wouldn’t that be convenient.

If carbon were the cause of climate change, the solution to this single-source problem would be so easy.  So easy to market.

Driving a 3000 lb hunk of steel to move your 150lb ass? Switch to a zero-emission electric vehicle*.

*Electricity used to power the vehicle will come from coal, oil, and gas. Lithium for batteries and precious metals for electronics will be derived from rape of the earth, processed using slave labor, and toxic or nearly impossible to recycle.

Usings lots of electricity? Switch to unlimited, free energy from solar panels and wind turbines**?

**Solar panels may be made with up to 50% coal and precious minerals derived from slave labor.  Unlimited, free energy is unlimited and free only for the life of the panel and/or turbine, about 40 years.  Most components are nearly impossible to recycle.

Buying lots of stuff? Switch to this other “sustainable” stuff***, made out of sustainable stuffing like children's whispers****, strawberries grown on clouds*****, and your last hopes for a liveable planet.

*** Sustainable stuff may be manufactured by and support the expansion of the same companies that manufacture “regular” stuff or may just be the same regular stuff with a different label. Sustainable stuff may be produced using slave labor.  

*****Children’s whispers are certified organic, but may or may not be sourced from real children.

****** Strawberries are not organic

Is carbon the cause of climate change?

Or have we been confusing a cause for a symptom?

What is the root cause of climate change? A better question might be: What is the condition of the soil from which climate change arises? What is the culture from which climate change arises?

Could it be:

  • The culture that treats black, indigenous and colored people as inhuman? as less than? as slaves?
  • The culture that continuously avoids the discomfort which comes from addressing systemic issues and focuses on quelling unease?
  • The culture that treats this Earth and black people as a collection of “resources” to be “consumed” rather than as living beings showering us all daily with wondrous gifts.

Why have we spent billions on solar, natural gas, clean coal, wind turbines, electric cars, efficiency only to watch our climate continue to spiral out of balance?

Why, despite the billions we spend on those who are supposed to “protect and serve,” is the climate of our communities so tense?

Why has the supposed “progress” of our society seem to have skipped past such a vast majority of people of color? Is it because the progress has just been a neatly packaged theft of treasures from colored communities to white people?

We can continue to see the major problems we face as a society as disjointed, unique issues or we can start to see them as they are: connected, arising from the degraded soil and soul of our society.

The blackness missing in our soil is the blackness missing in our power structures, our conceptions of beauty, and our considerations for who should receive kindness, care, and empathy.

We can no longer treat this Earth or any of her expressions, as slaves.

P.S. I’ve been reading a lot about “intersectional environmentalism.”  I want to tell you that there isn’t such a thing as “non-intersectional environmentalism,” it’s just called racism. The idea that the Earth’s healing is separate from the healing of people is a lie.  


  • i really liked this.
    everything IS connected, humans are so quick to assume things are compartmentalized, including in medicine..I do believe/hope that a compassionate wave is beginning. Yes, the color is missing !

    leslie klein
  • Powerful essay, Thank you.

    William Paul

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