In a way, yes. They have lobbied for years to keep alternative fuels at bay. However, they really are only following the public demand for oil. And the greenhouse gas emissions from driving have a significant impact on climate change.
I do not think that laying blame on a single entity, such as the oil companies, for climate change is either appropriate or helpful. There are many reasons and influential people that have led to the fossil fuel based lifestyle, with oil companies and the profit they derive from such a lifestyle only playing a single role. Laying blame on another entity for our current situation in a way enables us to escape taking personal responsibility for our own lives and circumstance. Currently, one of the greatest obstacles to improving our situation is collective inaction. Taking responsibility for our lives and the lives that our children will inherit would go a long way towards bettering the world we live in.
This is an open ended question, it depends on your point of view. I would say that the oil companies only supply the demand. Thus it they are to blame in some sense but I can not say that they’re causing the problem, it’s our consumerist nature. But if we think about today, when we are trying to shift towards greener energy, oil companies do try to keep their market share and block green technologies. I’d say that oil has been a blessing and a curse in our history.
I agree with the previous answers. Yes, oil companies can be blamed for global warming. So can power companies, auto manufacturers, plastic manufacturers, farmers, and just about everybody else. You can blame me for global warming. I turned on my computer this morning and started answering questions on Greenanswers. My computer draws power, part of which is generated by fossil fuels; therefore I am contributing to global warming. As Lunafish points out, I think it’s silly to blame one or another group or individual for “causing” global warming. We, human civilization as a whole, are to blame. Even once we decide that, it doesn’t alleviate any of our problems. I’m not sure the question of who to blame for global warming is very relevant to the much larger and much more important question of what we’re going to do about it. We need oil companies to help us alleviate global warming; we also need governments, small businesses, international organizations and individuals. Everyone has a role to play, and I think everyone in the future will have some sort of responsibility for helping us get out of the hole we’re in.
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