by Doug Grandt, via the Oakland Tibune
Boy Scout spirits will soar Aug. 1 during the centennial celebration for Eagle Scouts everywhere.
Please join me in encouraging Eagle Scout — and Boy Scouts national President and Exxon Mobil CEO — Rex Tillerson to play a prominent role.
I have asked him to change the course of human history with true climate solutions leadership this year.
Eagle Scouts should live by “We leave our campsites cleaner than we found them” as well as the Scout Law and Scout Oath. We share reverence for God; our family, neighbors and society; and our environment, which supports life for all species.
Unfortunately, our actions belie our intentions.
During the past 200 years, the burning of carbon fuels has despoiled the environment. Scientists have predicted what spewing CO2 into the atmosphere will do to change the climate.
We are now seeing what scientists have warned us to expect — more extreme weather events, more intense forest fires, more killer floods, more record-breaking high temperatures, which outnumber record-breaking low temperatures by more than 7-1.
The dice are now loaded against humans’ long-term survival if we continue on our current path, and it is clear to the average citizen — you don’t have to be a scientist to recognize the obvious trends.
For two decades, our government has been unable to act on our behalf. Laws have been written, suits have been filed, people have demonstrated, corporations have lobbied — business as usual prevails.
Elected politicians cannot get the necessary job done. We need national and international recognizable individual leadership if we hope to change the course of our mother ship, which is now steaming headlong for a collision.
While we rearrange the deck chairs, we and our pristine vessel are heading for disaster, and only a shift from burning carbon fuels to carbon-free energy will set us on a safe course.
Eagle Scout Rex Tillerson is on record publicly supporting a steadily increasing carbon fee, which would not only pay for the externalized costs of polluting the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, but would also level the playing field for clean energy and promote innovative entrepreneurs to develop and implement more and more efficient pollution-free energy facilities.
Tillerson has an even more important role in the transition from carbon fuels to clean energy. While the burning of petroleum is being replaced by clean carbon-free technology, the least efficient of the refineries will necessarily be shut down one at a time — the smallest, least-profitable refineries first.
As they age, refineries would retire over several decades, culminating when our newest, most efficient refineries have reached the end of their lives.
Tillerson has the prominent position to take a moral stand that can begin the process and assure his legacy.
Today, humanity is looking for one individual to be courageous and show bold leadership like Charles Grant did in the early 1800s.
Grant, chairman of the British East India Company, denounced slavery as immoral, which ultimately led to its abolition.
What better year than 2012 to stand up for all humanity? What better person than an Eagle Scout? Who better than Eagle Scout Rex Tillerson?
Doug Grandt is a climate activist who is recognized as a Climate Leader by The Climate Reality Project. This piece was originally published at The Oakland Tribune and was reprinted with permission.