Thoughts from a far

Outsights from a tall storey …

Originally posted by MSN (via MichaelMoore.com) May 19th, 2010 7:09 PM:

By Clara Moskowitz / MSNBC

The huge oil slick off the Louisiana began April 20 when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig operated by British Petroleum exploded and sank. The devastating oil flow has caused untold damage to the environment and wildlife, and it is still leaking.

It is a heartbreaking sight from space, station astronauts said.
"Just 30 minutes ago we passed over the Mexican Gulf and we took a lot of pictures of this oil spot," space station commander Oleg Kotov, a Russian cosmonaut, told reporters on Earth via a video link.
"It looks very scary," Kotov said. "It's not good. I really feel … not good about that."
Also visible from their vantage point on the station is ash from the massive ongoing eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

"Yes, we can see ash above the Europe, especially in the evening hours," Kotov said. "We cannot see the volcano itself. Many ecological problems we can observe and monitor from this space station. It's very useful for this perspective."
NASA astronaut Piers Sellers, a trained ecologist currently at the station as part of the visiting space shuttle Atlantis' crew, said the oil slick is an unshakeable example of humanity's effect on its home planet.
"These things aren't good," he said of the oil slick. "When you fly around the planet you get to see the thumbprint of man all over the place."

While mostly that thumbprint is positive, such as sustainable cities and cultivation of the land for agriculture, there are also signs of the damage humanity has done to Earth. Nonetheless, he said, the sight of the globe gave him hope.
"We're optimistic, I think, that people will eventually learn to look after the planet".

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/latest-news/astronauts-see-scary-oil-spill-space

First off, the oil slick is a common occurrence in other regions where BP and Shell operate. But didn't the Rockoilfellow from thwe good ole US of A get his monopoly broken up in the early '20's over the way that Southern Oil was operating?

And that was long before anyone ever thought much about the environment -except a few injuns that is. In a dirty business it dowesn't pay to play clean. The Nigerian government is killing the tribes in the oil region so that there is no voluable opposition to the behaviour of petrol producers.

So it's either you drive to work or they starve. Or maybe they can get someone to help them live whilst the land recovers. I don't think so. (Just how long does virtual tar macadam take to return to farm land?)

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts from a far

  1. The original offending oil company was Standard Oil not Southern Oil. And the monopoly was in the transport of the oil not the production:Originally posted by Wikipedia:

    Standard Oil began as an Ohio partnership formed by the well-known industrialist John D. Rockefeller, his brother William Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, chemist Samuel Andrews, silent partner Stephen V. Harkness, and Oliver Burr Jennings, who had married the sister of William Rockefeller's wife. In 1870 Rockefeller incorporated Standard Oil in Ohio.Of the initial 10,000 shares, John D. Rockefeller received 2,667; William Rockefeller, Flagler, and Andrews received 1,333 each; Harkness received 1,334; Jennings received 1,000; and the firm of Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler received 1,000.[4] Using highly effective tactics, later widely criticized, it absorbed or destroyed most of its competition in Cleveland in less than two months in 1872 and later throughout the northeastern United States.In the early years, John D. Rockefeller dominated the combine, for he was the single most important figure in shaping the new oil industry.[5] He quickly distributed power and the tasks of policy formation to a system of committees, but always remained the largest shareholder. Authority was centralized in the company's main office in Cleveland, but decisions in the office were made in a cooperative way.In response to state laws trying to limit the scale of companies, Rockefeller and his associates developed innovative ways of organizing, to effectively manage their fast growing enterprise. In 1882, they combined their disparate companies, spread across dozens of states, under a single group of trustees.By a secret agreement, the existing thirty-seven stockholders conveyed their shares "in trust" to nine Trustees: John and William Rockefeller, Oliver H. Payne, Charles Pratt, Henry Flagler, John D. Archbold, William G. Warden, Jabez Bostwick, and Benjamin Brewster.[7] This organization proved so successful that other giant enterprises adopted this "trust" form.The company grew by increasing sales and also through acquisitions. After purchasing competing firms, Rockefeller shut down those he believed to be inefficient and kept the others. In a seminal deal, in 1868, the Lake Shore Railroad, a part of the New York Central, gave Rockefeller's firm a going rate of one cent a gallon or forty-two cents a barrel, an effective 71% discount off of its listed rates in return for a promise to ship at least 60 carloads of oil daily and to handle the loading and unloading on its own.Smaller companies decried such deals as unfair because they were not producing enough oil to qualify for discounts.In 1872, Rockefeller joined the South Improvement Company which would have allowed him to receive rebates for shipping and receive drawbacks on oil his competitors shipped. But when this deal became known, competitors convinced the Pennsylvania Legislature to revoke South Improvement's charter.No oil was ever shipped under this arrangement.In one example of Standard's aggressive practices, a rival oil association tried to build an oil pipeline to overcome Standard's virtual boycott of its competitors. In response, the railroad company at Rockefeller's direction denied the association permission to run the pipeline across railway land,[citation needed] forcing consortium staff to laboriously decant the oil into barrels, carry them over the railway crossing in carts, and pump the oil manually into the pipeline on the other side. When Rockefeller learned of this tactic, he instructed the railway company to park empty rail cars across the line, thereby preventing the carts from crossing his property.Standard's actions and secret transport deals helped its kerosene price to drop from 58 to 26 cents from 1865 to 1870. Competitors disliked the company's business practices, but consumers liked the lower prices. Standard Oil, being formed well before the discovery of the Spindletop oil field and a demand for oil other than for heat and light, was well placed to control the growth of the oil business.The company was perceived to own and control all aspects of the trade.Oil could not leave the oil field unless Standard Oil agreed to move it. The "posted price" for oil was the price that Standard Oil agents printed on fliers that were nailed to posts in oil producing areas, and producers had no power to negotiate those prices.In 1885, Standard Oil of Ohio moved its headquarters from Cleveland to its permanent headquarters at 26 Broadway in New York City. Concurrently, the trustees of Standard Oil of Ohio chartered the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (SOCNJ) to take advantages of New Jersey's more lenient corporate stock ownership laws. SOCNJ eventually became one of many important companies that dominated key markets, such as steel and the railroads.Also in 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act — the source of all American anti-monopoly laws. The law forbade every contract, scheme, deal, or conspiracy to restrain trade, though the phrase "restraint of trade" remained subjective. The Standard Oil group quickly attracted attention from antitrust authorities leading to a lawsuit filed by Ohio Attorney General David K. Watson.From 1882 to 1906, Standard paid out $548,436,000 in dividends at 65.4% payout ratio. As is common practice in business, a fraction of the profits was put back into the business, rather than being distributed to stockholders. The total net earnings from 1882 to 1906 amounted to $838,783,800, exceeding the dividends by $290,347,800. The latter amount was used for plant expansions.

    Such tactics remind me of Microsoft. But today's headlines include posted profits from Britain's giant food suppliers. In a recession, people still gotta eat, right?So why are farmers still at the mercy of conglomerates that refuse to pay a living wage price to their suppliers?Is it anything to do with the law of supplier demands?And for just how long can these companies milk the dairy dry?

  2. Despite its evil natureOriginally posted by Wikipedia:

    In 1941, an investigation exposed a cartel between John D. Rockefeller's United States-based Standard Oil Co. and I.G. Farben.It also brought new evidence concerning complex price and marketing agreements between DuPont, a major investor in and producer of leaded gasoline, U.S. Industrial Alcohol Co. and their subsidiary, Cuba Distilling Co.The investigation was eventually dropped, like dozens of others in many different kinds of industries, due to the need to enlist industry support in the war effort.However, the top directors of many oil companies agreed to resign and oil industry stocks in molasses companies were sold off as part of a compromise worked out.IG Farben built a factory (named Buna Chemical Plant) for producing synthetic petroleum and rubber (from coal) in Auschwitz, which was the beginning of SS activity and camps in this location during the Holocaust. At its peak in 1944, this factory made use of 83,000 slave laborers.The pesticide Zyklon B, for which IG Farben held the patent, was manufactured by Degesch (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung), which IG Farben owned 42.2 percent of (in shares) and which had IG Farben managers in its Managing Committee. Zyklon B is the primary form of gas used throughout WWII in German death camps.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_OilSo now you know….it has to be noted that the term "unregulated" used elsewhere in this article, does not refer to the other oil companies who routinely dumped petrol into rivers in the days before the motor vehicle.

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