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BP’s Blatant Climate Hypocrisy on Show As it “Buys” Vote to Defeat Carbon Tax


#1

BP’s Blatant Climate Hypocrisy on Show As it “Buys” Vote to Defeat Carbon Tax

Andy Rowell

As millions of people digest the saturated press coverage of the mid-terms, and wonder what the next two-years of a chaotic and destructive Trump Presidency will mean with the Republican loss of the House, it is easy to miss other issues that were also voted on this week.

On the Washington State ballot was something called the Carbon Emissions Fee and Revenue Allocation Initiative, known for short as Initiative 1631, which would have imposed a $15 fee on each tonne of carbon emissions, rising $2 a year until the state’s 2035 emissions target is met.


#2

It’s fine in a small way that some politicians are turning down “campaign funds” from the fossil fuel industry. But that is essentially useless.

Even “getting money out of politics” is only a half-measure, if we want to overcome the overwhelming economic and political power of these rampant corporate behemoths that claim to “own” so much of our world.

We need to get our eyes on the prize: Dis-empower capital. Stop allowing the blatant theft of “natural resources” and the endless looting of the economy at the cost of the ecology – which we are part of!! – and of society.

Obviously end the fiction of “corporate personhood” for the purposes of granting corporations human rights, civil rights, or constitutional rights. But what is really needed is to END the “limited-liability, investor-owned corporation.” Abolish that legal form, which was literally invented to carry out colonization (British East India Company, Dutch East India Company, etc.) and still has that colonizing drive embedded in its DNA, and still plays that predatory, colonizing role today. Replace it with socially- and ecologically-chartered worker cooperatives, trusts, municipal corporations, etc. under worker- and community-ownership with fundamental limits to corporate rights, wealth, and power built into the Constitution and corporate charters.

Otherwise, we are (as you witness in the world today!) endlessly fighting losing battles to try to trim their power around the edges, while the drive our Earth off the precipice.

EDIT: i totally get that the basic response to these ideas is, “Unrealistic!” But i think the opposite. All the half-measures and “trimming corporate power around the edges” is absolutely unrealistic. The only “realistic” path forward is “wealth reform” to to literally de-colonize and democratize the wealth of humanity; and restrict “economic activity” to operate within the systems and processes of the ecology of the living Earth. Ecological, socialist, revolutionary. Nonviolent eco-socialist revolution.


#3

Limitation on editing after one hour, prevents me from changing this: “while the drive our Earth off the precipice” to this: “while they drive our Earth off the precipice.”


#4

This disaster is all thanks to a supremely f#€ked up decision by a corrupted Supreme Court.


#5

That’s one way to look at it. But that single effed-up Supreme Court decision itself is an outcome of untrammeled corporate power, and the endless corporate colonization of everything (including the Supreme Court) under the economy as structured. Which long predates that one Supreme Court decision.

We need to de-colonize the entire economy and society.


#6

Small gestures, according to your definition and logic, are essentially useless. So, the next time you and your car are stuck in a snow-filled ditch I’ll assume you’ve got AAA or roadside assistance, and not stop to check or help. I don’t like to get cold and you have a much nicer car than I do, anyway. Heck, you may of even worked for a Corporation at one time.
And, public financing of elections is another small gesture, so that’s no good, being essentially useless, as well.
Got it.


#7

HI webwalk: we need to make this corporate people be a real person. I suggest the CEO, so that when oil ruins the water ways or gold mining ruins the water, and on and on-----we just put the CEO in Jail and fine him or her for all the worth they have. If a DNA person does a crime—they pay by serving time AND paying a big fine—so if a corporation is a person, then the one at the top must be it and the CEO gets to pay. I think people will agree.


#8

Well, given that we are careening toward mass extinction, already actually begun on the graph spike of the next mass extinction and it’s caused by humans… and that simultaneously we are careening toward another massive explosion of human hatreds, global war and mass murder… i think it is important to keep a larger picture in mind, to focus on what would actually be needed to turn us from these courses. Even if “what would actually be needed” seems outrageously “unrealistic” to standard ways of thinking. Because despite being unrealistic, they are actually needed.

Small gestures are fine, as i said, but they are insufficient given the gravity of our crises and the time-frame to resolve them.

i certainly could speak more carefully, saying “insufficient” rather than “essentially useless,” or elaborating on the “essentially” qualifier. But my primary point about the entrenched power of wealth and corporations, i stand by. Candidates who pledge to refuse fossil-fueled “campaign contributions” are not appreciably effecting anything remotely close to the deep systemic changes that are needed, immediately.

If this “long game” of baby steps goes on much longer, we are toasted to a blackened crisp before we take any actual power from the delusional bad actors who are presently “leading” civilization. We need giant steps, to move the game from the playing field of internal political party politics, onto a playing field of actually taking power from the tiny class that wields it, and having a truly “realistic” program to change politics and the economy to serve people and ecology rather than tiny self-aggrandized power cliques of wealth.