There was a time when people had to walk to get to their destination.
Until riding a horse became the norm.
Until folks began riding in a wagon or buggy pulled by a horse or mule.
Until the gas combustible engine and the automobile was invented.
And so it went and continues to go. One transition after another and all the while society and the economy did not collapse. Things changed and everything was just fine.
And now that’s happening again. Things are changing right before our eyes during our lifetimes and it’s an important change. It’s one you and I should support and accelerate. One that might just save a good many people on our planet and the places they live if it happens soon enough.
The change I am talking about is the world’s shift away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable solutions such as electric cars and solar power. And why do I know things are changing? Well, as they say, just follow the money.
ExxonMobil has dominated the world’s economy for generations and for nearly 100 years it has been one of the ten largest businesses in the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Stock Index, an index of the 500 largest businesses. In fact, for six years straight, just a decade ago, it was the number one ranked company. Six years in a row as the largest. As number one. But, like I said, things change.
Today, as the world shifts away from the core products it sells, ExxonMobil is now number 12. Still a gigantic company, and one whose products are killing our planet by causing temperatures to rise from the carbon pollution those products emit, but it’s no longer number one or even in the “top 10”.
Today the top 10 is dominated by high tech, financial and healthcare businesses. Apple, Amazon, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Visa and so forth. Not an oil or energy company amongst the top 10 these days. Here’s the list as of August 30th, 2019 according to S&P Dow Jones Indices:
And it’s not just ExxonMobil that is being impacted by the changes being made all over the world. The entire energy sector has been greatly diminished. Four decades ago 25% of the S&P 500 Index was comprised of energy businesses while today it’s just 4.4% as of August 30th. As of December 31st, 2018 that figure was 5.8% and while there are many business reasons (you can read about some of them by clicking here and here) related to the short term decline, the price of a drum of oil or such, the evidence is clear that oil’s dominance is on the decline and not likely to greatly rebound. And that’s OK too.
Here is what Sumit Roy wrote in July in EFT.Com (click here to read the entire article):
“Going forward, it’s hard to imagine that the fortunes of the energy sector are going to improve in any sustained way. OPEC’s production cuts over the past three years have merely been a bandage over a market awash with oil.
On the demand side, consumption in developed countries peaked more than a decade ago, though total global demand continues to be carried higher by emerging markets. As electric cars become more prolific, emerging market demand may peak too, marking the official end of the oil era.”
People don’t generally like change and changes take time. A transition of the size that’s happening with our global energy market will fully take a decade or longer, but I believe that it has begun. People my age increasingly want sustainable energy, electric cars and other solutions to our climate crisis and don’t understand why anyone would debate or delay their benefits.
So, I say embrace the changes.
And don’t listen to the oil and coal and utility companies whose fat profits they and the politicians beholden to them want to forever protect. Tell them that things are changing and that it’s OKAY.
Everything, just as history has taught us time and time again, will be just fine.