Oil, Ogoni and Shell

Oil damages the environment, not just by the burning of it creating climate change but in other more noticeable ways. Since 1958 oil companies have been extracting oil from the Ogoniland region of Nigeria. This is a flat tropical wetland, where the local population have fished and farmed for centuries, interrupted by events such as slave trading and, in its modern form, oil exploitation. Both slavery and oil exploitation have features in common where oil is recklessly taken out of the land, without care as to whether the process beggars or enslaves the local population. Continue reading

Subsidising waste, pollution, and climate change

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has reported on investment in “green” sectors. They believe that this would produce high growth, decoupled from intensive consumption. I doubt if we will ever decouple high growth from intensive consumption because the “green” sector simply replaces one thing we are buying with another thing, rather than turning out consumer desirables for consumption. However, two things stand out from the report of which I was not previously specifically aware, but of which I held suspicions. Continue reading