So says the Independent (though not quite in those words). The Indie is probably the most climate-sensitive newspaper in the UK. And $400M is pretty big. But rather than bash LR, or Exxon (disclaimer: I have in the past benefited from the sale of Exxon shares, and may in the future), I’ll inquire *why* LR has ended up with so much dosh, and what this means.
And of course the obvious reason is that as far as the shareholders are concerned, his tenure at the head of Exxon has been a massive success, financially. The greenies can whinge all they like but as long as this continues, Exxon is pretty well immune. And not because they can buy off the opposition, but just because more people than not like money.
Incidentally, although Exxon is rather tarred with the opposition-to-GW brush, its position nowadays seems to be to say nothing at all on the subject, rather than to oppose (try searching for global warming, or climate change, on exxon.com). That doesn’t mean they aren’t funding people behind the scenes, I suppose.
And to muse on, somewhat changing the subject, I come to the idea that many nice ideas – local coops (ha! I shop at a local organic coop), affordable houses (I live in what was a council house, score -1), alternatives to capitalism in general – are all very well, but unless they can survive competition with capitalism they are doomed after a brief period. You could (if you wanted to, and had enough money) set up an eco-firendly oil company to compete with Exxon. But if its core business is taking oil out of the ground, and selling it to people who want to burn it, where’s the margin?