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Texaco

Canada: Land of the Toxic Lakes

By Richard Mellior, AFSCME Local 444, retired - Facts for Working People, November 27, 2013

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

In the aftermath of the crash, polls have indicated that as much as 36% of the US population looks more favorably to socialism, and a recent Pew survey of America's youth between 18 and 29 found that more have a positive view toward Socialism than they do toward Capitalism, Socialism: 49% Capitalism 46%.  While there is no doubt what people mean by socialism varies I think it is fairly accurate to say it means a more egalitarian society, or more accurately, a more just social system.

The problem is that capitalism cannot deliver these goods.  Capitalism is an exploitive system of production in which production or the production of social needs is set in to motion on the basis of profit, on how it can enrich that small minority that own the means of producing human needs and the production process itself. Human needs are secondary as are the needs of the natural world.

Hunger, disease, war, these are the by-products of capitalism.  But so is environmental degradation as land, water, and the natural world is simply there to be exploited regardless of the long-term damage. I read now that Chevron is fighting back against an $18 billion judgment against the company by Judge Nicolas Zambrano in Ecuador. The ruling supported villagers, claims that Texaco had contaminated an oil field in northeastern Ecuador between 1964 and 1992. Texaco was bought by Chevron. Ecuador's Supreme Court has since reduced the amount to $9.5 billion.  Chevron attorneys have accused the US lawyer for the villagers, Steven Donziger, of orchestrating an international criminal conspiracy by using bribery and fraud in Ecuador to secure a multibillion-dollar pollution judgment against the oil company.”

Meanwhile, BP which is responsible for the catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has been accused of lying about the amount of the spill and is resisting paying reparations saying claimants who were not harmed are demanding payment.

No amount of court theatrics will stop the catastrophic environmental destruction that will at some point reach a tipping point with vast swathes of the planet becoming uninhabitable. Life on this planet cannot survive the ravages of capitalism forever, or more accurately, a system of production which places profit above all else and in which the means of producing humanity’s needs like energy, are owned by private individuals. We have absolutely no say in how decisions about these issues are made, decisions that have life and death consequences for all of us.

The Fine Print I:

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