Thou Shalt Not Speak Ill Of The Lord God Oil

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Tornado damage in Oklahoma
atlantic.com

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, I take a brutal boot-camp type class at the Hollywood YMCA here in LA. 45 minutes of sheer hell, but as these things are measured, surely worth it. I've been going for the last year and a half at the prodding and urging of my friend Stacy "Beano" Johnson, a lively and lovely woman and an ex-pat Okie from outside Tulsa. Yesterday, I walked in to find her strecthing and she seemed, as you would imagine, distraught. Her state is devastated. Despite downward revisions of casualties, at least 24 people were killed by the storm and the cost to insurers will be over 1 billion dollars. Luckily, none of her family or friends were among the dead or wounded.

Because we are 1) good friends and 2) I am by nature very inquisitve, I asked her if her people back there were putting some of the cause on this particularly violent and early in the year twister on man-made climate change. Beano turned kind of reddish and responded "hell yeah they do. And why wouldn't they? Summers are getting hot as hell there and it feels like it's headed to 120 degrees when we go back for vacation. I know damned well it is".

She isn't a scientist and is also a self-proclaimed "California liberal" (by way of disclaimer). But this is nothing new to anyone with kin in "flyover country"--my younger brother has been telling me for ten years that the farmers in "Tornado Alley" where he is in Western Illinois talk about the heating and extremes and the effect on crops--and, as Beano has said, why wouldn't they? 2010 was one of the hottest years on record, another freak tornado devastated Joplin MO in 2011, a drought nearly destroyed the entire Midwest's crop output last year and now this. Yes--this is where tornadoes happen and they have been happening forever. But scientists warned us that "weather patterns are going to get more extreme and more violent'' as the planet heats up and yes it has, and according to 97% of said scientists, the culprit is fossil fuels.

That no peer-reviewed publication has said otherwise and that the only "scientists" that claim that the jury is out tend to be on oil company payrolls isn't exactly a new revelation. But in Oklahoma, were any politician to claim that the destruction in Moore was because of man-made climate change, they'd be demolished in the next election like so many of the homes were a few days ago.

And why? Because oil is one of the state's biggest employers, in refining and extraction and logistics. Koch is king in the Sooner State. And even though the average Okie is beginning to see the light, they are willing to look the other way when their livelihood is concerned--their jobs are, in a way, literally to die for.

It is disgusting and sad and vile, but as Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal could tell you, there's no percentage to ever attack the mighty hand of the petro-oligarchy. Despite the cheapskate idiocy by British Petroleum that nearly ruined that state's fishing and tourism industries, at no point did Jindal demand that BP pay for all the damage they'd wreaked.

And so the oil companies continue their version of bullshit, as their exec's declare that to destroy the planet is "God's will" and their paid shills in broadcasting claim zero culpability, the planet roasts and the people of Moore are wondering where they're gonna live. And if you think this is just far fetched lefty hand wringing, even the almighty insurance industry knows climate change is real and are changing their rates accordingly. These people play the "life and death odds" for a living in actuarial tables. They know.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma's two Republican senators are asking for the same federal aid that they denied to Jersey and New York, "God's will'' is again invoked (by America's #1 publicity hound family) and no one dares speak the truth, that black gold and natural gas are slowly cooking its users and that these same people will battle renewable and clean power with every trick in their arsenal even as it makes their grand-kids lives sheer misery. You might say that the denial is as high as an elephant's eye in O-kla-Homa......

 

 

 

 

Comments

That's why Lautenberg, Menendez, Schumer, or Gilibrand should filibuster any aid going to Oklahoma. Let them suffer

Posted by basta on May. 21, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

Never. Never.

The people of Oklahoma may have made a bad decision in electing these Koch stooges--doesn't mean you shit on them for it.

These fuckers claim to be Christian (and aren't), let's show 'em. 

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 21, 2013 @ 5:56 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:16 pm

So when the sewers back up, I have no right to complain about their maintenance, right?

You really are one pathetic troll among trolls, ain't ya? 

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

the mess it is in. As far as I care, they can frack your back yard and build a nuclear power station next to your home, if it means we can pay off the national debt.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

You seriously think paying off the national debt is more important? Then you must have never taken government or economics. The national debt has NEVER been paid off, never will be and it's not prudent to do so. It's the LEAST IMPORTANT problem we have. Every Congress Critter knows this.

Posted by klmchale on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

And you think that's not important?

What about when tax revenues don't even cover the interest on that? Interest is already nearly half the government deficit - that's a lot of services that cannot be provided just to pay interest to the Chinese.

And we need to sell them a lot of cheap energy to pay the bill.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 6:38 am

Wasn't it you the other day that said if a person ate cheap food and didn't have to farm labor that person had no business complaining about illegal aliens?

Nah, likely not.

Posted by Matlock on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

You sir are a socialist. If you drive, you're partaking in something the government funded. If you have had any business transactions, you've used the government. Never mind the mail, if you have used email, you've used something that involved public funds to develop. Same as your ability to post something on here on the internet...a government funded project.

But lets go down further in this lesson you've enlightened us from the Bugs Bunny School of Logic. Are you saying that people have no right to bitch about the externalities that petroleum products do not ultimately produce? Let me tell you something, actuaries to other risk managers at private health insurance firms managing risk pools take this into account. They calculate that our air has toxins produced by everything from what spews from refineries to what's coming out of the exhaust pipe of your car. Millions actually contract sicknesses from this stuff, which then the cost ultimately gets passed on to you. But by your logic we should shut up about it and be grateful to the lords of Petroleum.

We all use medicines and eat food. But occasionally something happens where the meds go bad or the food gets tainted. But by your Archie Bunker logic, who are we to complain about such things? Hey, its a tough racket, competition, blah blah blah, be glad some great almighty "job creator" is risking life and limb to get us that Oscar Meyer wiener. So what if it was purchased from a distributor whose quality inspection system consists of having one of his female illegal immigrants jerks off the inspector in the supply closet while the owner is handing him a fat nondescript envelope a while later before he leaves. Who would I be to complain or be concern if I don't eat their products?

I don't have a kid, but I sure as heck want to make sure my neighbor's kid gets a damn good education, he may be taking caring of me when I get older! But by your bug-up-your-ass logic, I shouldn't have a say because its not like as I said I have kids. Look, the bottom line here is we're all connected, yeah that may not jive with your Ayn Rand Sociopath thinking, but that's a fact. Some selfish pricks in Manhattan over 5 years ago decided to play financial cowboy and practically sank the economy. But I have never traded a credit derivative swap and God forbid I have a checking account and two brokerage accounts, holy Pope-on-Little Boys hypocrisy, folks like us shouldn't utter a word of disdain.

Posted by Johnny Venom on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:52 pm

a consumer of the products of the very industry that you are taking cheap shots at.

In fact, even then, you probably buy products that are delivered by vehicles and so, again, it is a hypocrisy to enjoy ebergy products while whining about them.

I'm long XOM, CVX, COP, APA, DVN, ECA, CNQ and BP.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:12 pm

That's just stupid. If I go to a restaurant and the food is lousy, I'm not being a hypocrite complaining. Once again, mister-I'm-too-chicken-to-post-a-username your Ayn Rand sociopathic thinking can't seem to connect two and two here that things are interconnected, well unless you thought you could make a buck off of it.

Indeed, "guest", if you think people shouldn't complain and allow energy companies to just cost the public in external costs while they pocket some gains...well..in the words of John Galt or Rand...you're a moocher or a looter! Yeah, that's right, you own that stock, you gain from them socializing the costs while privitizing the profits, you are the very parasite your Selfish Goddess rails against. Who is John Galt? Certainly isn't you buddy!

Posted by Johnny Venom on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:21 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 6:39 am
Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

Not stated nor implied.

And two of the fastest and saddest ripostes in history--break out the Preparation H, there's Internet Butthurt times 20 here! 

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:38 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

Where does it say "oil drilling caused tornado"?

You can cut and paste.

Where is it? 

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:12 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 6:39 am

Why not look it up--the piece is still there.

 

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

We should all strive to be fair I suppose

If a person uses oil that person should be able to complain about he oil industry.

If a person doesn't do shit farm work and that person eats cheap food that person can't complain about illegal aliens.

If a person gets cheap oil to, ride on public buses, drive cars, fly in planes etc... that person can still complain about the oil industry. It is "trolling" to point this seeming hypocrisy out.

If a person gets cheap food and eats out without checking on the immigration status of the help, that person has no business complaining about illegal immigration. It is trolling to point out what a silly position that is to take.

I think both arguments(fuel, illegal immigration) are idiotic, but you seem to like one and not like the other.

Posted by Matlock on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:12 pm

Matlock said: Wasn't it you the other day that said if a person ate cheap food and didn't have to farm labor that person had no business complaining about illegal aliens?

In this instance "you" is me, right?

You did read the piece, right? 

Where did I say this? 

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:16 pm
heh

"Were they serious about "sending all of these people back to where they came from", they'd boycott every and any business that employs them, which means they'd pretty much have to stop eating. I've seen what the average reactionary looks like--that ain't happening."

Posted by Matlock on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:35 pm

"Were they serious about "sending all of these people back to where they came from", they'd boycott every and any business that employs them, which means they'd pretty much have to stop eating. I've seen what the average reactionary looks like--that ain't happening."

to be saying that it is hypocritical to eat food and complain about illegal aliens.

I don't know how to read that otherwise. That nuance thing I suppose.

Johnny Angel Wendell and Johnny W are two different people maybe?

Posted by Matlock on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

Obama did. Everyone knows that Obama is responsible for everything wrong with this country.

Posted by Greg on May. 21, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

Other than the ill-fated and mis-conceived ObamaCare, which at least thankfully doesn't have the public option, he has been way more moderate and reasonable than I anticipated.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

Oh no, we can't have that. That would spell the end of the benevolent insurance companies.

Posted by Greg on May. 21, 2013 @ 8:21 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2013 @ 6:40 am

I trust the government to run healthcare because it works. That's been proven time and time again. But you not only don't trust government to run healthcare; you don't trust *people* to make their own choices about it. That's why you're so afraid of the public option. You're afraid that if there was a robust public option, even alonside private insurance companies, the vast majority of the people would abandon your precious insurance companies faster than you can say "HMO."

My only remaining question is, why do you hate Americans so much?

Posted by Greg on May. 22, 2013 @ 7:53 am

Any idea what a superfund clean up site does to the deficit? Hey I have an idea, lets all shit on our bathroom floors so we can cut taxes that pay for water and sewage.

Posted by Guest Robert Fyvolent on May. 21, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

The midwest produced over 10 billion bushels of corn in 2012. Less than average, due to drought, but hardly indicative of destruction of the entire output. I'm starting to think Tim brought you on to make his own wheezing-hippy panegyrics seem more reasonable by comparison. It's working; your stuff mostly reads like some crappy 'zine from '77.

Posted by Chromefields on May. 22, 2013 @ 7:01 am

and all the other natural disasters that have ever been on this planet. God let him. Inside job. This makes about as much sense as man living with dinosaurs. Come to think of it, we're coming full circle here. We use dino juice to power our hedonism and T-Rex and his oily cousins get the last laugh. Makes me wonder if there will eventually be a civilization that runs itself on the imminent extinction of the human race?

Posted by Marcus Parrish on May. 26, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

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