Ireland vs. Africa

Kevin’s worked in business, branding, and government for the last two decades, some of which seems to have had something to do with climate and Ireland (or so his resume proclaims), so he must know what he’s talking about, right? We always hope and assume that the breadth of one’s experience is what makes valuable one’s conclusions and observations of the world. So those to whom much worldly experience is given, much should be expected. But listen to the man.

What he’s saying is that Africa is a crisis, and Ireland is merely a shame. And in spite of all the bloviating, nothing could be further from the truth. If we have to listen to this kind of nonsense, let it be in an environment where everyone understands the polit-speak and basically ignores it. But that’s unlikely to be the way this goes down. Supposedly important people speak, and there are always those who listen, even when it is against their interest, and even when the words are noise disguised as commentary.

Double-speaking corporations abound, seeking to preserve their interests over the interests of the environment and how it impacts ordinary folks and small businesses. A perfect example of this occurred after the Transocean oil rig explosion that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. In a NPR report of 5/13/2010 it was noted: “TransOcean is attempting to limit its liability by using a law from the 1800’s that limits the liability for a loss at sea to the value of the vessel. This law, while historically valuable in permitting shipping companies to stay in business after a disaster, is clearly outdated when the loss includes the potential to damage the environment catastrophically.” They even appealed to a federal judge to place a limit on the overall liability cost they will be responsible for at $27 million. This manipulative maneuver came at a time where Transocean along with oil company BP were the targets of an increasing number of wrongful death, personal injury and class action lawsuits filed by Baton Rouge maritime attorneys and other lawyers on the behalf of rig workers, their families and people affected by oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. Transocean tried to put a lid on the proceedings, just as BP tried to do. If these huge, wealthy corporations had been successful, they would have robbed the claimants of the right to select their own venue and prevent others who were affected by the disaster from seeking damages. The filing meant that Transocean did not believe that it should fully compensate the people who lost their lives and were injured, even though the company itself had already accepted over $400 million in insurance payments. The outcries was loud from the press and public when Transocean then announced it would distribute $1 billion in dividends to shareholders shortly after the disaster.

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