Friday, August 26, 2011

New York City & East Coast SHell Shocked by Big Storm: Will Oil Companies Pay For the Damages or You and Me?

Hurricane Irene is going to hit NYC and the East Coast starting tomorrow. President Obama declared a state of emergency before the storm hits. The East Coast is going to be SHELL shocked. Are the oil companies paying attention? You betcha. There is no direct evidence yet that this storm was caused by oil companies Shell, Exxon Mobil and other companies that make their profit by selling oil and gas, then dumping their waste stream into the atmosphere at no charge. But any lawyer will tell you that it is the circumstantial evidence that is most compelling. And there is plenty of circumstantial evidence linking the storm we are witnessing this week with the oil industry’s exhaust pipes. The folks who work for a living have seen enough to put the dots together on the cause and effect of these big storms. These storms never used to be this bad. And you know what? It seems to me they are getting worse every year. Hurricanes blow in from the ocean every year. But what the oil and gas industry doesn’t want us to talk about is how their pollution mixes in the atmosphere to heat everything up, making hurricanes more powerful and more damaging than ever before. SHELL, EXXON MOBIL, TEXACO, CHEVRON all sell you and me products that they know are killing us. They can see the evidence just like we can that the fuels they are selling us are heating everything to kingdom come. They don’t want us to make connections, to link bad weather with longer term climate crisis. They are busy distracting us with Climate Impacts for the Complete Idiot and other stories cranked out by the public affairs firms they hire to distract us. As if we are all idiots. Why? Because even though these executives have children and grandchildren who they care deeply about, they care more about the quarterly profits, and will let someone else worry about the future. You think they are playing with the same rule book you and I play with, where you try not to kill off the only planet your species has ever known. But they are not thinking that far ahead. They are not paid to think that far ahead. I say we send them the bill for this latest explosion of nature’s fury. Like I said, they didn’t create the hurricane. Only God and Nature can do that. But we are watching New York City get SHELL shocked because these gas companies have put the pedal to the metal on a bad storm and made it much much worse. The problem is a serious one we can solve. We have to invest a lot right now in solar, wind and hydro. We have to make the oil companies pay a fee for polluting our air with CO2. That fee goes to pay for alternative energy that we build and grow here in the US. And that will take some of the bad heat building up and cool off these hurricanes. It will also power our computers, cars, lights, and heat our homes with clean, low cost, reliable energy. But this weekend, it is likely we’re going to get a bill for tens of billions of dollars in damages. Should we keep letting Shell, Exxon Mobil, Texaco and the other oil companies collect billions in profits and pass the effects of their pollution onto us? How is that fair?