OK. We’re Getting a Bicycle


Begley, on BP boycotting:

Go ahead, boycott BP. Not only do you get to send a message to the company that has proved incapable of stopping the undersea gusher unleashed on April 20, but (unless you live in a one-gas-station town) you can do it without much pain to yourself.

Drive right on by the BP station and pull up to the pumps from Exxon, the company responsible for the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 and, more recently, one of the biggest corporate funders of the movement to tar the science of climate change. Exxon also managed to reduce the $5 billion in punitive damages awarded by an Anchorage jury for the Valdez disaster to $507.5 million; the Valdezfishermen and other victims have still not been made whole. (Fun fact: to protect itself in case the original judgment was affirmed, Exxon got a line of credit from JP Morgan, which the bank then parlayed into the first credit default swap, as recounted in the 2009 book Fool’s Gold by Gillian Tett. These are the exotic financial instruments that helped trigger the Great Recession of 2008–09.)

Or roll into the Texaco or Chevron station (Chevron bought Texaco in 2001). Texaco is being sued by people in Ecuador for contaminating their groundwater, causing hundreds of residents to develop fatal cancers and causing other environmental damage near the Lago Agrio oilfield, where Texaco dumped oil-production waste (18.5 billion gallons into open, unlined pits) for almost 20 years.

Dear everyone who owns a car: congratulations on being directly responsible for the largest environmental disaster in history.

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    They may not be disasters, but: Shell extracts oil from Canadian oil sands, which produces four times as much carbon...
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