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Opednews.com: Stop Ignoring the Obvious

EXTRACT: What we find perturbing is the brazen gouging and massive profiteering. Recent headlines about BP forging Alaskan pipeline inspection documents and coercing workers to lie clearly show the “profit above people” mentality of Big Oil.

THE ARTICLE 

October 9, 2006 at 04:38:10
by David Rippe
http://www.opednews.com 

Energy Crisis?
Let’s Stop Ignoring the Obvious
David Rippe and Jared Rosen

Many Americans are oblivious to the energy they waste. We don’t see the connection between our lack of energy conservation, cruising around in cars that get poor gas mileage, high fuel prices, wars in the Middle East and global warming. We’re disconnected from the repercussions of our actions and habits. We’ll drive on toward oblivion, complaining all the way.

All Americans could significantly reduce their energy consumption, save lots of money, and reduce pollution at the same time. It’s an easy choice to make. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to make even the slightest sacrifice. In the upside-down world described in our book, The Flip (www.theflip.net), people do not correlate unbridled consumption of finite resources like coal and oil with personal responsibility. The United States comprises 4% of the earth’s population but we consume over 25% of its energy. We think it is our God-given right to live excessively. Well, it’s certainly a choice, but it is not a right.

Upside down consumers think there is an endless supply of energy, and if not, we’ll find some other technology in the future to supply our needs. But energy supply is only a part of the problem. The burning of fossil fuels, along with other devastating human activities, is causing serious damage to our environment, precipitating global warming on an unprecedented scale. Yes, there are those who deny global warming exists. But, seriously, there is no debate. There is only doubt stirred by big-pocket business interests to distract and misinform. The facts have been settled, global warming is real, it’s dangerous, and it’s cooking a neighborhood near you.

Energize Me

That a capitalistic powerhouse like the United States needs energy resources to secure and maintain its dominance is easy to grasp. Energy runs our factories, lights our homes, fuels our cars, illuminates our television sets, keeps us warm and provides a hundred other positive benefits. We are not arguing that energy usage is bad. We are only stating that in the upside-down world, mindless consumption is not only selfish and irresponsible, but dangerous and potentially deadly for our children, grandchildren and all future generations.

The question is not whether abundant energy is useful; rather what are the cheapest, most reliable, renewable sources of energy? We are informed that energy production and consumption is a complicated matter that we shouldn’t worry our pretty little heads about. The people who control the energy supply profess to be of, by, and for the people, but in fact operate solely in the best interest of their profits. And the profits are huge. Those at the top of the energy food chain do quite well.
• 4 of the 7 most profitable companies in the upside-down world are oil companies-Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Chevron

• Here is the 2005 breakdown in profit, not sales, profit
• Exxon Mobil made $31.6 billion
• Royal Dutch Shell made $25.3 billion
• BP made $21.7 billion
• Chevron made $14.1 billion
• Combined the four oil companies made $92.7 billion in profit in 2005
• Total value of these four companies is nearly $1 trillion

The Bush Administration and our corrupt Congress didn’t feel that was enough profit so plopped a cherry on top of the sundae with $14.5 billion worth of tax breaks and incentives via the industry-friendly Energy Bill passed in August 2005. We don’t begrudge anyone the right to make a profit. A modest profit seems reasonable, especially if funds are reinvested in research and development for alternative technologies to harness renewable sources. What we find perturbing is the brazen gouging and massive profiteering. Recent headlines about BP forging Alaskan pipeline inspection documents and coercing workers to lie clearly show the “profit above people” mentality of Big Oil.

Something must be done.

David Rippe is coauthor of The Flip–Turn Your World Around. He is also founder and president of Celestia International, a strategic marketing communication and creative services firm

www.theflip.net

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