The Rock and the Hard Place

Recently, I read a Financial Post article on the oil business, and it was very revealing for one specific reason. This article, and it was quite detailed, was demonstrating how the world is basically ignoring all global warming predictions and basically carrying on the same way as it always has.

It was basically pointing out what the writer considered to be a short-sightedness on the part of democratic governments of Canada and the US when it came to understanding the world view of the entire energy market.

While I did not agree with the writer’s fundamental opinion that this was short-sightedness, or a failure to take into account the entirety of the global energy picture. What I did agree with is the very dismal picture he created regarding most nations’ ability to reduce carbon emissions to the degree they are committed to by 2030.

The biggest problem with anything to do with energy on a global scale is that the individual is totally removed from the picture.

Individuals, I believe, are starting to embrace the reality of global warming and starting to understand its causes. But the changes that are needed most are wholesale systemic ones, that will require the eventual dismantling of whole industries like oil, gas, and coal, in order for the world to have a chance to halt the alarming rate at which the atmosphere and the climate are becoming hostile to human and animal life.

To understand the magnitude of this problem, all you have to do is look around. Right-wing and business before people governments like China, Russia, India, and even the US, while they may be developing their alternative energy industries, are doing so at a snail’s pace with little or no regard for the consequences.

Whenever I write about this issue, I find myself invariably coming around to the same conclusion, and that is that the fundamental flaws in the way the world economy is now structured make it difficult, if not impossible, to transition to a greener economy without a great deal of turmoil and human displacement.

But at the same time, the potential consequences of doing nothing, or simply paying token attention to the problem, will invariably result in a climate situation that is far worse than any economic situation could ever be.

And that, in a nutshell, is exactly the choice the world has to make.

But as my sister, who is very wise and well-read, is fond of saying:

The big problem is that no one is really championing this cause.

And I guess you could argue that with the geo-political situation in the world being what it is, a champion who would have sway over both sides of these issues would be very hard to find.

And so here were are. Stuck between the rock and the hard place.


Jim Murray
Jim Murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. Early on in my writing career, I discovered advertising. While the other media have drifted in and out, communications writing and art direction have been the constant through a 20-year career senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource to direct clients, design companies, marketing consultants and boutique agencies. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and opened MurMarketing which is a freelance strategic development/copywriting/art direction service for businesses working to make a positive difference in the world. I currently write long format blogs in 4 different streams, encompassing, entertainment, marketing, and communications, life in general, and the renewable energy and recycling industries. These are currently published on I have, over the years, created more than 1500 blog posts. I live with my wife Heather in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life. I am currently recovering from spinal surgery and learning to walk again.

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  1. Great article Jim. Your sister is right on point. There is no champion who can inspire others to take action. An under taking of this magnitude will require multiple governments and industry to cooperate. JFK did it with his moon program which led to NASA and many amazing technological achievements. Right now in the U.S. there is so much polarization that when the cure for a deadly disease is discovered over one-third of the people deny its value – which prolongs the disease. I don’t see that leader coming from the U.S. to rally the nation and the world until we stop arguing about facts. Facts are facts. A doubters opinion does not change the fact.

    I had the honor to speak at the Unity in Diversity event, celebrating India’s independence. There were a number of student in attendance who understand that the status quo is not serving them long term. In my opinion it will be one of the much maligned millennials and younger who will produce this champions.