Let the American Boycott of CO2-Denying Corporations Begin
June 1, 2001 4:44 AM   Subscribe

Let the American Boycott of CO2-Denying Corporations Begin Great Op-Ed Piece in the NYTimes by T. Friedman: Using the Market to Defeat Republican's Kyoto Dismissal: Mega-dittos Rush!
posted by ParisParamus (19 comments total)
Driving a car should be discouraged. But when you do, avoid the companies actively siding with the Resident.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:47 AM on June 1, 2001

Friedman loves globalisation and ting. He has a hard-on for market solutions. But I like the way he keeps his readers on edge by jumping from fairly sensible positions (Bush, the UN) to more or less rabid ones (Israel).
posted by Mocata at 5:05 AM on June 1, 2001

Channel.nytimes.com isn't working here. Try this.

Friedman's in dreamland. Kyoto is dead, and has been dead for years ... has been from the day it was created, really. The only difference here is that Bush had the balls to say so publicly, instead of letting it die slowly of neglect behind the scenes while publicly lying about its RSN implementation as every other country's leader has been doing (especially in Europe). It will never be ratified. It has never been ratified ANYWHERE. It is total BS, and everyone knows this, including Friedman.

BTW, Friedman provides no proof that this so-called grass roots campaign is meeting with any actual success. Is it? (Not that it would here regardless.)
posted by aaron at 6:41 AM on June 1, 2001

Oh, Real Life Fact: ParisParamus is lying when he calls it a "Republican dismissal." Kyoto was killed in the Senate 95-0. And as much as I wish it would happen, the Senate is not composed of 95 Republicans.
posted by aaron at 6:43 AM on June 1, 2001

It's dead because the US killed it. The rest of the world gives a damn.
posted by MrImpossible at 6:46 AM on June 1, 2001

There is some sort of script at work here that automatically converts the www . nytimes address into channel.nytimes, since that's what used to work to avoid registration. But the channel address no longer works, so any attempt to post a www . nytimes address results in a bad link.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:59 AM on June 1, 2001

posted by aaron at 7:01 AM on June 1, 2001

moonpie slipped. responding to mrimpossible.
posted by aaron at 7:02 AM on June 1, 2001

What's too bad about boycotting Exxon is that Shell is one of the alternatives. (I think I pulled this link from a MeFi thread a while back, I think.)
posted by tingley at 7:03 AM on June 1, 2001

Well, BP is also one of the lesser evil alternatives.

aaron: Is Ari Fleischer right to assert that "the American people's use of energy is a reflection of the strength of our economy, of the way of life that the American people have come to enjoy"?

If so, the US rejection of Kyoto has nothing to do with its inherent benefits or weaknesses, but simply that Americans aren't going to be made to look like pinko commie liberal softies by switching off their air conditioning every so often.
posted by holgate at 9:20 AM on June 1, 2001

You know aaron, if the pro-oil stance of the present administration wasn't so patent, you might have a valid point about Kyoto, which even I think is/was extremely naive. It's more the denial of the damage caused by CO2 which is at issue; not a specific agreement on the subject.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:23 AM on June 1, 2001

This business about energy consumption and the American Way is amazing. Between believing in energy conservation and believing in open source software, it has never been so easy (and so trendy?) to be un-American.
posted by tingley at 10:41 AM on June 1, 2001

ParisParamus, the right wingnut response you received from Aaron is due to the sarcasm applied to his God: Rush, the pigboy.
Please ignore him and let's continue to have a REAL conversation. I think you were hoping for a discussion on how to change our world in a positive way that takes into consideration "real life facts" such as :

Fossils are for fossils and cause global warming.

Corporate America owns our government and needs challenged by individuals using whatever means we can.

Conservation is not only virtuous but eminently sensible.

Anyway, that's the idea folks!
posted by nofundy at 10:55 AM on June 1, 2001

aaron: Is Ari Fleischer right to assert...

Yes. He made it quite clear that the right to use energy without feeling guilty is not incompatible with common-sense conservation: "What we need to do is make certain that we're able to get those resources in an efficient way, in a way that also emphasizes protecting the environment and conservation, into the hands of consumers so they can make the choices that they want to make as they live their lives day to day."

Besides, Fleischer was responding to an intentionally loaded claim from a liberal reporter that the solution to all energy problems, and the ONLY solution, was conservation conservation conservation. His statement says more about his ability to think fast on his feet than anything else.

if the pro-oil stance of the present administration wasn't so patent...

What does "pro-oil" mean? Is there a way for the administration to be oil-neutral in your view? Or is it one of those things where if they're not spending every moment trying to find ways to cease all oil usage everywhere, they're merely lackeys of Big Oil?
posted by aaron at 10:57 AM on June 1, 2001

"Pro- oil" means favoring or supporting the oil corporations and the use of oil resources even when it's counter-productive to do so. It means a slavish devotion to the notion of oil, now and forever, simply because at one time and to some extent currently it's extremely useful. It means not allowing for or recognizing for the possibility that the long-term growth and success of America and the human species may need to be made with far less dependence on oil. It means never being able to see beyond this quarter's profits or this campaign cycle's donations to recognize a long-term disaster in the making.

Jesus, you can be really short-sighted and simple-minded sometimes.

There's a big lie out there that businesses act in their own best interest. This is untrue. Oil is a finite resource, and in large amounts of usage does cause a decidely negative environmental impact that may include the eventual decimation of our "American" standard of living, among others. In that climate (no pun intended) the oil companies will have a hard time moving their product. That day may be 10 years off, or 50. However, estimates of our global oil resources still only last a few decades, far less if the rest of the world achieved the American standard of usage and lifestyle, in which case we may have only 10 or so.

If nothing else, the market will be fair- if that day comes, and the oil is scarce, the market will scream demand for, and receive, energy supply completely unrelated to oil.

Like I said, businesses don't look out for their best interests, any more than teenagers who can't see beyond tomorrow....
posted by hincandenza at 11:14 AM on June 1, 2001

the right wingnut response you received from Aaron is due to the sarcasm applied to his God: Rush, the pigboy.

What are you talking about? Is it a wingnut response to criticize the Kyoto treaty? As Aaron pointed out, it never had a chance of passage in the US. Clinton just sat on it for years because he didn't want to be associated with its dismissal.

Paris, if the real issue is the administration's stance on CO2, then why are we arguing about Kyoto?

you can be really short-sighted and simple-minded sometimes

Wow, this is out of the blue. Because he asked for a definition of pro-oil and because he disagrees with you about the current administration's stance on oil, you blast him personally?

If nothing else, the market will be fair- if that day comes, and the oil is scarce, the market will scream demand for, and receive, energy supply completely unrelated to oil.

Isn't this kinda the whole point of the administration's position? There's lots of oil now, so we can wait to spend money on other sources of energy? I mean, I don't really agree that that is the best policy, but it also probably won't totally destroy the planet anymore than we were on track to do under Clinton and Gore.

Businesses may not necessarily make all the right decisions, but who does? The real purpose of a public company is to make money for its shareholders. I think the oil companies are doing a fabulous job of that lately.
posted by daveadams at 11:33 AM on June 1, 2001

Etiquette discussion ongoing. Avoid stupid personal attacks, please.
posted by norm at 11:52 AM on June 1, 2001

Hey Aaron and Dave, don't let these pie-in-the-sky commies get you down. Even if they refuse to admit that they don't know how businesses work, we do. And good on you for standing up for reason and free markets.
posted by UncleFes at 11:59 AM on June 1, 2001

Even if they refuse to admit that they don't know how businesses work, we do.

Well, we know how Exxon Mobil and Enron do their business, and it has more to do with Machiavelli than Adam Smith. Unless there's a chapter on bribes in the Wealth of Nations that isn't in my edition.

See, Fleischer's statement comes across as logically inconsistent. Yes, it's the job of government to encourage efficiency, and provide options that include conservation; but isn't that incompatible with a belief that energy use is an index of economic fecundity? In fact, shouldn't the last couple of years suggest the follies of a market driven by indices rather than fundamentals?

The point being, if you like, that Fleischer is saying that he advocates fundamental analysis of the energy question, but then comes across like a momentum investor on CNBC, looking at an ever-upwards graph and assuming that it can never go down.
posted by holgate at 12:29 PM on June 1, 2001

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