Home | About | Donate

Big Oil Needs to Pay for the Damage It Caused

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/11/18/big-oil-needs-pay-damage-it-caused

1 Like

On the bright side, climate chaos is going to put one big dent in the lifestyles of the rich and famous, too.

Sure, their bunkers will have some nice vintages and air and water filtration systems.
But they can only run and hide for so long.
Violent mobs with nothing to lose will hunt them down.
Then that old song about “eating the rich” will prove prophetic.


A couple of things strike me about this article, significant for McKibben & 350-dot. Superficially, it’s interesting that 350-dot seems to finally be addressing their little problem with being awfully damned white. Unfortnately, the long-professed concern for “those most harmed, least responsible” is channeled into the usual “green growth for green jobs” delusion:

Priority for the good jobs in a new energy economy belong to those whose communities suffered most from [sic] in the dirty energy era.

Fantastic! Plus, maybe restore the meaningless Paris gestures Orangman rescinded, and start talking about even more reparations. Reparations, as if the system – legal, financial, political, cultural – were remotely capable of even articulating what reparations might mean, or hearing it articulated. It’s striking to see Hedges’ case for global rebellion buttressed by every point of historical or scientific fact made in this article. But 350-dot could not possibly take the next step, and embrace the revolutionary implications of their own literature. That might discourage contributions.

The very last people that should be compensated for Exxon’s lies are the shareholders, those who have so far profited from those lies. Moneyed interests in this rigged economic/political system take a precedence way beyond their just deserts.


Perhaps unfortunately, the idea of paying back the victims of enormous systemic disorders does not work. The 20 acres and a mule never arrived, the Native Americans that did own the land (in their own sense) at the time of invasion died, the Holocaust will never legitimize Israeli occupation. The Nazi rank and file were victims of the Third Reich as well as perpetrators, the Caucasian (and other) pioneers of North America fled (mostly) European aristocratic oppression, and most of the white Southerners who fought for slavery also fought for independence from the growing capitalist juggernaut in the traditional North. Those who pay for enormous abuses, even after the initial victims, are almost entirely not those who commit them.

That does not mean that there should be no culpability. Crimes were committed; if these are prosecuted, that’s way better than par.

It also does not mean that the enormous control that these people are granted over land and resources should not be rescinded one way or another. But we should acknowledge that this will not happen by any lines of fine accounting and that a more equitable distribution does not constitute a repayment for abuse: It was not OK, it is not OK, it will not be OK.

Let’s do better. Let’s set up a system that’s equitable now.

1 Like

I have as better subtitle for this article:

“End of the world is coming, Disproportionately affects poor people and people of color”

Or it’s not coming at all?

Even they will eventually need food. If Earth heats enough, crops, that humans can consume, won’t be growing for several millennia. How much money can CEO’s of oil the giants count while starving to death? Hmmm, didn’t think so. Peace

1 Like

No one is suggesting the world is ending.

Merely that civilization as we know it will be disrupted to a level that would be unrecognizable to us now.
That includes massive human deaths. A refugee crisis involving a billion people. Water wars.
And that’s just Tuesday.

Fines aren’t enough. They are just the cost of doing business and make the lawyers and government partners in the cirmes. Until the Executives of these criminal corporations start doing real time in real jails, noting will change.

Exxon - The Sign of the Double cross

Exactly. buying stocks is gambling. They lost.
We should go after the personal wealth of the share holders since they are partners and have profited from these crimes.

Come on 350 - get a grip -

Here in Alberta the orphan wells just keep multiplying - bankrupt oil companies just leave their wells on the public’s doorstep, as the massive tailings ponds in the tar sands will be left on that same doorstep - yours and mine.

I just have never been able to like 350 or its founder - too much wishing - rose colored glasses - …

The oil firms are paying allright - with contributions to the Geological Society in the UK.

Thankfully ONE of its members has quit the organization because of these ties to Big Oil.

But just one - and the cash just keeps coming in - and being accepted - disgusting !
Geologist blasts society’s links with oil firms

Still bargaining. Yet to come is acceptance. Humans are heat engines. We differ for a start in being the only animal that requires a daily cooked meal. We also have other needs that utilize an outside energy source. It is a waste product of that energy source whether a fossil fuel or cellulose that is the most visible driver of heating Earth and leading to it being non-livable for us as a large codependent population. Our population is about double what is sustainable without the use of fossil fuels. There is simply not the biomass of trees sufficient to cook our food and power all our gadgets. A real addressing would start with ending our wars. All our wars are wars of aggression. Call for peace. Call for dismantling the MIC. Call for reducing the human population, beginning in the U.S. by ending immigration and going to a negative birthrate. Simultaneously redoing the industrial complex by going to agroecology for farming and free public transit. End logging worldwide. The list can go on and on but first needs to be ending American wars against everybody else.

1 Like