Monday, December 26, 2005

Season's wolves

Myron howls over the annual Congressional ritual of planning to rape the final corner of Alaska of its oil for one more bloody American summer driving season, and sounds the same as he does every other year.

The oil men use technical measures in the legislature to grease it past the House of Representatives like a piece of pork (in the middle of the night as a rider on a budget bill). Then Myron Ebell comes on the TV and tells us that this was just routine tidying up at the end of the session before Christmas. He used the same voice to explain that smoking could cure cancer.

There are certainly mistakes in the above transcript. Ebell's third speech couldn't be by him; there was truth in it.

However, he ends with a great Ebellian outburst: "The whole thing is about a fundraising scam."

You see, people would only ever disagree with Exxon if they had been bribed and corrupted. No other explanation can be true.

It's just details. All of it. The real story behind these environmental battles is trust and mercy. The modern corporate world has made the political choice that there must be no promise which cannot be broken, and no cubic metre of the Earth which can be preserved from its rampage under any circumstance. It holds the power. It is God. It conquers all, and nothing hides from its light, or remains outside its sphere of destruction from where a finger could be pointed at its full-spectrum impoverishment. The forests shall be stripped into slagheaps and people will be given television sets for compensation. It is "unrealistic" that there be such a thing as public wilderness. Resistance is futile.

That's the message they want people to see.

Meanwhile, in a headline article which I've had to read because Myron is being a lazy, unproductive, good-for-nothing freeloader at the Competitive Enter-shaft Institute, Marlo Lewis growled about the proposed windfall tax on oil profits, trying to tell us that it's a legitimate return on investment qualified by the risk that oil might go out of fashion. He misrepresents the reader about (a) the clear difference between taxing profits and taxing income, and (b) the fact that oil is a finite resource that cannot be multiplied just because people are willing to pay more for it.

Mr Lewis goes on to say: "[E]very candid observer knows [this policy] is intended to penalize and stigmatize America's leading energy companies. Congress cannot single out U.S. oil companies for hostile treatment without increasing the already formidable political risks facing the industry and scaring off investors."

But, No-n-n-n-n-n-n-no-no. These profits are stigmatizing the industry bigtime, because people see a massive creaming off of the difference between a variably high market price against a more-or-less fixed cost of oil extraction. We, who have seen stock market bubbles and crashes, don't really believe in "investor confidence" as an aspect of long-term racial memory, to the extent that the "investors" in 5 years time are going to give a damn or even know what we do to the fat-cat "investors" in this age such that they could be tangibly "scared off" into putting their money somewhere else, like a hole in the ground.

They are too shielded from socio-political reality by this amazing PR machine, which includes the entire volume of lies that come out of the CEI.

Things have got to change.

What must happen is that the rich, the vastly wealthy oil companies, have got to come up with a way to seriously giving something back before we rise up and take it from them. They must make concessions for life on this planet to be bearable. The oil execs can, if they are not stupid, remain fabulously rich, as they are, but have got to know that pushing their dominance too far makes them like Marie-Antoinette. They will force the people to riot, and their heads will be on the block because they were too blind to see it coming, and too insensitive to realize people were hurting. It has not occured to them for one second that they had the power to put it right for essentially inconsequential costs to themselves in terms of their personal lifestyle and affluence.

It's foolish. It's unforgiveable. But these dumb-asses blindly resist all efforts to Get Real about the state of world by continuing to fund professional liars like Myron Ebell and his friends.

Exxon and the other corporate backers must immediately cease their funding of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and publically dissociate themselves from their message, before any sane consideration of the oil and environmental crises can begin.


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