Sunday, June 06, 2010

Oil / NafT / Petroleum, and Lies.

The crude-oil spill that is remaking the Gulf Coast (the effects will persist long after the leakage is brought under control), demonstrates the power we human beings have to carve the planet like it was our very own plasticene ball.

Companies like BP talk the talk with regard to the environment; it was back in 2006 when I was searching for a job my conscience could live with that I noticed something - there were no actual jobs at these gigantic Oil and Gas firms that relate to environment, sustainability, and the like. The frontpage of a typical company website would have a fantastic .pdf report with appropriate pictures and speeches, but when you looked inside the company, at the jobs, to see if the operation of the company had changed in any way to reflect its newfound environmentalism, you found they needed only the same type of staff as they had always needed - drilling engineers, completion engineers, etc.
Ah, so it was all just window-dressing!

Is this the kind of world we want to have, though? Where the largest companies in the world are commited to running roughshod over our need to have a beautiful and long-lasting planet?

Top 10 corporations worldwide, by revenue.


Meanwhile in Nigeria where the Gross Domestic "Product" is made up chiefly of crude oil exports, the kleptocracy (God punish them) has managed to spirit all that income away.

When you analyze Nigeria's macroeconomics, note that increasing GDP doesn't necessarily mean that Nigeria is producing anything more or better than before; when the price of crude rises, it often registers directly as increased GDP.

Nor does rising GDP mean that life is getting better for the 150 or so million people; the channel for funds from crude oil receipts to the grassroots is a leaky and treacherous one indeed.

Maybe Nigeria is inspired by the economic history of Nauru: a country that experienced a natural resource boom such that everybody was rolling in nice cars and then a dramatic bust when the resource - phosphate - ran out so that the country was suddenly humbled, with no skills, no investments, no usable land, ...

1 comment:

t said...

Spotlight on Nigeria's oil spills at he HuffingtonPost.com via Sahara Reporters:
By Omoyele Sowore

This week 700 million pairs of eyes from all around the world were focused on Africa to see Spain finally win Football's World Cup. It's now time those eyes focused on another kind of ball -- balls of oil fouling the environment off the coast of Nigeria.

The story line sounds familiar. A big oil company (in this case ExxonMobil) leaks vast amounts of oil, pollutes the waters (in this case the Atlantic Ocean) killing the fish, local industries and any hopes of a rapid clean up. Read More...

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