Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water…

A year ago most of us were concerned by the 4.9 million barrels (205.8 million gallons) of oil spillage in the Gulf of México. Today there is little news on the spillage. The Gulf has absorbed much of the oil, much of it has been dispersed by chemicals and much cleaned up from the sea shore. It seems some of the marine life is safe and prospering; although in certain cases there has been irremediable damage to the environment. Continue reading

BP – an unethical investment

Thursday’s Annual General Meeting of BP in London was a lively affair. It seems that some shareholders, who have travelled a great distance to attend the meeting, were not allowed in; that is a disgrace and contrary to the rules governing AGMs. Directors of huge multinationals like BP insulate themselves from the shareholders they serve. The only opportunity that an ordinary shareholder has to see a director and ask questions is the AGM. Large funds get whatever access they need to directors of BP. A shrimp fisherman who has bought a few shares to attend the AGM and travelled from the Gulf of México is ignored, rather like the former Chief Executive of BP who said that he would quite like to get his life back, to which someone responded they would like to get the life of a brother back. Continue reading

Focussing on the big environmental picture

In the past few years the amount of bad news about the environment has been gradually increasing. We have seen manmade disasters, such as the oil spillage in the Gulf of México and natural disasters such as floods and droughts. These have been well reported by the news media but the reports have stopped short of linking these disasters to human causes, unless there was an obvious and undeniable connection. Continue reading

BP Union Carbide and how we permit disasters to happen

More than twenty five years ago in Bhopal in India more than ten thousand people were killed when tons of methyl isocyanate leaked from the Union Carbide factory and settled over the city of Bhopal, like an unwanted poisonous Christmas present. The effect of the poison on the people in the area still is apparent today. Continue reading

What will be the long term effects of the oil spillage?

 No one knows (or no one will tell) us precisely how much oil has leaked from the Deepwater Horizon a mile below the sea in the Gulf of México. Current estimates to date are that around a million barrels have so far been pushed into the sea since 20th April 2010. BP has so far spent $990 million in trying to stop the leak and clean up the mess, which makes for around $100 a barrel in clean up costs. Continue reading