Big Oil wants you to think climate change is a lifestyle issue, says environmental campaigner, Tzeporah Berman, on Climate Curious. Tune in to learn why oil companies want us to sit home, blame ourselves and focus on plastic straws.
[00:00:00] Maryam Pasha: Welcome to Climate Quickies, bite sized nuggets of climate goodies from our TED experts in under five minutes.
[00:00:08] Ben Hurst: This week, we hear from Tzeporah Berman, an anti fossil fuel environmental campaigner who’s seeking to get the world to phase out fossil fuels via a global treaty.
[00:00:18] Maryam Pasha: She spells out how Big Oil is playing the blame game, where it’s in their interest to do so, and how this distraction method is making you feel guilty and shame around your own consumption [00:00:30] habits.
[00:00:30] Ben Hurst: Let’s head over to Tzeporah to tell us more. Enjoy, and stay curious.
[00:00:37] Tzeporah Berman: I think those who have… A vested interest in maintaining the status quo, they’re going to benefit and profit from us continuing to use fossil fuels or continuing to log old growth forests. They want to make it seem like it’s so complicated that you have to be an expert to engage in it. Because they don’t want more of us to engage.
[00:00:59] Tzeporah Berman: [00:01:00] Because the more people who engage, the more powerful we are, right? Yeah. Like we are greater together. Uh, then we are apart. That’s what movements mean. It’s, it’s citizens coming together and all our differences and all of our disagreements. And, you know, that’s the diversity. And the numbers is what makes us strong.
[00:01:21] Tzeporah Berman: And so they keep us apart by making us question ourselves. By sitting at home going, I don’t know if it’s cap and trade or carbon tax, so I guess I better, [00:01:30] I better read some more. I better think some more about it. You know, like, I have three university degrees, and when I first, first started working on climate change, I was like so confused by all the numbers and all the different policies.
[00:01:41] Tzeporah Berman: And, and I kept thinking, Oh, I, I, I can’t be a part of this conversation because I don’t really, Understand whether it should be a cap and trade or a carbon tax or a whatever. It’s so much simpler than that. If they’re building more of the bad stuff right now, then they’re lying about caring about climate change.
[00:01:57] Tzeporah Berman: That’s how simple it is. Stop [00:02:00] building fossil fuels, no more pipelines, no more big projects. Start focusing everything on the good stuff. And we should all at this moment in history be empowering everyone to engage. We can’t afford to sit home and feel guilty right now. It’s, and that’s what they want us to do, because they want to keep us isolated.
[00:02:20] Tzeporah Berman: And this is that whole thing of like, what is your carbon footprint? All of that comes from this, putting it on the individual. Yeah, I know. [00:02:30] And again, it’s not like I’m saying that lifestyle stuff isn’t important. I’m a mom. I got kids. I, I think, and I, and you just can’t not be slightly disgusted at today’s lifestyle, right?
[00:02:42] Tzeporah Berman: Like we consume too much. There’s too much garbage. That’s all of that is true. Um, but I think what is sadder than that. Is we don’t think of ourselves as people who can make change. As people who can participate in a meaningful way. Yeah, you [00:03:00] know like and and and and we all can and Literally, I feel like there’s like this thing that we you know I try and make it a practice that I engage in other people’s and issues and campaigns all the time You know at least a couple times a week.
[00:03:14] Tzeporah Berman: I go to someone else’s March on I don’t work on food issues You know instead of our or I I go online and I Click here and I signed someone else’s petition and because those little things matter they add up, right? And that’s what politicians look at how many people have signed the letter how many people were at [00:03:30] that March and right now We need to make noise in whatever way we can and if you can’t do anything go and cook Why not?
[00:03:38] Tzeporah Berman: There’s, like, yeah, there’s things that you can do, there’s always something you can do. If you, if you can’t leave home, then go online, sign a petition, call up a group and volunteer for them. You know, if, the worst thing that people do, I think, is, is get, they get in, newly interested in an issue and then they think, Oh, I have to create the new organization [00:04:00] that’s going to do X and Y.
[00:04:01] Tzeporah Berman: Yeah. Um, and we need to band together and we need to stop trying to recreate the wheel and the working together. That’s tough. Yeah. Because that means you have to deal with your differences. And I think being on a lot of like frontline protests and blockades has forced me to learn how to do that.
[00:04:20] Tzeporah Berman: Because when you’re, when you’re in a protest situation, you don’t know who’s going to end up standing beside you, you know, but you’re, you have a common purpose and so you’re just going to work it out. [00:04:30]
[00:04:31] Ben Hurst: Thanks for listening to this quickie.
[00:04:33] Maryam Pasha: This episode was created by our usual superstar podcast team.
[00:04:37] Maryam Pasha: Until next time.
[00:04:38] Ben Hurst: Stay curious.