Climate Change And Corporatocracy
A series of tumultuous unprecedented catastrophes that have left many dead and innumerable others displaced from their homes over the last year, from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to the recent cutely named "Campfire" in California (which left 88 dead, thousands displaced, and others missing), the effects of climate change seem to be hardly perturbing to those benefiting financially from the cause. Even as activist groups and certain newly-elected members of Congress push for immediate action, fossil fuel companies are going full steam ahead.
One particular Wall Street Exchange known as "ICE" (NYSE:ICE) has gleefully announced record profits for natural and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for November 2018, which they gladly boast broke the record set by the same for the month prior; And while breaking records in consecutive months, the reckless fossil fuel industry nonetheless felt the need to lobby Congress to the tune of a hundred million dollars in 2018 alone. Likewise BP, in a joint venture with Turkey, is launching a new petrochemical site, which the subsequent press release states will be "located at SOCAR Turkey’s Private Industrial Zone in Aliaga, which includes the recently-inaugurated STAR refinery and major Petkim petrochemicals site". The cooperating Turkish company "Petkim" is the nation's largest petrochemical company. According to BP, "The proposed facility, in Aliaga in western Turkey, would produce 1.25 million tonnes per annum (tpa) of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), 840,000 tpa paraxylene (PX) and 340,000 tpa benzene." Terephthalic acid, btw, is a major industrial wastewater pollutant.
Like "ICE", BP is also engaged in increasing the offshore drilling sector, having announced recently the final phase of negotiations for the "Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG [liquefied natural gas] Development". In a statement showcasing the lack of self-awareness and perpetual expansive greed perpetuated by this destructive industry, Bernard Looney, the company's "Upstream Chief Executive" stated; "“Achieving sanction for the ground-breaking Greater Tortue Ahmeyim development, and at such a fast pace, is testament to the dynamic partnership working together to bring this innovative project onstream and establish a new deepwater gas value chain”. No mention is made in any of these companies' announcements of climate change, and certainly no intentions disclosed to halt, or even slow this process in the near future. In fact, quite the opposite. The fossil fuel industry has no intentions of doing anything but expand into the foreseeable future, with Exxonmobil announcing plans on December 28th to expand its offshore LNG empire as well in a production slated to begin LNG production in 2024. The "first phase" of this Rovuma LNG Project, will authorize 2 trains, EACH projected to produce 7.6 million tons of LNG per year, according to Exxonmobil.
Even as fossil fuel companies are barreling ahead with intent on running roughshod over any attempts to halt the process, a few members of Congress are attempting to push back. Spearheaded by newly-elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), talk of a "Green New Deal" is making waves in Washington. The idea, inspired by FDR's "New Deal", which assisted in pulling the U.S. out of the economic slump of the Great Depression, focuses likewise on the creation of many well-paying technical jobs in the renewable/sustainable energy sector, solving both the issue of impending ecological devastation, and impending economic collapse. Even, however, as Democratic Party leadership attempts to neuter the concept, the sheer force of popular support has forced party leaders to feign nominal attempts at a resolution, with Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) creating a select committee, and nominating Ocasio-Cortez to a position, likely in hopes that the left will silently dose back into a slumber, assuming victory while the world burns. To lead the new committee on climate change, Pelosi appointed Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), who has taken but 7.7% of her campaign contributions from individual, small-dollar donors; A few of which have interests contrary to a "Green New Deal", such as the "Sea Transport", Defense Industry, Energy, Chemical, and Railroad Industries. "The Hill" reported on the discontent of the progressive movement and, while although in a rather condescending tone, did acknowledge that "the panel isn't expected to have some of the powers demanded by progressive(sic), such as subpoena power or legislative authority — meaning it can't pass bills to the floor for a full House vote."
While Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and other corporate Democrats weigh campaign contributions against the implications of a desecrated biosphere and millions of lives on the line, the success of a "Green New Deal" will be predicated, not upon the efforts of "the resistance", but rather the efforts of the working poor and the younger generation fighting for a habitable earth and wise stewardship of its natural resources. We can stand up, take charge, and lead the earth into a future worth fighting for, or we can sit on our oil-lubricated asses, and make another dollar while the world burns. It's up to us.