This is the Insurgent Radio Kiosk for Thursday, November 14th
Mighty Exxon Mobil now finds itself in federal court, finally being called to account for the true cost of the damage that its oil and gas operations are doing to our climate.
This lawsuit points out that it is easy to be exorbitantly profitable if you don’t have to include your enormous pollution costs on your corporate books. Technically, the lawsuit charges that Exxon kept two sets of financial books – one acknowledging internally that its pollution was devastating our climate and would eventually cost both shareholders and taxpayers a fortune; and the other a rosy public presentation hiding those costs in order to puff up profits and claim that fossil fuels are more cost-effective than wind, solar, and other clean energy sources.
This blatant deceit has defrauded shareholders about the actual value of their investment, diverted public policy from non-polluting fuels, and accelerated the radical impacts of climate change. While the lawsuit will largely focus on arcane aspects of securities law, it’s fundamentally about corporate morality. As environmental activist Lee Wasserman recently put it, “we’re victims of a small group of gargantuan companies that recklessly and deliberately ignored the implications of their own science and worked to deceive the public.” Indeed, their recklessness continues – even though Exxon now admits the damage its products are causing, Wasserman notes that the behemoth “is planning to increase its oil output by 25 percent by 2025.”
Of course, any monetary fine the corporation might have to pay will only be a tiny fraction of its yearly income, so that’s not the real deterrent. Rather, the real punishment is that Exxon and its executives are finally being revealed as the same morally repugnant profiteers as the soulless tobacco industry has been.
“Exxon’s Climate Change Deceit,” New York Times, October 23, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/21/opinion/exxon-climate-change.html
“A Climate Lawsuit Versus Exxon Mobil Finally Goes to Trial,” October 22, 2019 https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/climate/new-york-lawsuit-exxon.html
Hightower’s commentaries are brought to you by The Hightower Lowdown, the monthly newsletter with Hightower’s take on what Wall Street and Washington are up to. For information, visit hightowerlowdown.org.
A free discussion on “Galloping Inequality and Corruption in The Age of Capitalist Decline” with Scott Benike, will be held this evening starting at 6:30 p.m. at Madison’s Central Library, 201 West Mifflin Street. Sponsored by the Peregrine Forum. For information, phone 284-9082.
Enjoy an “Evening with James Baldwin”, featuring readings from Baldwin’s prose and poetry by Melvin Hinton and Quanda Johnson, this evening at 7 p.m. at the Urban League, 2222 South Park Street. For information, phone 729-1200.
Thinking about a new career direction, but still wondering how to get started? Get a jump start at a free Career Change 101 workshop on Friday, November 15th from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Hawthorne Library, 2707 East Washington Avenue. Presented by the UW Continuing Education staff. For information, phone 246-4548.
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Dane County offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for those 55 and older. Volunteers can make a difference at the Henry Vilas Zoo, The River Food Pantry, Prospect Gardens, the Community Action Coalition, the Wisconsin Historical Museum and elsewhere. Phone 441-7891 for information.
The Insurgent Radio Kiosk is a four minute pre-recorded segment featuring a commentary and a calendar of daily events. Events must be low cost or non-profit and of interest to people in and around the WORT listening area. Please submit announcements at least ten days before the event at wortfm.org/kioskannouncements.
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This has been the Insurgent Radio Kiosk heard weekdays at 5:00, 6:30 and 9:00 AM and at 2:00 PM. With Engineer Alida, I’m Union Maid.
Submit announcements at least ten days in advance of the event at wortfm.org/kiosk/announcements