Do oil companies and their investors have a paramount right to profits earned through no sweat of their brows over families who, through no fault of their own, are forced to make decisions between food and fuel, between keeping the lights on and life-saving medicines?
The oil industry knew about and lied about climate change for 30 years: they’ve prevented us from flattening the carbon curve, and set up a tragedy far greater even than coronavirus and one which will play out for decades to come.
Having studied, written on and engaged in public discussion about transnational corporations (TNCs), I have reached the conclusion that we are not collectively equipped to think about the kind of power that they represent, the silent way they exercise their specific form of sovereignty and the numerous mechanisms that allow them to circumvent the law wherever they operate.
The priority now has to be actively to support all divest/invest initiatives (in the arts, in our universities, in the financial services sector etc), and to ensure that our own pensions are invested accordingly. In a Climate Emergency, nothing else will suffice.
The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from ExxonMobil regarding Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s climate change investigation Monday, a decision legal experts called a “crushing blow” to the oil giant.
Shell knew climate change was going to be big, was going to be bad, and that its products were responsible for global warming all the way back in the 1980s, a tranche of new documents reveal.
This appears to be the core of the oil companies’ strategy. First, believe everything the IPCC says. Second, the IPCC says the real problem is prosperity, economic growth! Therefore, blame the ones burning the oil — all we did was dig the stuff up.
Investors keep hoping that the Saudis don’t really know what they are doing. So far the Saudis appear to have the upper hand, and I’m guessing that those buying newly issued oil company shares these days are miscalculating once again.
Here’s the story so far. We have the chief legal representatives of the eighth and 16th largest economies on Earth (California and New York) probing the biggest fossil fuel company on Earth (ExxonMobil), while both Democratic presidential candidates are demanding that the federal Department of Justice join the investigation of what may prove to be one of the biggest corporate scandals in American history.
Oil prices plunged to a four year low of just $85 per barrel this week – down from around $115 as recently as mid-June.
Was the most recent American election outcome determined by the presidential debates, changing demographics, voter views on issues, Hurricane Sandy (and the president’s reaction to it) or voter turnout?