Federico R. LopezIt is both a happy and hopeful time of year for many reasons: we have continued to grow together as an organization, as a team and as a family. There are also many reasons to celebrate, and to give thanks for our blessings, and our accomplishments.
FPH’s major subsidiaries will end the year with stellar results. This I’d attribute to the constant scrutiny and relentless fine-tuning of our business strategies, coupled with focused and deliberate execution.
We’re also quite fortunate that our operations were spared from major catastrophes in 2018. Yet, we continue to recognize climate change as the greatest threat to humanity today, and we’re seeing many of our greatest fears about the changing climate unfolding before our very eyes: record temperatures, typhoons, hurricanes and precipitation patterns never seen before, unprecedented droughts and wildfires, frequent massive coral bleaching events, massive amounts of ice being continually lost at both poles, widespread mosquito-borne diseases and, of course, countless species going extinct at rates so much faster than has ever occurred throughout geological history. All these are but a fraction of what’s happening to the planet today and we’ve got to keep in mind that this is occurring with only 1 degree C of warming since preindustrial times.
These signals warn us that we can no longer treat the air, land or oceans like open sewers and why the 1.5-degree C threshold is an existential threat we must treat with urgency. Not doing so today will make it almost impossible for our children to reverse.
I believe we are living through one of history’s greatest transitions and paradigm shifts. How we relate to the finite limits of our planet and how we power our lives is terribly broken and needs to change radically and within a short span of time if we are to keep our common home inhabitable.
Paradigm shifts are never easy. They never have been throughout history. Think of the divine right of kings to rule, bestowed on monarchs and their bloodlines as if they were anointed by God. Think of slavery, which existed in many forms in the Southern US states a full 80 years after the US civil war and emancipation. Even so, no one doubts that racial barriers still exist in America today. But, to liberally paraphrase Martin Luther King and the abolitionist Theodore Parker, “though the arc of history is sometimes long, it always bends toward justice.”
Similarly, a world powered by 100% renewable energy may not appear to some as possible today, but I see many parallels with the bold and pioneering journey of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg as they flew the solar-powered plane Solar Impulse to circumnavigate the globe in 2016. They did so with tons of preparation, design, planning, training, discipline and, of course, vision and courage. But what made their journey even more inspiring was they did what everyone thought was impossible, with technology that was already available—powered only by the sun, with not a single drop of fuel or polluting emissions. All it required was a single-minded focus on the goal and how to get there.
Let me just reemphasize our commitment to contribute to that goal of keeping the lights on as we make this grand transition to a decarbonized world. I’m thankful to all of you for keeping that passion to save our planet and burgeoning with hope. Let us remain adamant in our pursuit to uplift lives through ways and means which are genuinely powered by good.
May you all have a blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with much excitement and prosperity!
FEDERICO R. LOPEZ