Oil Philosophy

http://www.exponent.com/petroleum_hydrocarbons/At the May 29 ExxonMobil shareholder meeting in Dallas, Texas, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said that the oil economy is here to stay, and cutting carbon emissions would do no good.

He asked, “What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?”

My first impression was of a man who had studied and adhered to a version of the Utilitarian school of thought, i.e. that the the moral worth of an action is determined only by its resulting outcome. Thus, if humanity suffers due to taking the steps necessary to save the planet, then saving the planet is not a worthy undertaking.

But Mr. Tillerson it clear on that front. In a recent interview, he said, ““My philosophy is to make money. If I can drill and make money, then that’s what I want to do(…) The rest is risk management.” He presents climate change challenges (to the extent the he accepts the science behind climate change at all) as engineering problems which are solvable via engineering solutions.

Does oil company ideology influence its actions and impact on the environmental discussion?

According to GOOD, nine out of ten climate denying scientists have ties to Exxon Mobil money.

To be fair, not all oil companies follow the same path. So I thought this week I’d explore fossil-based fuels from a few different angles.

World’s largest oil & gas companies Graphic: Stedas / Visual.ly

Greenopia‘s Top 5 Oil Companies and their Oil Spills. Note that this infographic was made while the BP Gulf was still underway:

Source: Tiago Velosa / InspiredMag