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Penchant For Profits?

Posted by Chris Morgan on Friday, May 6, 2011
Now and again, i read something in the media that really annoys me. 

I was reading the other day an article in the mainstream media that noted a well known Anglo-Dutch oil major's expansion plans in West Africa, and sneeringly introduced it as having a "penchant for profits". You might as well be calling them paedophiles. Since when it is unethical to make a profit? Since when is it a crime to want to make money? 

It seems that in the rush to greenify and liberalise everything, the baby has been thrown out with the bathwater, and the liberals are running riot, slating everything regardless. 

I'd be interested to speak to one to find out what in the world they think their oil major energy providers should be doing with their time if not making money? The unspoken reference is that they should all be non-profit organisations devoted to saving the planet by use of alternative energy sources, looking after baby seals and definitely not making any money from us, the poor and reticent energy consumer. Makes you wonder what these people are on. Sheer idiocy. 

These are probably the same idiots who are chaining themselves to the fences at Heathrow to stop the expansion, yet in the same breath also being 100% opposed to high-speed rail initiatives or indeed new roads etc. Then of course they go home to their three bedroom detatched houses to their two point four kids and their SUV, and write angry letters to the Government about how it scandalous it is that the airlines and BAA are allowed to charge the ridiculous fees they do for airport taxes, as it more than doubles the cost of taking the family to Florida this year... 

I think, getting the root of the issue here is that people are increasingly militant about things, stirred up by a controversy-dependent/controversy - creating media, that they have not the faintest idea about. 

Have they thought through this country's future transport policy? No. We not longer have NIMBYS - we have BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Absolutely Nowhere At all) - and this only comes about when you have loudmouth malcontents believing everything the media tells them to. Nobody's bothered to stop and have a serious think about anything - they just know anything new is bad and must be stopped at all costs. Nevermind that it now takes longer than a decade and untold billions just to build a new airport terminal where one used to be anyway, or that a new runway costs the same now as if you built one in Dubai with an inch and a half of 24 carat gold coating on it - yes all 13,000 feet of it. So where do these spectacular minds and fighters of all just causes think all the people are going to go? Heathrow is bursting at the seams, and is a national embarrassment. Expansion here - forget it. What about a new runway at Gatwick (Gatwick's single runway is single most heavily used piece of airport tarmac in the world)? No chance. Expansion into the farmland around Stansted? A whole new airport out in the Thames Estuary? Don't take the piss. New high-speed rail links to the North and Europe? Nope. New roads? Hell no. Yet the population keeps growing and the tourism capital input to this country continues to wane as people take one look at us and go to Amsterdam or Paris instead. 

People just assume that it comes down to the image of sharp-suited execs in high-floored board rooms somewhere plotting the downfall of the world with Lex Luthor-esque scale models and bags and bags of ill-gotten cash lying about. 

Oil companies that make profits certainly fall into this category. So do BAA and the airlines who are greedily rubbing their nasty little hands together at the prospects of the profits they are going to make when the airports expand and completely blot out the green belt under tonnes of concrete...

It is sad that people have not thought this through at all, and those that have are unwilling to engage the muppets complaining to the European Courts etc about it. 

The simple fact is that oil companies making profits does not amount to the evil rise of globalised capitalism. It does not amount to planetary homicide. The oil companies cannot invest in renewable energy sources and research if they do not make any money - who else do they think is going to sort the energy crisis out and ultimately win the key battles to really make a different to climate change, if not the evil, Sauron-following minions of BP, Shell, Total and the rest? Same is true for BAA. How can they cut congestion and make travel cleaner and safer for everyone, to keep commerce flowing and tourism cash filling the country's coffers if they cannot expand beyond the hopelessly outdated and increasingly crowded (read: hazardous) facilities they had in the 60s and have not been able to move with the times? Sadly it is, I think, going to take an aluminium and burning steel shower over East London to make people understand. 

I just wish people would think about their opinions and ideals before they spout them off to everyone else. I am reminded of a famous quote that seems fitting to round off this rather ranty blog entry. 

"It is better to know more than you say than to say more than you know." 

or perhaps:

"It is better for people to think you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." 

You choose! 





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