False Hope: Fossil Fuel Fantasies

Intercontinental Cry

July 25, 2014

by Jay Taber


Fantasies about political power are hard to break. People want to believe that activism led by Wall Street stooges, funded by Wall Street derivatives, and promoted by Wall Street media is revolutionary. Where do they get such ideas?

If you want to stop the environmental destruction from mining Tar Sands bitumen, Powder River Basin coal, and Bakken Shale oil, you stop fossil fuel export. You don’t do XL protests at the White House, organize fossil fuel divestment on college campuses, or hold a climate change march in New York.

These ineffective strategies are great for making Wall Street titans like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates even more obscenely wealthy, but they do nothing for improving the environment. Yet, because activism is based on feeling good — as opposed to doing good — Americans are routinely led by Wall Street’s pied pipers into endless (and meaningless) “movements.”

Making Americans feel good about losing strategies is the main objective of Wall Street-funded NGO pooh-bahs. Keeping Americans distracted with pointless projects dissipates the energies of well-intentioned youth, creating cynicism and hopelessness over time. Meanwhile, Wall Street titans make money from fossil fuel pollution, hand over fist.

There are many ways to achieve energy independence, energy conservation, and energy security. None of them are supported by Wall Street.



[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations. Email: tbarj [at] Website:]


  • Margaret on Sep 28, 2014

    Great points.

  • Lorna Salzman on Jul 28, 2014

    Since you didn’t tell readers what can be done about climate change, I’ll do it:
    lobby for a stiff carbon tax to raise the price of energy; impose mandatory federal energy efficiency standards; fund public transit, not cars, highways, airports and roads; stop importing food from abroad; impose a Border Tax Adjustment (BTA) on high carbon imports from countries without a carbon tax; stop suburban and exuirban sprawl by ending cheap mortgages for new construction outside of
    settle and commercial/business districts; ration gasoline; etc, etc. Above all, reject arguments that promote economic growth and overconsumption. Unless the left rejects continued economic growth climate change is inevitable and irreversible.

    • Margaret on Sep 28, 2014

      Great points.

Comments are closed.