Let’s own the power of all of us publicly standing up for Ukraine and cutting our use of gas so that the world will not need oil from Russia.
All the talk is about Supply! Supply! Supply! Oh, what will happen when the supply of Russian oil is cut off? We need to replace the supply, quick, maybe from the Middle East, maybe from South America! Oil is going to $200 as barrel, maybe $300!
Not if we, WE, decide to lower demand, one by one by one into the millions and then tens of millions, demand will go down. As stated in the prior column, watching the suffering in Ukraine brings tears to my eyes. Seeing the bravery of the Ukrainians is simply amazing and inspiring.
All praise to the Allies coming together. Great for NATO becoming ever more resolute. We now have an international war taking place in Ukraine. The free world, democracies, are aligning against the short, bully, out of touch Putin.
In times of war, the call is always for more drilling, for opening up oil and gas fields. The calls from those within the petroleum industry and the politicians that take their money, are always in times of international tension around the global supply of oil. In times of challenge? Drill baby drill! While that may feel good and with comes with a macho swagger, why not do the obvious other thing, cut demand?
We know why. Simply put, the carbon combustion complex is not constitutionally receptive to people – us- who are beginning to exercise our muscles to lessen our carbon footprints. It is great to see the actions that Shell and BP have taken to uncouple from Russian oil. It is great to see the rapidly growing list of American companies that are stopping doing business in Russia.
Corporate America is doing its’ part or will be shamed into doing so. Is it not time for us, global citizens, individuals who can collaborate in great numbers to tell the world that we will make this commitment to buy less gas to support freedom?
What to Do
This starts in America because, as detailed here, our country is only at 3-5% daily use of Russian oil, not the 40% of Europe. So the goal – scaled to millions- is to offset the supply loss. If we in America can show other countries – and more importantly their citizens- that higher prices for gas is a price we are willing to pay to end the suffering we see on TV, we may well change history at this critical time. More on that in a future column.
Some obvious suggestions on how easy it will be for you to commit to buy 10% less gas in the months ahead:
-choose to take one less air trip in the next month if you are a frequent flyer, and if an infrequent flyer, cancel one round trip sometime this year. Air travel is carbon intensive so a secondary benefit
-work from home one additional day a week – lose the commute. Make this a company culture thing as collaboration will increase participation. Lobby the C-suite
-think of all the things that helped get us through the Oil Embargo in the 1970s: carpooling, taking public transportation, turning down/up the thermostat a degree or two
-bike to work and for small errands – “we bike for Ukraine”
If you are reading this, you are probably well aware of the climate crisis. Since we are committing to specifically buy less gas, here are a couple of links and sites that will give you ideas and options on how to lower your usage.
As an aging boomer, I had parents that were of the “great generation”. The ones that spent their early adult years navigating the Great Depression and then WWII. As a young boy I learned about the incredible hardships of the first and the incredible commitments during the latter. Since I was born a few years after the end, these hardship experiences were fresh in my parents minds and I learned of them early.
The rationing, the denial of access to goods, the willingness to go without so that we could support “our boys overseas” was what won the war. A saying I learned as a boy, that most millennials have not heard was: “WWII was won on the factory floors of Detroit” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2380893/Rosie-Riveters-WWII-Detroit-factory-Willow-Run-risk-demolition.html
The Invasion of Ukraine is a defining historical moment. It can be the trigger for tens of millions of people to encircle the world to collaborate for freedom, for the future
As I have written and spoken for more than a decade, we have entered the global stage of humanity. This means that fundamental changes are occurring and the ability of nation states to solve global problems – look only to the failures of COP1-26 – is simply not up to the task. Nationalism seems to prevent the ability to see the global common good, or at least to see what all humanity needs and to take us thereThat is one of the reasons that this moment, this invasion of Ukraine can unite well beyond national boundaries. We the people of the world, in this decade, have within us the ability to create the future we want. If you want freedom. If you want to support the victims in Ukraine. If you want to bring Russia down for this massive war crime……commit to buy 10% less gas until Russia leaves Ukraine.
Please use this hash tag and work to spread the word on this. #10%less4Ukraine