‘Big Oil’ comments

A mild rant in response to someone trolling comments in Tzeporah Berman’s article ‘Let’s Stop Catering to big Oil’.

socialism for the rich

John Sherffius

“’Climate Change’. A Chicken little story so bad they had to change the name from ‘global warming’ to something that must always happen; climate change.”
The debate over human caused climate change is over. There is clear *INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS* on this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change). The folks who don’t believe it are either people who do not believe in science, or people who are in denial, still in the thrall of a fossil-fuel addiction. The first group need to be ignored, the second need to get into fossil-fuel rehab, and then join the rest of us trying to change the course of history. Which one are you JKnox?

‘Privileged Enviro-Marxists’?
The biggest privileged Marxists conspiracy in this country are government subsidized fossil fuels (ht.ly/cIRlX).  The Cdn government *pours* money into oil companies, and offers them outrageous tax breaks, leaving innovation firms with an impossible competitive disadvantage. O, and lets not forget who’s buying up the Tar Sands: CNOOC, China’s state controlled oil company (www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/chinas-oil-sands-deal-will-have-lasting-impact/article1357620/).   And what political affiliation is the state of China?
Take away the massive government subsidies given to the fossil fuel industry and level the competitive playing field for renewable.

“Reliance on fossil fuels”
Yes, developed societies currently rely on fossil fuels, although that is already changing.  But once upon a time developed societies relied 100% on coal, and once upon a time salt was the most important trade commodity, and once upon a time bronze was a pretty big deal.  Societies change, and change dramatically, sometimes very quickly.  The industrial revolution took less than a hundred years, and the computer revolution has taken less than twenty.  Given the current speed of human transformation (have a cell phone in your pocket? reading this on the internet?) we have the capacity to completely transform our ‘reliances’ in a decade.
A couple of people in these posts have claimed that people won’t purchase anything if it costs more (ie. renewables). Hogwash. Every major human innovation has cost more to start with, and people have been willing to pay if they see a future in it. There is no future in oil, any more than there’s a future on this planet if we keep pouring fossil-fuel based carbon into its atmosphere. People are willing to pay for a future. Why do you think folks buy war bonds? Because they think it will be profitable? No, because they want to survive.

“Who pays for oil spills?”
No oil company has ever payed even remotely the full cost of an oil spill.
What is the price of a fisherman’s entire career, the loss of his home, the uprooting of his family and community?
How many livelihoods were permanently disabled by the Exxon Valdez? How many more by the BP spill?  This is not to mention the thousands of communities around the world which we know little about that have had their habitat, and hence livelihood, wiped out by oil operations (try Niger Delta).  How could Enbridge ever ‘pay for’ a significant spill on the west coast?  The concept is absurd.  The oil company cleans up what is most obvious so long as the media keep hounding them and the legal bills merit a little effort.  After that they’re off to the next spill.  It’s factored into the cost we pay at the pump, and they’re making record profits.

Leave a Reply