Finally, some good news

Are you the kind of person who worries about global warming? And the environment? And the Koch brother’s explicitly stated plan to purchase themselves a president next year? Do you find every scientific update about the climate terrifying and depressing? Does a knot form in your stomach every time you glance at the headlines coming out of Congress? Yeah. Me too.

Well, here’s a bunch of stuff that’s going to make you feel better. Or, at least, it should. Except that if you’re like me in this way too, you don’t really get much joy out of other people’s misery. Now, don’t get me wrong. There is no upper limit whatsoever on the agony and bad luck I wish upon Dick Cheney, Rex Tillerson, Mitch McConnell, those Koch brothers, and a few dozen other wretched maggots who slither across our planet. But when I read about layoffs in Texas due to the drop in oil prices, I have to dampen down the sadness I feel for those families experiencing a disruption in their financial situation and focus on the bigger picture. This is not an easy process, to be honest. But it is made MUCH easier when I’m bombarded by stories out of Fox News or Capitol Hill about what our sell-out politicians are up to just to appease the fossil fuel industry. Or when I read about the unending criminal injustices heaped upon our natural world when there’s yet another oil spill.

So, keep in mind that the first quarter for businesses ended March 31, 2015. The economic news out of the fossil fuel industry is grim. Again, keep that big picture in mind:

Fuel Fix » Oil firms may have to cut deeper than $126B, report says_Page_1 Fuel Fix » Oil firms may have to cut deeper than $126B, report says_Page_2

You can probably see that in the comment section of this Fuel Fix article, I made an effort to twist the proverbial knife a little. Here’s the truth of it: I don’t like heaping unkind words onto already bad news. I just don’t. It feels ugly and unnecessary; however, this industry is mean. It is brutal, impolite, and heartless, if that can be said about corporations. The business model is ruthless and there is zero regard for anything and anyone that stands in its way. Is that different, you might ask, than the business model for model airplanes? No. Is it all that different than the business model for Hostess Twinkies? Probably not. How about playing cards? Nope. Corporations have a fiduciary duty to keep the profits rolling. They are, like humans, keen on their own survival. But model airplane companies, the Twinkie company and the playing card business aren’t killing off thousands of species and shoving us humans towards our own extinction-level event. Sure, someone will probably say that playing cards are made of paper, which comes from trees, yada yada yada. But that is NOT really the same scope of destruction, now is it? People may be killed for a model airplane company, I suppose. But it’s probably pretty rare. I do know for a fact that people are killed over fossil fuel company profits. If you doubt this in any way, just look up Niger Delta. And that’s just for starters.

Now that we’ve ever so slightly “stiffened our upper lips,” here’s more news from the fossil fuel industry:

Shale bust

The article (above) about shale can and SHOULD be used to defend our communities against fracking, if that beast is bearing down on you. This type of information is important because it shows that there is simply NO GOOD REASON to keep fracking the daylights out of the planet, poisoning everything in sight, and using up precious water supplies. What this SHOULD also scream at you is that these companies are going to start cutting corners on safety and curbing their spending on any measure of environmental safeguards they may have pretended to care about during their heady “gold rush days.” And, when they start going “belly up,” as they are already beginning to do, there will be NO ONE left holding the “clean up the mess left behind” bag, except the taxpayers and the government. And, frankly, the government has already dished out far too many subsidies to these guys already. The term, “insult to injury” does not quite do it justice.

Moreover, Ceres wrote a piece about the looming financial disaster posed by stranded assets of fossil fuels which are already “on the books” of oil and gas companies, but which may not be recoverable. This type of warning provides further evidence that aggressive pursuit of increasingly difficult (and costly) to reach oil and gas plays are entirely out of bounds, business-wise. Forget about the fact that it’s utter madness if we are using any kind of environmental yardstick. The collapse in the price of oil is entirely the fault of oil producers, US companies in particular, as they were essentially declaring war on OPEC (And therefore on my sweet Ali al-Naimi. I do wonder if he ever saw my love letter to him last November? You can read it by clicking Ali al-Naimi in the tag cloud) by flooding the international market with spoils from the fracking boom. American oil and gas executives were acting like kids left unsupervised in a big candy store, eating until they put themselves into a sugar coma.

ali meme

Anyway, I got sidetracked by Ali, but the Ceres Organization piece is here and it is excellent.

So the end result of rock bottom prices in world oil markets is that a) we pay less at the pump, however,  b) we are left to worry about the health of an industry that is FINALLY not gauging us, but which c) may now go belly up, thus asking for handouts and road projects and every other kind of such nonsense but NOT, of course, asking if they can clean up all the environmental messes they’ve left behind.

Be alert America. Dick Cheney is lurking in a dark hallway somewhere, trying to throw metaphorical gasoline on some remote hot spot in order to flare up a war scenario, thus driving up oil prices and simultaneously wiping out people that no one cared much about before. Survey says: Yemen.