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Anorak | On The Nonsense That Is Bill McKibben

On The Nonsense That Is Bill McKibben

by | 6th, November 2012

SO. Dear Old Bill McKibben is out and about again telling us that it’s all these evil corporations that are to blame for climate change:

As gutsy New Yorkers begin the task of drying out the city, here’s one thought that occurred to me last night watching the horrifying pictures from a distance. It’s obviously not crucial right now – but in the long run it might make a difference. Why don’t we stop naming these storms for people, and start naming them after oil companies?

Bill’s mumblings being that it’s the eeeevil corporations that force us all to use fossil fuels so it’s the corporations that are to blame for climate change. Thus we should name the effects of climate change after such corporations.

The only slight problem with this being that it’s entirely bollocks.

For we’re not forced to use fossil fuels at all: what actually happens is that we find that using fossil fuels has value to us. We prefer burning gas rather than shivering in winter or eating raw food. We prefer burning petrol to walking everywhere. We prefer that coal be dug up than live in a world without iron or steel (and yes, you absolutely do need coal to make these, it’s not just the energy, it’s the chemical reaction).

It is we the consumers that desire to use fossil fuels because they provide us with value. Which, of course, is why the fossil fuel companies make a profit. We value what they produce at more than it costs them to produce it. That’s what profits are, a measure of how much we consumers value something.

The fault is not in the corporations but in us, the consumers.

Which, to be trivial, is why we name hurricanes after people: because it’s people causing climate change, not corporations.



Posted: 6th, November 2012 | In: Money Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink