As a society, we must push all energy companies to become accountable green investors and contribute meaningfully to the global shift away from fossil fuels. Until they do so, we will continue to intensify pressure on our institutions to reject an industry that compromises all of our futures in the name of profit - and, ultimately, remove its social license to operate.
In DeLillo's White Noise the narrator Gladney spends a lot of time with his academic colleague, Murray Jay Siskind, a cynical New Yorker with a penchant for constant theorising. Gladney, half-appalled, sums up his colleague's acidic take on the world: "Murray says we are fragile creatures surrounded by a world of hostile facts. Facts threaten our happiness and security."
Unbelievably, there are those who still insist on denying the existence of the world's environmental crisis, and worryingly, some of these are in pivotal positions when it comes to what happens in the next 10 years. This by the way is the period in which many experts believe we still have a chance to mitigate the rise in global temperatures.
Maximising the opportunities presented by these assets will not just benefit the North. Nationally, this will ensure the plentiful supply of low carbon energy and a renaissance industry at a time when it is needed most. But whilst the drive to power this industry exists in great quantities in the North, the region nonetheless needs a strong national framework and policy continuity.
Have you ever thrown away half a loaf of bread because you didn't manage to eat it all in time, poured lumpy milk down the sink or discovered a squashed piece of fruit like a satsuma or a banana at the bottom of a bag? If you have, you aren't alone, I'm guilty of all three of those things too! Wasting food is all too easy because you bought too much, or forgot about it or didn't store it right.
Despite 2016's setbacks, I don't think I was totally wrong - the world isn't full of hateful and selfish people. There are lots of communities and people who share my beliefs and vision of the future. I know now that we are #StrongerTogether, and that in the end, love will trump hate. We just have to fight a little harder to realize the world we want. And that's a fight I am now ready for.