Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lloyds of London says: Big Oil Will Destroy Arctic

Lloyds of London, that rock of Gibraltar of capitalism, issued a report earlier this month
that warned Big Oil to stay away from the Arctic. "Arctic oil rush will ruin ecosystem", headlined the British Guardian newspaper. The Lloyd's report concluded that it is "highly likely" that future exploration and drilling in the Arctic will stress and damage ecosystems already disturbed by global warming and increased economic activity in the region. The Guardian quotes Lloyd's CEO Richard Ward as urging companies not to "rush in [but instead to] step back and think carefully about the consequences of that action". But such caution is not likely to occur. After all, we're talking here about capitalism, Big Oil, and potential profit. The energy giants are about as likely to "step back and think carefully about the consequences of that action" as they have been to, say, reverse global warming, or protect the Gulf of Mexico and the oceans, or preserve the Amazon rain forest. That is, not at all. Global warming. Droughts and looming severe water shortages. Nuclear proliferation. Killing off of countless wildlife species, both terrestrial and acquatic. The threats abound, they are increasing in number and in severity, and they are interacting with one another. These pose real dangers of catastrophic events in the not so distant future, events that pose a threat to civilization as we know it. This is what capitalism has in store for us. But it does not have to be. We need not be chained to the drive to accumulate and increase profit. We know that another world is possible. It's not difficult to see how different that world would be from the world of capitalism, is it? All we need do is open our eyes, look around us, and see what they're doing in the Arctic, in the Amazon, in the Gulf, in the oceans, in the black and brown communities, ... -- and then think of what should be done and what we would do. We just need to remove the plugs from our ears and the blinders from our eyes.

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