Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Big Oil : Greed in the time of failure

 Despite current global warming doom impending upon us, we see companies such as ExxonMobil and Chevron report record-high earnings. Not only is this alarming in an ecological sense, but as workers and as people struggling in a time of inflation and poverty, we see $11.4 Billion made by Exxon alone.

They exploit their workers, particularly in the Global South, pay below minimum wage, place workers in unsafe conditions and deny them their basic labour rights. Yet they still continue despite activists campaigning for years. False promises and years of fake greenwashing are truly apparent now. You can plainly see that these companies have not been taxed more, stopped nor prevented from destroying the planet. You can practically hear how giddy they are that they’ve been pulling this off for so long.

In 2018, the UK seemingly forgot about the Paris Agreement when trying to extend Gatwick Airport. The sentiment is still the same. We haven’t seen any actual environmental change since their Climate Change Act of 2008 – which hasn’t been followed – and the Environmental Act of 2021 which ClientEarth has said will ‘not protect people’s health from particulate pollution’.

It’s painfully clear that the government is not taking these issues seriously. They are rather more worried about illegal immigration – ‘Why let refugees enter our country and cause what is obviously going to be havoc?’ – because that’s what’s the most pressing issue at the moment of course. I suppose if you compare them to the religious pilgrims who fled persecution in Britain to colonise the US, you would think they’re armed with guns and smallpox.

There’s ways we could try to make changes, we could make a petition, which will get taken to parliament and then immediately get shot down. We could protest, and slowly get arrested and silenced as our leaders pass a Public Order Act basically outlawing all effective means of protest that XR and Greenpeace love to use.

What can we do? It’s easy to feel hopeless in a time like this, when corrupt feeds corrupt and we are left to suffer at the bottom. Within this system, there’s not much we can do other than vote. But we still have the ability to make ourselves heard. As long as we continue support a capitalist system we continue to support the heartless and soulless greed of these companies. We have to continue to show our opposition. 



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