Don’t miss the latest from Bill McKibben on why Big Oil is clinging so fiercely to fossil fuels and fighting so hard against climate policy. It’s the money, of course:
The giant energy companies are making so much money right now that they can’t stop gorging themselves. ExxonMobil, year after year, pulls in more money than any company in history. Chevron’s not far behind. Everyone in the business is swimming in money.
As McKibben puts it, “the business models at the center of our economy are in the deepest possible conflict with physics and chemistry.” But, “telling the truth about climate change would require pulling away the biggest punchbowl in history, right when the party is in full swing.”
And more on Big Oil’s banner year from Center for American Progress. Higher prices, record profits, less oil. What else have oil companies been up to lately while the rest of us suffer through a crappy economic climate?
- They produced 4 percent less oil and “oil equivalent” in 2011 compared to 2010.
- They spent a total of $38 billion, or 28 percent, of their profits to repurchase their own stock.
- They are sitting on more than $58 billion in cash reserves as of the end of 2011.
- They spent $1.6 million on campaign contributions and $65.7 million on lobbying efforts.
- For every $1 spent on lobbying in Washington, the big five received $30 worth of tax breaks.
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From the Agenda Project, the best email subject line I’ve seen—maybe ever: “271 Celibate Men.” The best-ever, most biting, hard-hitting (and shortest) email follows: “As you read this, 271 celibate men are doing everything they can to control the sex lives of American women. Who are these men? And what do they really want?” And the linked post eviscerates.
Dutch cycling infrastructure is nicely captured in this video from the new Dutch Cycling Embassy.
Cascadia could have the same, for a fraction of the cost of the highway megaprojects now on the drawing boards.
The Man Who Lived on His Bike is undoubtedly the most clever viral video of the season.
My favorite Sightline Daily story of the week: Gernot Wagner argues that saving the planet depends more on effective policy than on personal virtue.
Read how fighting urban congestion can kill city streets. Also, a former mayor argues that congestion is like cholesterol: there’s a good kind and a bad kind.
Also from Sightline Daily’s news clippings: a good reminder that we should eat more mindfully.
Here’s a great photo series on Europe’s deep freeze.
Lastly, from the files of the absurd: In 1995, New Mexico voted on a bill requiring psychologists to dress as wizards.