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Health Care & Environment
04.10 Glaciers and arctic ice are vanishing. Time to get radical before it's too late [Willfully ignorant "conservatives" and corporately-bribed liberals diddle self-obsessively while life on earth dies]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
04.09 Neoliberalism promised freedom – instead it delivers stifling control [Walmartization]
International & Futurism
04.16 Our Zero Emission Future [Be smart or life dies]
04.15 Fear and despair engulf refugees in Libya's 'market of human beings' [EU policy should more directly minimize factors creating immigration. Essential infrastructure projects and jobs are desperately needed for villages in poverty, most especially including renewable energy, clean water and waste managment.]
Shell Oil to Planet Earth: Drop Dead
Friday, 20 March 2009
Green energy, it seems, just doesn't produce enough long green for the Oil Lords.The Guardian reports on some admirable candor from the paladins at Shell Oil, still raking in gargantuan profits despite the global economic cratering. Shell says it is dropping its much-publicized work on alternative energy sources – because the bucks just aren't big enough. Green energy, it seems, just doesn't produce enough long green for the Oil Lords. Instead, they are going to keep scraping out carbon from the guts of the earth – and going in for biofuels, i.e., diverting vast acreages of arable land from food production for the world's poor to energy for the world's rich. From the Guardian:
You can't put it much plainer than that. And it's true: the business of business is to make money, not to pursue social policy or sustain the common good. The latter is what citizens are supposed to do through their political systems -- which is why they aren't allowed to control those systems. But anyway, given this inherent nature of business, it sort of makes you wonder about all those "green entrepreneurs" who believe that the private sector will save us from global warming -- like this worthy gentleman from over Carthage way, who has teamed up with an ex-Goldman Sachs exec to manage billions of dollars in "sustainability-driven" investments.
Yes, Al Gore, like Bono and other world worthies, is in the high-end investment business, seeking to make big money from the global disaster. (The environmental one, not the economic one.) No doubt "Little Al" (as we used to call him around home when he was our kid senator, and when -- full disclosure -- my cousin used to work for him) really would like to see a more balanced earth and all; who wouldn't? But wouldn't it be refreshing if just one of our world-straddling noble crusaders could crusade for their noble causes without also milking it for millions?
Chris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column is republished here with the permission of the author.
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This story was published on March 20, 2009.
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