Green Post

The ‘haves’ in the oil industry, the health insurance industry, the financial sectors, had better start showing material support for new, green technologies and better more honest business practices or they had better hope that the new (“middle class”) wealthy will not show them as much scorn as they have shown to us once they slip from the top.


Polar Bears Are Not Vicious Killers, Humans Are

I sure do enjoy commenting at Huffington Post. The comment area can get interesting now and again. Often, I run to the end of a comment and realize that I need more room and more speedy fingers (yes, about 20 or 30 would do nicely). But, I know that the comment box only allows 250 words, and I cannot lay down my thoughts, on a fast moving thread, fast enough so that the comment will appear anywhere near the top, unless, of course, my comment is the root comment, and thus will always appear near the top, unless the comments are moderated (which is another issue altogether). So, I guess I have to write what I really wanted to say here. So, here:

This is a short transcript from a blog called “Nissan Leaf’s Strangely Moving Polar Bear Ad (VIDEO).” (First Posted: 09-10-10 05:17 PM, Updated: 09-10-10 05:22 PM. Apparently, not attributed to anyone.) Will not write the article here as it is linked above, if you want to read it.

(here is the video ad that this article was talking about. If the video is too large for the column shown to you by your browser, you can, if you have sufficient width space with your monitor, make your browser window wider.)

jefke: Of course polar bears are actually vicious killers which makes the ad a little ridiculous, not that that lessens the gravity of the effect of climate change on the polar bear population.

jabailo (commenting on jefke’s remark): If the ice was melting, wouldn’t the polar bear try and go further north to where its colder…instead of south to where it’s warmer?

GaryNMaine (comment on jabailo’s remark): Surely, you wouldn’t want to make a ‘logical’ argument against this ad? The ad is effective even if the actual facts would not support the animal heading south when crises arise. However, there will be an ending to the polar bears heading north once there is no ice left. But, if the polar bear can quickly adapt, the polar bear might survive. That being said, this type of adaptive capability is not available to mammals of the size of a polar bear. Farewell another endangered-by-man species. We can always read about you in our environmental-studies textbooks if, by then, we haven’t banned education altogether.

That’s about all I could write before the comment stream would shift to page two which, in fact, would make the whole point of commenting moot, since few venture beyond the first page of comments.

Mankind is at its wit’s end on how to deal with critical environmental matters such as climate change and man’s effect on his own environment.

There are people out there, those who own much, and pay so little into preserving this planet, who fight tooth and nail to preserve their financial interests. Why? I don’t know. Maybe they came up in a culture/household where grubbing for every last dime–let no one get in my way–kind of thinking. I am unqualified to analyze anyone’s motivations for the way they live and act. All I know is that the planet needs our help and we still follow the same course where anything that might slow business down is automatically poo pooed.

One day I do see the polar bear going extinct. The environmentalists will be up in arms well in advance of their demise. When the politicians and the corporate leaders finally realize that the environmental scientists were right all along, they will probably finally step in and try to fund projects to move the last polar bears to Antarctica, where the ice is receding, but not completely gone, yet. Being a very expensive endeavor as it most certainly would be, especially with the dwindling supply of fuels (to fuel the ships and move the apparatus forward) to get this done, there will be tremendous uproar from the right.

They would say:

  • Logical: The preservation of the polar bear species would put huge economic burdens on our failing economies.
  • Narcissistic: I got mine, so who cares what might happen in the future.
  • Bad Science: Sunspots are the true cause of climate change, so there is nothing we can do to change our plight.
  • Cynical: Animals have been going extinct throughout the history of this planet–what’s another animal, or two in the whole scheme of things.
  • Ignorant: [whoever they perceive as the Al Gore of their time] is a twit!
  • Party Line: I only vote [whatever party may be representing the interests of the right of their time]! It’s the other party’s fault that things are so bad these days!

You get my meaning. There are always arguments from those who have much too lose from progressing to a more sustainable future. It is, however, amazing how adept they are at getting ignorant people to vote against their own best interests. I mean, it is within most folks interests to see the planet survive for the benefit of future generations.

Essentially, there is only the first argument that has a logical basis. The rest are just cold-hearted, bitter people who have not found a way on Earth to be just ‘plain and simple’ happy. Or, they are simply too ignorant for their own good, and tend to listen to those with the gloomiest of messages.

Since it is impossible to predict politics into the future, it would be safe to say that there are only two directions we can go. The bitterness on the right, and the shock and horror from the left of what has been happening in the last few decades, has left us all in a position where, one way or the other, there will be a sizable shift politically in our near future. Guaranteed.

If we move to the right, this is what might happen:

There turned out to be not enough support for funding on the plans to move the polar bear from the Arctic to Antarctica. Though some funding was established for a certain number of polar bears to be sent to zoos around the world.

If we move to the left, this is what might happen:

Funding was established for the relocation of the polar bears to Antarctica, though environmentalists and left-leaning politicians have voiced concerns that this may very well be ‘too little, too late,’ and they hope to fund future measures to protect endangered species.

Either way, we have lost yet another species due to our lack of political will to make the hard choices. We are already seeing signs that climate change is happening, and some of the signs are alarming. It is more than likely too late for the majestic polar bear. The next time scientists warn of impending doom, we should probably take their claims seriously. Well, that is if we still bother ourselves with science once the shit hits the fan!


Mere Corporate Thuggery, Nothing to Concern Yourself About

A little something I found disturbing, but don’t fret, nothing you need to get worked up about.

U.S. Department of the Interior
Outer Continental Shelf Safety Oversight Board

Report to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
September 1, 2010

III. Inspections
D. Management Support (Analysis/Discussion)

• Most inspectors interviewed stated that industry often exerted pressure on them to minimize reporting violations during inspections. For example, personnel on a facility may make comments such as “there goes my bonus,” or “my wife is sick and I’ll lose my job.” Inspectors also reported that if they issued INCs [Incidents of Noncompliance], operators would sometimes call BOEMRE (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement) managers and complain about inspector behavior. For example, one inspector, new to the job, reported that on his first day on a platform he issued several INCs, and the company called to complain about his “rude and unprofessional behavior” before he returned to the office.

Reminds me of a familiar-to-all Marlon Brando movie:

(cue the melancholy theme music)

The Oilfather

(two BP employees talking in the lobby)

BP Employee 1: The COO is in an uncommonly good mood today. Hasn’t bitten anyone’s head off yet.
BP Employee 2: Jeez. I thought for sure when Margie forgot to use the green binders for the profit report, he was going to at least humiliate her good. Didn’t happen. I wonder what’s up with him? Must have gotten something special this morning from his girlfriend–couldn’t have gotten it from his wife.

(scene moves to the conference room where the BP Corporate Chief of Operations (COO), Tom (BP attorney and COO confidante), the chief at a Gulf oil rig, and several other BP executives)

BP Rig Chief: That new DOI inspector, Galen Chatterborg, has given the BlueSkyBlueSeasWonderfulPlanet oil drilling rig two INCs citations. (almost mumbling) Son of a bitch.

(in my best Godfather impersonation, ah-hem)

BP Corporate COO (calm, soothing): What do you suggest we do about this?

BP Rig Chief (frantic): We could stage an accident. I was thinking we could create a fake blow out and his dead carcass would be catapulted out to sea.

(The COO appearing a little surprised by the outburst, but delighted with the Chief’s ability to think on his feet)

BP Corporate COO (calm, soothing): I don’t think we need to resort to such harsh measures to deal with Mr. Chatterborg at this point. (pause) Let’s see what we can do from here. You needn’t worry about this matter anymore–we will handle it.

BP Rig Chief (frantic): But–

BP Corporate COO slowly rises to his feet and gestures with his hand that the conversation with the BP Rig Chief is over. A few lesser BP executives are alerted by the COO’s movement that they should ready themselves to escort the BP Rig Chief out of the conference room.

The BP Rig Chief, sheepishly gives the BP Corporate COO a slight tilt of the head in the affirmative, and then leaves the room along with the lesser BP executives.

BP Corporate COO: Tom, we will need to do something about this.

Tom (BP attorney and Chief of Staff to the Big Guy): My staff has done a little preliminary background work on Mr. Chatterborg. He has a new mortgage in New Orleans, two fairly new automobiles, and an older SUV. His wife, Becky, and him have been married for two years, and they have a masculine bun in the oven. He has been with the DOI for about a month, before that, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan in environmental studies and forestry. That is all we have on him at this point. We are trying to find out where his wife works, but have not been able to find this out, yet.


BP Corporate COO: Give this job to Sarah Palin (his secretary and corporate flunky). Have her call Sam Smithers, the BOEMRE manager, and tell them that the new inspector they sent, Galen Chatterborg, exhibited rude and unprofessional behavior when he inspected the BlueSkyBlueSeasWonderfulPlanet oil drilling rig this afternoon. Be sure to tell her not to get carried away–after all, we are not thugs. (pause) He’s a bright boy, he’ll know what he has to do.

(clap, clap, clap, cheer)

Good theatre, but not particularly pleasant from the point of view of the DOI inspector.

. . .

Galen Chatterborg, is a pleasant fellow, just finished up college, with honors too! Worked for the forest service when he was a boy and always wanted to be a forest ranger. Not in the cards, I guess, but he still has hopes of someday becoming a ranger, but this job was what was available at the time and, being a married man with a baby on the way, he had to take what he could get.

Galen’s wife is a pretty girl who he met and married while they were both still in college. They have a child on the way (a boy, but Becky is withholding this from Galen, until their Anniversary, three days from today).

Galen has only been inspecting rigs for the Department of Interior for a month and has inspected three so far. One was an Exxon rig, and the other two were owned by Conoco-Phillips. Pretty clean, he thought, and their maintenance crews were top notch.

Today he inspected a BP oil rig called the BlueSkyBlueSeasWonderfulPlanet rig. Sure, we all know that BP markets itself as the environmental oil company, but we all know that this is far from the truth. BP does their seemingly environmentally conscious marketing just to keep the natives happily confused.

When Galen arrived back at the DOI after the inspection, he was called into his bosses office and told that he was reported for “rude and unprofessional behavior” by some ignorant-sounding woman at BP. Galen told his boss, and several witnesses, everything that had happened at the rig. The violations that he had written up in the two Incidents of Noncompliance citations.

Galen left his bosses office understanding that this was simply a “shot across the bow” by BP, and he shouldn’t be too alarmed about it. But, he does understand, now, how he is expected to do his job. Make waves and the pressure would get much, much worse; or, stop reporting violations and live long and prosper. Remember, at home, you have a beautiful wife who is carrying your child.

No righteous person should ever have to make this choice. So, what will it be–preserving his self respect, or the job. Self respect will not protect his family and their middle-class lifestyle.

The American people should not tolerate their employees being intimidated by corporations who clearly are not working in the best interests of the people of this great nation, nor the people of the world.

Nothing to get worked up about. This is just how some corporations operates these days. What a shameful bunch of thugs.


We’ve All Been Written Off

September 2, 2020:

Democrat Virg Bernero said Thursday he’ll stop the state from doing business with banks that won’t lend in Michigan if he’s elected governor. Kathy Banks Hoffman, AP

He also said on The Ed Show tonight that, “…the banks have written off Michigan.”

Let me clue you in, Mr. Bernero, the banks have written us all off.