Skip to content

October 2, 2017

MEMORIES – POLLUTION AND POLITICS

While watching a professional football game recently more to see who was standing up and who was kneeling than the brain-addling game itself, a rather long ad came up on the screen which featured audio to the effect that energy was what made the world go around and that without it humanity was destined to be a Third World society in a classic example of basic advertising and propaganda – first you scare ‘em and then you offer them relief if only they will buy your product or service or succumb to their view of reality, a recurring reprise of the old story of the hero armed with lance and sword who comes riding into the castle from the west on his white horse to save the day for its inhabitants by chasing the bad guys out into Sherwood Forest. Exxon-Mobil, as we will see and in my opinion, is not the hero but one of the bad guys in the castle in this real world play. (My apologies to Sir Walter Scott).

The ad also featured some ten or twelve Americans with their hard hats, Americans diverse in gender and race, who looked into the camera with honest and earnest conviction but said nothing. The ad’s sponsor was never mentioned during the course of the ad until the very end, when the screen flashed Exxon-Mobil. The ad (unsurprisingly) also never mentioned that there are alternatives to the fossil fuel energy base which are available and which can also make the world go around without destroying our air, land and water since, after all, why advertise for the competition, especially for a non-polluting one?

When I saw the sponsor a flood of memories both past and present immediately presented themselves to my neural network. I first remembered how an Exxon supertanker piloted by a drunken captain ran ashore in Prince William Sound (Alaska) and spewed out crude oil all over the place, killing wildlife and doing great damage to both the sports and commercial salmon fishery. (I write Exxon only because I think this incident occurred prior to their ill-fated monopolistic merger with Mobil.) I then decided to boycott that company’s products and have done so ever since.

The next and most recent memory the ad conjured for me was how Tillerson (our present Secretary of State appointed by Trump) was the CEO of Exxon-Mobil before he stepped down to serve our country as its chief diplomatic officer. I remembered in the run-up to his  Senate confirmation seeing TV images where he is shaking hands with Putin in Moscow, was decorated with Russia’s highest honors for non-Russians, and how he and Putin were involved in discussions of how (considering international politics) to jointly fund drilling for oil in the Arctic. It would not be an understatement to write that they seemed
“chummy” with one another as partners in such a proposed project and the potential for huge profits which if successful would greatly add to the bottom lines of Exxon-Mobil and the Russian oligarchy.

Trump, the pro-polluter, has endorsed the idea of drilling in the Arctic (and the national parks and monuments and anywhere else suspected of containing oil or gas, though to date thankfully excluding the National Cemetery in Arlington). Recently he had occasion to publicly disagree with the “back channel” efforts of Tillerson to negotiate with North Korea, though I note that he did not disagree with the “back channel” earlier and known efforts of his son-in-law, Kushner, in the latter’s efforts to communicate with Putin.

It seems that even war or peace is subject to Trump’s narcissistic impulses and commentary formulated in his surreal otherworld, otherworld impulses that he twitters as policy which are increasingly critical of his own appointees’ attempts to come to grips via beneficial initiatives in the real world the rest of us inhabit, initiatives that if they become policy might well lead to global peace and prosperity. It seems that he cannot stand to be upstaged, especially by anyone opposed to his views and even inferiors in his own cabinet whose fate he commands. (See resignations and firings.)

So why should Trump have all of the fun in conforming reality with his psychotic otherworld? I will venture into my own otherworld in connection with this essay’s topic and make a prediction: That Tillerson will resign on or before this year’s end amid erroneous press observations that his boss criticizes him, go back to his old job with Exxon-Mobil or, alternatively, act in an ex officio capacity for Exxon-Mobil, and as armed with his former prestigious position of Secretary of State and privy to its secrets, negotiate with Putin either directly or indirectly, all with a view to drilling in the Arctic which, as we have seen, Trump endorses, and which, if it happens, brings our national security as well as pollution to the chopping table of international politics, as in, what will Putin want to know in return for a smaller percentage of the Arctic profits?

If I am correct or nearly correct in my prediction which is admittedly not based on known facts, was this a backroom understanding that Trump and Tillerson reached, and that Trump’s criticism of Tillerson’s back channeling with North Korea is the opening salvo in which Tillerson will, after a suitable interval for plausible denial, resign? I don’t know, and given the secrecy in Trump’s administration, have no way of knowing. Who can know anything from a leader whose “policies” change from one minute to the next as his mental processes vary with the latest insult to his vision of himself, either real or perceived?

So am I engaging in a practice I condemn in Trump, i.e., conspiracy theory? I plead guilty, but invite criticism of my reasoned guesswork with that of Trump’s proclamations of his electoral win as a “landslide victory” when he lost the popular vote, the “biggest crowd ever” at his inaugural when it was a mediocre gathering dwarfed by that of Obama’s inaugural etc. etc. etc.

So am I on or nearly on to something with substance (a la Flynn and Manafort) while we await Mueller’s report or just whistling in the political wind? You be the judge.      GERALD        E

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: