字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 This video is sponsored by Brilliant, if you stick around until the end, I'll give you a link to get 20% off a premium membership! In July 1977, Exxon held a meeting in its headquarters and a climate scientist told the truth: without strong action to curb fossil fuel emissions within the next 5 to 10 years, the world would face a warming trend that could spell disaster for countries around the globe. These were harsh facts, especially for the executives of one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. But Exxon leaders didn't face these daunting climate change facts with opposition, instead, they embraced the scientist's conclusions and poured money into funding state-of-the-art climate models and research vessels to gain a better understanding of the climate change their industry was causing. As InsideClimate New's senior correspondent Neela Banerjee asserts, “Exxon was on the cutting edge of science, they wanted to be on the cutting edge of science on climate change.” But then everything changed: “And they ended up instead leading the denial and clouding the public perception of science. I mean the change is amazing.” Exxon knew about climate change since 1977 and has since worked hard to make sure no one does anything about it. This company is one of the largest in the world, worth almost $400 billion, and since its inception in 1911 with the breakup of Rockefeller's Standard Oil monopoly, has been involved in countless nefarious operations harming the environmental and social ecosystems of not only communities but whole countries. So today, we're going to dive deep into the environmental and social consequences of this fossil fuel giant. Today, we take on ExxonMobil. First and foremost, ExxonMobil is a fossil fuel behemoth. It ranks fifth on the top 100 companies responsible for 71% of cumulative global greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. Its operations span the globe with refineries dominating the Niger Delta and offshore exploration reaching into Egyptian deepwater wells. It's not too far of a stretch to say that ExxonMobil is one of the leading causes of climate change. The list of environmental wrongs created by ExxonMobil's business is extensive. You can point to the 4167 spills ExxonMobil's operations have caused since 2005. Or the over $20 billion spent on exploring and expanding their fossil fuel infrastructure in 2018, locking in deepwater drilling operations in Guyana and Mozambique for years to come. You can even look towards the 20-day methane leak from an ExxonMobil natural gas subsidiary in 2018, that, according to the New York Times, “released more methane than the reported emissions of the oil and gas industries of countries like Norway and France.” The list of environmental grievances is long, but let's zoom in on one of the more ecological racked regions globally to understand ExxonMobil's relationship with the environment: the Niger Delta. According to one 2018 study on Nigerian ecosystems, Europe as a whole experienced 10 incidences of oil spills in 40 years, while Nigeria experienced 9,343 incidences in just 10 years. The same study goes on to claim that the Nigerian environment has experienced the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez oil spill every year for the last 50 years. This vast amount of pollution has led to a loss of 5-10% of the delta's mangrove population and a decline in fish stock decimating the livelihoods of local fishers. And the largest oil company operating in the Delta is none other than ExxonMobil, which, with its private army of over 2,500 security guards protects its polluting interests with supreme aggression. Essentially, the world, and particularly marginalized and indigenous communities, has become ExxonMobil's dumping ground. Environmental destruction, climate change, and waterway pollution are just seen as unfortunate side effects of the company's growth. The full extent of ExxonMobil's impact can't be understood, however, until we address the connection between their fossil fuel activities and the communities they operate within. So, let's travel back to the United States for a minute. To the Charlton-Pollard section of Beaumont, Texas where a majority black community lives with consequences of ExxonMobil every day. A 2017 investigative report from The Intercept followed residents like Joseph Gaines, as they struggled with the constant flaring of chemicals from the ExxonMobil refinery down the block. The Intercept report revealed that the plant releases at least 135 toxic chemicals, many of which are carcinogens, and the plant is regularly in noncompliance with the Clean Air Act. People in Charlton-Pollard live with the constant smell of sulfur wafting through the air, and residents have been diagnosed with cancer and heart problems. The air pollution there is over 54 times higher than the national average. The population of Charlton-Pollard has sought answers in form of a complaint to the EPA, but only after 17 years was it answered, and it took the investigative reporting of The Intercept to push the EPA into action. The EPA eventually fined ExxonMobil $2.5 million for polluting the communities around eight of its Gulf Coast refineries, with the added requirement of spending $300 million to fit their refineries with pollution control systems. While this is a victory, it's too little, too late. This slow action is a symptom of ExxonMobil's and other fossil fuel interests' defanging of Texas enforcement agencies. In 2016, for example, the state punished fewer than 1 percent of illegal pollution releases. But ExxonMobil's strategy of casting its negative externalities onto low-income communities and communities of color is not just limited to the local scale, it happens globally as well. If we go back to the Niger Delta, the consequences of big oil companies like ExxonMobil have manifested in nearly double the infant mortality rate near oil spills as well as a complex web of illegal refineries and armed conflicts surrounding pipeline and fossil fuel operations. One community leader interviewed by The Guardian laments, "Oil companies do not value our life; they want us to all die. In the past two years, we have experienced 10 oil spills and fishermen can no longer sustain their families. It is not tolerable." Nearby, ExxonMobil, with the help of the World Bank, tore a sharp line through the land of Cameroon's Bakola indigenous peoples in order to construct the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline. They did this despite the knowledge of an impact report detailing the damage the pipeline would cause to the Bakola people. According to a World Bank environmental specialist, “ The pipeline didn't need to go through their area. It could have followed the road on the outside… But, ExxonMobil didn't relocate the pipeline. They put it directly through Bakola lands, doing much environmental damage in the process.” Farther down the coast, one 2013 study connects the prevalence of malaria in Equatorial Guinea with its rapid transition into a petro-state spearheaded by ExxonMobil. When the study was published most of the population had yet to see the substantial royalties from ExxonMobil's oil operations. 60% of the 650,000 citizens at the time lived on less than $1 per day. And despite the wealth pouring out of Exxon's oil fields, the government was slow to act on malaria aid as well. There were an estimated 193,000 cases of malaria in 2006. The study points towards ExxonMobil's illicit backing of the country's dictator and other leaders as a part of the reason why malaria continued to be a major problem within the country. The author asserts that the “rapid influx of wealth in one sector can lead to... depression of other economic sectors, general inflation, potential for conflict, and the encouragement of weak or corrupt management.” Essentially, the paper argues that ExxonMobil was propping up a failing government with little desire to address the malaria epidemic all in order to maintain control of its lucrative oil assets. This exploitation of the resources of oil-rich countries at the hands of corporations like Exxon has become such a pervasive global issue it's been deemed the “resource curse” in academic circles, as in, to have more resources, which should create economic power for a poor country, actually leads to worse economic outcomes for that country. According to one study, between 1970-1993, “resource-poor countries without petroleum, grew four times more rapidly than resource-rich countries with petroleum, despite the fact that they had half the savings.” The study goes on to say that “The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have both confirmed that the greater a country's dependence on oil and mineral resources, the worse its growth performance.” Essentially, as ExxonMobil extracts fossil fuels from countries around the world, it is also exploiting and destabilizing their economies. A leading World Bank official stated that “Exxon people are the least responsible organization I ever dealt with. They couldn't give a damn about the environment, such as prudent routing of pipeline[s], vulnerable ethnic minorities and their life-support systems, double-hulling, spill response plans, and greenhouse gas emissions. Getting them to consider such prudentiary measures is like getting blood from a stone.” ExxonMobil then tries to cover up the myriad of environmental and social costs of their fossil fuel dealings with a deluge of PR and marketing ploys, all in an attempt to avoid the punishments and regulations surrounding the global costs of fossil fuels. In the three years following the Paris Agreement ExxonMobil, alongside four of the other largest publicly traded oil and gas companies, spent $1 billion of shareholder funds on misleading climate-related branding and lobbying. They initially sewed doubt in the climate science community to slow down regulation and public action, but as the mounting evidence proved that tactic ineffective, ExxonMobil has since taken other avenues. According to InfluenceMap, ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies are using a combination of positive messaging combined with a system of negative lobbying to make sure no legislation passes. This looks like $2 million spent on social media ads before the 2018 midterm election branding the oil and gas industry as a jobs generator building a brighter future. It also means that ExxonMobil spent over $9 million in direct lobbying money in 2019 and has contributed over $900,000 to campaigns in the U.S. during the 2020 election cycle. The idea is, as one New Yorker piece reports, to identify and back key votes in Congress that will block all progress made on fossil fuel regulation. Essentially, ExxonMobil has a vested interest in clouding the science and policy surrounding climate change and preventing any meaningful environmental bill from passing through Congress, because at the end of the day, regulation means a dip in their profits. But unlike many other smaller companies, ExxonMobil has the power and money to protect their interests. As the New Yorker article puts it, “[ExxonMobil] functions as a corporate state within the American state—constructing its own foreign, economic, and human-rights policies.” ExxonMobil is the epitome of concentrated power in the private sphere. Together with other large multinational oil companies, it is responsible for the firmly entrenched fossil fuel infrastructure that seems ingrained in every facet of our lives. So when we are told that climate change is the individual's fault and that we must all stop driving cars and flying, we have to think critically. ExxonMobil is a perfect example of why this isn't true. It holds sway over a vast amount of oil and gas production, and in 1977 they knew that climate change was coming and it was going to be drastic. ExxonMobil had the opportunity to make great changes, to transition the world towards a path of renewable energy. They had the chance to make a massive impact on the environment for the good not just on a local scale but on a global one. But they didn't. Instead, they covered it up and continued pushing the world down the path of no return. In order to create and build an extensive fossil fuel free infrastructure we'll need scientists, mathematicians, and engineers--problem solvers who know the consequences of a world with climate change and are invested in preventing it. Luckily, Brilliant is already teaching this next generation of problem solvers through an amazing selection of online courses that use interactive puzzles to hone critical, mathematical, and scientific thinking skills. Brilliant is a course-based website that lets you explore the realms of math and science through storytelling, interactive explorations, and daily quizzes. Which is exactly what you'll get when you dive into their new Calculus in a Nutshell course. Using visual and physical intuition to present the major pillars of calculus, Brilliant guides you through the intricacies of calculus: an essential tool for aspiring ecologists and urban planners alike. Ultimately, if you're like me and are curious about how the world works or just want to build your problem-solving skills, then I'd highly recommend getting Brilliant Premium to learn something new every day. So, if you want to start developing your analytical abilities, go to brilliant dot org slash OCC, or click the link in the description, and sign up for free. As a bonus, the first 200 people that go to that link will get 20% off their annual premium membership. Hey Everyone! Charlie here. If you're interested in supporting the videos I make for this channel, there are two things you can do. First, consider backing me on Patreon. Even a dollar a month goes a long way to helping me out. And second, sign-up for my email list with the link in the description. 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