How your quality of life is being traded for profit


This story was originally published in the first edition of The Lion’s Tale (October 7th, 2021).

As our planet continues to heat up and the climate crisis continually worsens, it’s important we acknowledge that it cannot be put down to a matter of individual misfailings, but rather corporations’ failure to respect our planet. And now, we, as individuals, are the ones paying the price, rather than large corporations.

And as a result of our planet heating up, due in part to this continual release of emissions by corporations, natural disasters have increased tenfold since 1960. This only stands to hurt people, as there is a great potential for people to get injured, be displaced, or die, if they or their homes are caught in the disaster. This cannot be justified by the profit margins that keep us from shifting our focus to the more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

The emissions released by fossil fuels may lead to the worsening of natural disasters, but the process to acquire them can be equally damaging, if not more so. Oil spills can contaminate water sources and sea animals’ habitats, potentially killing them.

One well known occurrence of this is the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It occurred in 2010. An oil drilling rig exploded and sank, killing 11 workers in the process. Over 134 million gallons of oil spilled over the course of 87 days. This spill not only hurt humans, but animals as well. It contaminated the habitats of – and killed – thousands of marine mammals and sea turtles. The ecosystem and water has still not fully recovered today, despite it occuring over a decade ago.

Regardless of how it negatively affects people’s quality of life, oil pipelines are still being built and profited off of. Though some pipelines have been protested, such as pipeline 3, they haven’t led to change yet. If we want to avoid further damaging the health of our environment and the quality of our lives, we must continue to demand change from the fossil fuel industry.