Monday, May 17, 2010

The Destroyers (III)

Re: the current, unfolding ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the worst ever.

In that light it’s very interesting and revealing to look at another disaster and another, typical oil company.

It’s now well over 20 years ago since the grounding of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez in the sound of Valdez, Alaska. Both during and after the «incident» we have been subjected to many acts humans should have been without.

When the news first reached us, it sounded dramatic, of course. Even braindead news reporters realized that something important had happened. The more information we received in the subsequent hours, days and weeks and years, the worse it turned out to be.

Whales, millions of birds and fish and other animals died during and after the grounding.

The oil company Exxon Mobil, a company with an already justified bad reputation got an even worse one.

Presenting, for all truth-seeking readers many of the world’s foremost groups of destroyers, of industrial companies and corporations.

The local Eskimo tribe calls it «the day the ocean died», a very fitting description, and one crushing any attempt from Exxon Mobil and industrial-friendly people to explain away the disaster.

People have moved from the place in droves. It’s quite simply not possible to properly live there anymore. Those still there suffer from despair, severe depression and boundless aggression on a daily basis.

It looks better, now, compared to just after the grounding, but the poison stays in the system, in the area’s ecology. There is still oil on the beaches and the responsible company is still denying responsibility. Experts say that it may take decades, and even centuries until nature in the area regains its balance. The disaster is ongoing, also because Exxon Mobil continues to terrorize former and current inhabitants with their lawyers and monetary power and its all-powerful influence in the modern society.

One talks about this disaster as an accident, but it wasn’t really. The Alaskan Oil Spill Commission puts it this way:

«The grounding of the Exxon Valdez was not an isolated, freak occurrence. It was simply one result of policies, habits and practices that for nearly two decades have infused the nation's maritime oil transportation system with increasing levels of risk. The Exxon Valdez was an accident waiting to happen.»

Three minutes past midnight the crew failed in the attempt at correcting the ship after passing an iceberg and was grounded, and enormous amounts of oil, as much as 40 000 tons began leaking into the sea. There have been bigger disasters measured in amount of oil, but not when considering the environmental destruction and also taking into account what Exxon Mobil has or hasn’t done in the disaster’s aftermath.

Several documentaries list step-by-step the extensive array of mistakes and mistaken politics leading to the disaster. Exxon Valdez is yet another well-documented ongoing «accident». Nothing has changed. If anything companies like Exxon Mobil has gained an even greater power to destroy the last twenty years. Since Exxon Valdez Big Oil's power has just grown further. Things have gone from bad to worse, like it has in the world at large.

The accidents continue. The spills continue. It has, since 1989, in major and minor accidents been spills akin to three Exxon Valdez disasters in the Valdez area alone.

The compensation «awarded» after the disaster is in itself very telling. The amount Exxon eventually was ordered to pay in punitive damages after twenty years of court proceedings is hardly even small change.

Exxon has also been very active in its attempts at working against any measure to counter the human created Global Warming and in undermining the climate change research. The research group Union of Concerned Scientists has in a report published three years ago documented that company has used 16 million dollars to create confusion and spread disinformation about the human created Global Warming. They’ve fabricated (in Norwegian) uncertainty about the warming and its causes the same way the tobacco companies did with smoking. They’ve financed countless organizations and also started some from the ground up to create an impression of a disagreement that isn’t there.

«Doubt is our product».

And they’ve used their enormous political influence to block all extensive legislation reducing their power and profit and that may decrease the Global Warming.

On the Alaskan tundra oil keeps leaking from their operations, several hundred thousand liters the last few years alone. The company ships keep polluting the seven seas.

All in all, Exxon Mobil deserves a prominent spot among the worst of the worst when the most negative influences in the current world are mentioned.

1 comment:

FemmeFM said...

thank you for a sad look at our Gulf Coast future. Funny, all the jokes and protests against the 'scaredy cat' people of France. Yet their people did something when the Queen said 'let them eat cake'. When the oil kings say 'let them fish somewhere else', Americans just accept it and continue to allow the unofficial ruling powers of corporations destroy our living areas.