Newest fossil-fuel-powered hurricanes met with big shrugs from Big Oil
Appropriately, when you look for the slickest of the slick, turn to the oil companies of America. Even before the two record-breaking hurricanes this month, they had already gotten away with nothing short of putting all life on the planet on the verge of extinction. That was for starters. Now, these monster storms cause immense damage in Texas and Florida, and everyone wants to talk only about “neighbors helping neighbors.” What about the responsibility, the culpability, of oil and coal!?
The costs of the unprecedentedly powerful hurricanes Harvey and Irma (besides the dozens of irreplaceable souls lost) skyrocketed into the hundreds of billions of dollars this week. There is bountiful scientific evidence that these hurricanes set so many all-time destruction records because of global warming—caused primarily by humans burning fossil fuels. The billions in damage costs are not in question, so my question is this: Why aren’t oil and coal companies being sued to recover the portion of damages that the use of their products caused?
Are American taxpayers looked upon as patsies of Big Oil and Big Coal? Are we supposed to pick up the tab for all disasters, no matter how bad they get and no matter how much of the aggravating factors are caused by industries that profit in the trillions of dollars yearly? Why isn’t the U.S. government stepping in to get those industries to pay their fair share? (That last question becomes more rhetorical in tandem with levels of corruption in government, I’m aware of that.)
For example, the president of the United States told Floridians today that Irma was a hurricane “the likes of which we can say—really say—nobody’s ever seen before.” Later today, he told reporters on Air Force One that, “We’ve had bigger storms than this.” How much clearer can it get? The president merely says what he thinks will suit him best in any given situation. With evidence that much—if not all— of this administration’s reason for existing is the merging of U.S. and Russian fossil fuel interests, and with the president out of reach of those pesky hurricane victims, of course he’s going to say that we’ve seen bigger storms. Rex Tillerson wouldn’t have it any other way!
But Tillerson’s Exxon Mobil and all the rest of U.S. Big Oil still get headlines as gracious, generous philanthropists—for donating a measly $23 million in total (among all the oil companies) to hurricane relief. For comparison, NFL player J.J. Watt raised $37 million in his own fundraising campaign. To me, that number from the oil barons comes with a jab at the American public. Just the slightest chuckle as they get away with murder.
My upcoming novel, ULTIMATE ERROR, is about the bamboozling of the U.S. citizenry by its government and its major corporations. Somehow, too many of us have come to believe that being wealthy and having good morals go hand in hand. Often, nothing could be further from the truth.