Britain pressuring Esso at the pumps
Boycotts do work -- if enough people jump on the bandwagon; and, in Britain at least, the pressure is being applied. Such celebrities as Bianca Jagger, Body Shop founder Anita Rodrick and pop star Annie Lennox have launched a boycott against Exxon Mobil, also known as Esso. Their aim is to tell the gas giant that they should not claim there is no connection between CO2 emissions and climate change. (See: http://www.stopesso.com )

Exxon is a key supporter of research and advertisements that try to cast doubt on the seriousness of global warming and its link to fossil fuel emissions, Thomas Friedman reported in The New York Times recently. And Exxon reportedly contributed more than $1 million to Bush for his presidential campaign. Exxon has also opposed Kyoto through the business lobby, Global Climate Coalition.

Is it any surprise that President Bush pulled the U.S. out of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol? This may actually have been a gift to environmentalism because of the impetus it has given to the fight. And as long as Kyoto was there, real accountability could be avoided by a point of the finger: "See, we are doing something."

But now environmentalists are up in arms. And they are no longer wasting time lobbying governments. They are joining forces to pressure the gas giants at the pumps. Consumers do have the choice of where they buy their gas.

Shell and BP-Amoco (also the world's biggest solar company) both withdrew from the oil industry lobby that has been dismissing climate change.

Canadians might decide to join Britain's lead in asking drivers to shun Esso stations until the company supports Kyoto.

It is suggested that the success of such an action might lead to further steps, such as demanding a 5 per cent per year reduction in production. This is close to the rate that oil production will be declining once it has peaked. (See: http://www.hubbertpeak.org) Those oil companies with the least oil reserves might just want to sign on to such a campaign to make a virtue out of necessity.

We can no longer pretend. We are seeing great climate change around the world. We cannot deny the disastrous influence of ever-increasing emissions.