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Page added on March 18, 2023

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A Run on the Planet

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Banking rarely moves quickly—there are thirty-year mortgages, and ten-year certificates of deposit, and we still talk about “banker’s hours.” But when things go badly, as they did last week in Silicon Valley, the scary unwinding can come in the blink of an eye.

One result of the rescue of the California bank will be to further entrench the four huge money-center banks—Chase, Citi, Wells-Fargo, and Bank of America. They were closing in on fifty percent of American deposits already, and that status as giants will likely draw in yet more money going forward because everyone understands that they are much too big to fail: at least since 2008, it’s been clear that they have the implicit backing of the federal government and its printing presses. More than ever, they will be the center of the financial world—a kind of money state.

Which means, in an ideal world, that they would exercise that privilege on behalf of the society that grants it to them. Obviously they’re going to look after their own interests—that’s what the rich and powerful do. But in an emergency we should be able to expect something slightly resembling responsibility from them. Facing the civilizational crisis that is climate change, they should act in at least modestly pro-social ways. Instead, they’ve continued to pursue their most narrow and short-term self-interest, loaning money to the fossil fuel industry for its continued expansion even though every climate scientist on the planet has insisted that expansion must come to a screeching halt.

To give just the most timely example, Conoco Phillips, which has received $10 billion from those four banks since the Paris climate accords were signed, won federal approval today for a vast new oil complex in the Alaska wilderness. This was a savage mistake by the Biden administration, which hopes for a small political boost as it mulls a re-election bid. But it was also a mistake by the banks, though they win a not-insubstantial profit on such loans.

That’s because the very slightly longer-term cost is enormous. For Biden, he’s diminished dramatically his standing as a climate champion, because the Willow project will pour carbon into the air for many decades to come.  Here’s Ellen Montgomery of Environment America:

The Willow Project would extract 500 million barrels of petroleum and release annual emissions equivalent of 76 new coal fired power plants operating in a single year.

And the banks? Well, they further undermine the planet’s environment, upon which all else depends. Including the economy—which is a subset of the earth, and not the other way around.

That’s why a broad coalition of groups, ranging from the Sierra Club and Greenpeace to the Sunrise Movement and Third Act, are protesting outside branches of those four big banks next week, on March 21. We’ve been planning it for months, but it’s now more important than ever. Yes, we’ll be cutting up credit cards, and encouraging people to find fossil-free banks, but we know we can’t really shake the financial foundations of these giants: instead, we need to get across both the modesty of our demands (not an end to banking with Big Oil but simply an end to funding of fossil fuel expansion) and the extreme radicalism of their current position. They are financing the single most dangerous experiment in the history of our species. Cash in those banks equals carbon in the air. (To see exactly how much carbon, you can run your own banking life through this nifty new calculator from Bank FWD).

Climate change doesn’t play out quite as fast as, say, a bank run. But climate change by now is happening in real time, entirely visible (in fact, the endless rains of this California winter were flooding the Bay Area even as SVB was angling for a bailout of a different kind). The Big 4 banks have failed morally, and we need to call them on it, eroding their social license.

Our society has given them unprecedented power, including an open tab. They’ve given us a run on the planet.

By Bill McKibben, originally published by The Crucial Years.

10 Comments on "A Run on the Planet"

  1. Duncan Idaho on Sat, 18th Mar 2023 12:35 pm 

    Catholic Diocese of Oakland mulls bankruptcy amid 330 sexual abuse cases

    They are running?

    These Cabbages For Christ are perverted assholes.

  2. theluckycountry on Sat, 18th Mar 2023 2:31 pm 

    “Facing the civilizational crisis that is climate change, they should act in at least modestly pro-social ways.”

    They are a business, like any other, and in business all you think of is A/ making money B/ satisfying your clients. Knowing this I look around and say “I can’t trust the banks these days, I’ll put the majority of my cash elsewhere” We all have choices nad the smart don’t rely on government to save them.

    As for the perverts that run the catholic church, rot begins at the core. That whole institution and it’s followers are degenerates. Have been from it’s very creation. When was it created? During a war in the Eastern Roman Empire. It was created to give them solidarity, blood-soaked warriors putting on the christian symbol to slaughter their way to victory.

  3. i appoint supertard theluckycountry supertard his title is 'the lover' of supremacist muzzies MUZZ-19 has semen from DROPOUT-19 he mixes it in his basement using empty paint bucket supposedly this can cure convict-19 the number of elite whitey on Sat, 18th Mar 2023 3:31 pm 

    (((supertards))) who MUZZ-19 is grate
    it’s grater than Turgid SD

    its gona be a holocaustianity

    supertards please change ur undies after 5 weeks

    please feel at ease among friends we’re all lovers of supremacist muzzies here

  4. makati1 on Sat, 18th Mar 2023 4:01 pm 

    “I can’t trust the banks these days, I’ll put the majority of my cash elsewhere”

    It seems that we agree on this point Unlucky. I leave only enough in my bank accounts to keep them open. All else is withdrawn and put elsewhere in other than US dollars. I am a prepper and have been most of my life. My grandparents raised a family during the Great Depression and I learned from them to be prepared with multiple incomes, skills and supplies.

    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” My motto.

    BTW: You can add the Mormon Church to your list of leeches and perverts. A High Priest of the Ward I belonged to was arrested and deported from a Central American country not long ago for child molesting. He was also married, two kids and was a professor at a local college.

    I was a member of the Bishopric at that Ward and saw up close how religion works. Lies, propaganda and coverups. Went to the Mormon Temple in DC and noticed locks on the clothes lockers in a building supposedly full of honest people with “recommends”. LMAO!

  5. FamousDrScanlon on Mon, 20th Mar 2023 7:08 pm 

    US government bailout of Silicon Valley and banks is $300B gift to rich oligarchs

    No matter who you vote for the rich will continued to get bailed out & you will continue to take it in the ass.

    All the little left vs right sheep – my candidate is better than your candidate lol – fucking dupes.

    While you were arguing over abortion & pronouns, they picked your pocket again. $300,000,000,000

  6. ee e e on Tue, 21st Mar 2023 3:10 pm 

    I am really starting to hate UK and Europe: Western, Eastern, Southern and Northen more that I hate Israel. I cannot stand Jens of Nato

  7. e e e e on Tue, 21st Mar 2023 3:22 pm 

    The preacher in the video called them hybrids. I often called them hybrids. Read the comments I made 2 years ago on this website. The video says, GOD came visited them and killed them. Maybe I am a GOD and I don’t know it. Maybe I am here to kill you like it says in the video below.

  8. eee on Tue, 21st Mar 2023 3:36 pm 

    I am about to give it to you so good and hard, that you would wish that you were never born fuckers.

  9. eee on Tue, 21st Mar 2023 5:21 pm 

    You are fucking annoying me with the number 55.

    I want eternal death. I will get it one war or the other.

  10. eee e e e on Tue, 21st Mar 2023 6:35 pm 

    It is not going to end well for both of us shitty GOD. All I wanted to do is do my time in this hell hole called earth and die of old age and never reincarnate therefore achieving eternal death.

    Suddenly just like that, you show up in my life fucking piece of trash GOD. You are ruining my life fucking piece of trash GOD, you will pay for that also fucking trashy GOD.

    I consider that what has been done to me is great injustice they will never be any peace between us.

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