Kaieteur News – According to Climate wire,- an essential publication for all things climate change – while heat waves sweep the planet as a result of climate change, some of the most intense warming is expected to strike many of the same nations that produce the fossil fuels responsible for climate change.
In Guyana while citizens complain bitterly about the heat wave with little to no relief, as oil and gas activities undertaken by ExxonMobil offshore continue to result in flaring over 180,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) and the release of 200 toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, annually.
During his radio programme on Monday, Kaieteur News Publisher Glenn Lall blamed Guyana’s petroleum activities for the country’s rise in temperature. Lall lamented on the extreme heat that the country has been facing. He noted while the heat wave is a result of climate change, most of it is created by oil and gas activities happening offshore Guyana.
He explained that: “The heat wave we are witnessing is as a result of the burning of millions of cubic feet of gas happening 24/7, which is called flaring and the dumping of millions of gallons of superheated water they call produced water into the ocean 24/7.”
Lall continued “Let me make it simple for you if you light a big fire next to your home and have it burning day and night nonstop, dump super-hot water into the gutter or trench in front of your home day and night, what happens, you can’t sleep with all that heat around you? You will go crazy in that home.”
“This is what has been going on four years now with Exxon out there burning that gas nonstop and dumping that produced water into the ocean,” Lall said adding “that gas and the super-heated produced water that comes up from miles beneath the ocean floor with the oil that is supposed to be pumped back where it came from, miles beneath the ocean floor.”
Added to this, he noted that the heavy-duty machines and vehicles serving the oil sector that is driving on the streets all day and at nights, is also adding to the heat wave polluting the air space. “But those greedy, selfish, bastards Exxon Mobil,” he continued “watching their profits at the pain and suffering of the Guyanese people, and Jagdeo doing nothing and saying nothing to correct that situation…”
The Publisher noted that just recently President Irfaan Ali met with teachers who complained about the heat in the classrooms and asked for fans or insulated walls to keep them cool during classroom hour. He noted that the situation is most ridiculous. “Look what our teachers and our children already start going through, it’s no wonders all the teachers running away and running to private schools. The American School is air conditioned from top to bottom with your oil money.”
Meanwhile, the businessman estimates that the situation is bound to get worse as Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo is intent on approving a bigger project by year end. “At present, those two are burning gas and dumping water, pumping over 400,000 barrels per day, when the other three start pumping, a million barrels a day, you will be seeing a fire ball in the Atlantic Ocean with heat galore on the coast. Now you can’t walk a good 10 minutes anywhere without sweating like a pig, imagine what will happen with those 3 when they start pumping…
“In less than 2 years from now, when Exxon start pumping oil in Liza 3, 4 and 5, Guyanese will not be able to walk in the streets in the day or sit outside their lovely home at nights. Soon every home will have to have AC units or you live and smell like a roasted animal in your home.”
“Right now, I am told is $1,500 a pound fuh tomatoes, yuh know the price for the rest of the greens, I don’t know what will become of the lil rice crops and sugar crops, we will have to wait and see the end results,” he said.
Added to this, Lall who is an advocate for a better oil deal for Guyana stressed that the country is getting less than nothing from its oil resources.
“This country has to go and borrow money to fix the damages and correct the wrongs being caused by the oil industry…” he said.
While Guyanese have been taking the heat wave in strides, citizens in first world countries like the US have filed lawsuits against major oil and gas companies over a deadly 2021 heat wave that killed dozens of people. In an article published by the Guardian earlier this year reported Multnomah county Oregon’s most populous county sued major oil and gas companies over a deadly 2021 heat wave that killed dozens of people.
The new lawsuit draws on research showing the scorching heat was exacerbated by climate breakdown. It aims to hold 17 fossil fuel companies and interest groups – including Exxon, Shell, Chevron, BP, Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute – accountable for their role in the event.
“The heat dome that cost so much life and loss was not a natural weather event. It did not just happen because life cannot be cruel, nor can it be rationalized as simply a mystery of God’s will,” the litigation says. “Rather, the heat dome was a direct and foreseeable consequence of the Defendants’ decision to sell as many fossil fuel products over the last six decades as they could.” The suit seeks $50m in damages for the 2021 heat dome’s consequences and $1.5bn for future climate damages. And it demands the defendants spend an additional $50bn on a county plan to upgrade public healthcare services and infrastructure to protect residents from coming extreme heat events and other climate disasters.
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