Stewart Acuff

Apr 14

Desmond Tutu Calls for Global Boycott of Fossil Fuel Industries

5805532370_4559801ddfArchbishop Desmond Tutu, who helped lead South Africa to freedom after a long struggle against apartheid, has just called for a global boycott similar to the one employed against the racist South African government. Now Tutu wants the global community to wage a boycott as part of a massive campaign against fossil fuels, corporations, and climate change.

In an opinion piece in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Tutu singled out the Keystone XL Pipeline as one of the biggest potential hazards in climate change. Tutu said that if the pipeline only affected the United States and Canada the rest of us could just wish them luck, but the Keystone XL pipeline would affect the whole world.

Tutu wrote, “The taste of ‘success’ in our world gone mad is measured in dollars and francs and rupees and yen. Our desire to consume any and everything of perceivable value – to extract every precious stone, every ounce of metal, every drop of oil, every tuna in the ocean, every rhinoceros in the bush – knows no bounds. We live in a world dominated by greed. We have allowed the interests of capital to outweigh the interests of human beings and our Earth.”

Tutu referred to the nonviolent tactics of Mahatma Gandhi, and how those tactics of passive resistance and global divestment and sanctions helped the people of South Africa win their freedom. And he called for similar tactics to be used in the struggle to save Planet Earth from global climate change. “People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change.”

He went on to say that we can insist that our governments lead the transition to renewable energy sources. We can hold accountable those who profit from fossil fuels and require them to pay for the damage that mining fossil fuels causes.

The campaign to stop fracking for natural gas in the United States is growing as is the campaign against the Keystone XL pipeline. What Tutu didn’t say is that the United States is the single nation state most responsible for global climate change.

Photo source: Greater Tacoma Community… on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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