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Scrutiny
  
Don’t you dare give me that gas!
Environment-friendliness has never been a factor for judging either a company’s or a country’s status
14/06/2007

To state that there is evidence that crass capitalism gets placed diagonally against environment protection, would be to state the damned obvious! As if the opposition to international environment treaties by the US was not enough, even the eco-awareness in the boardrooms of movers and shakers of 21st century capitalism has been sickeningly and deliberately shaky. Importantly, most of the companies have carried forward the idiosyncratic posturing against the need to keep the biosphere clean in the name of increasing profits, and under the logic that if there’s anything that has to be done with environment, “Hey, that’s the government’s job, ain’t it?!?”

But why blame these board members, when even the stock markets seemingly prefer an ‘environment-unfriendly’ approach. Global stock markets have most often skipped discounting in the environmental footprints (or stomping) that firms leave with ramifications over generations. If criticism is in vogue, then it would be pertinent to note that despite the environmental disaster created by various oil giants (which has been historically documented), their profitability and stock prices have retained promising and historical highs! Despite the expenditure of $2 billion that Exxon made after the most infamous 1989 oil spill, off the Alaskan coast (perhaps the biggest environmental disaster at sea, which is considered by the US government as the largest spill in US history), the company’s stock met only minor hiccups – and that too because of the unforeseen expenditure rather than because of the disaster caused – before recovering. Similarly, when the US oil giant Texaco pulled out of Ecuador in 1992, it had contaminated close to 18.5 billion gallons of groundwater and had poisoned rivers and streams on which the indigenous population depended. Stock price effects? Belligerently positive!

The US continues getting rated as the most influential economic powerhouse despite emitting 34% of global greenhouse gases annually (and despite not even having ratified the Kyoto Protocol), while China draws global applause for its double digit growth despite being the second maximum polluter (and the Kyoto Protocol not binding it to control its gas emissions). And all this while a multitude of government agencies, instead of taking the worst offenders to task, keep up their ridiculously useless posturing against lesser important countries and companies. Talks about environmental protection? Oh please, don’t you dare give us that gas!

By:- B&E
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