Goldman Sachs has announced it will stop financing oil drilling in the Artic. They are reckoning with something that the United States government has yet to realize. As the White House rushes to open bidding on 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Goldman Sachs is refusing to continue to support drilling in such delicate and important reserves. They will also no longer support coal–fired power plants that do not have carbon emissions technology.
Now we know that Goldman Sachs is devoted to making money, so we can surmise that its stockholders are coming to the truth of this moment: There is no monetary gain in destroying the earth.
As a people we have been divided over the cause of climate change, but as we become witness to the devastation of fires, floods and unprecedented winds, we are acknowledging this: the costs to survive these calamities will continue to be much greater than the costs to mitigate them.
Capitalism is being moved by the bottom line of profit. But make no mistake; the efforts of young indigenous and non-indigenous youth to end the use of fossil fuels have hit their mark. They wisely recognize that profit can no longer lead the way. It must be common sense and respect for the earth and her people that will direct our course.
There is a debate that the personal choice to live free of fossil fuels is not as important as forging a change of laws. But I would argue this: it is those who have the conviction of personal conscience and love of the earth that are driving the changes in laws and perspectives.
The Rights of Nature and the Rights of Indigenous People must continue to take precedent. As human beings on this earth it is time.
Photo is of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, looking south toward the Brooks Range mountains. Compliments of Wikipedia Commons.