The Earth Is Bleeding...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by dryflylarry, May 14, 2010.

  1. In answer to your question, it will only end when our appetite as consumers for things made from petro-chemical based products is subdued. Personally I hate the BP spill as much as anybody...I have fished those waters many times and hate the thought that they are being polluted.

    I just can't bring myself to vilify "Big Oil" when I enjoy getting in my truck, driving 150 miles to a river (and use the requisite gasoline), put on my waders, boots, high tech rainwear (all made from petro-resin derived matterials), get out my fly rod (made with HIGHLY refined Resins), string up my fancy flyline (you guessed it, more resin), loop on a leader (yup....more resins), just to stand in a river to try to catch a fish I won't even eat. All of this supposes that I don't take one of the boats.

    In the end, if we didn't DEMAND products that start with oil then "Big Oil" would not have all those "insane, immoral" profits to reap. We have this problem because WE asked for it. Period. Until we are willing to remove the plank from our own eye we ought to refrain from picking the splinter from anothers'.
  2. I agree with every thing you said except the "Insane immoral" profit part. As you put it in quotes, I am not sure how serious you are. (Not preaching at you here Mark) That being said, "profits" are arguable one of the most moral aspects of our economy. The result from a transaction between a buyer and a seller. And in most cases you had the freedom to make that decision, and the freedom as a consumer to make the best deal possible. Jealousy and envy however are rarely considered moral emotions.

    Big Oil does have large profits in terms of total dollars, but in terms of profit margins they are very small compared to almost all other industries.

  3. you can still have outrageous profits, even with the smallest of margins...
  4. If you define outrageous are as exceeding normal limits or unrestrained I don't think you can. Large..yes. No doubt longer term the oil industry is profitable, and without question they are responsible for some egregious environmental mistakes. But name one industry that hasn't. I think you could argue the Federal Government has done much more damage historically.
  5. I expected you might take issue with my use of the term "outrageous" and there may be better words. However, take for example the Exxon CEO that received $400M compensation for his work in 2005. This was when gas prices were soaring and they were making record profits. It seems that the oil companies readily raise prices when cost per barrel rises, but when production costs fall, they are much less eager to follow suit with prices at the gas pump. Now if people are willing to pay the price at the gas pump, maybe you're willing to say "that's just good business." However, in consideration of how highly subsidized the oil industry is from the federal government, I would suggest that the profits are somewhat "outrageous."
  6. Quotes were for the purpose of implying sarcasim, I fully agree with you. Oil companies work on arguably the slightest margins of any large industry.
  7. Compared with say, a professional baseball pitcher who earns $20m per year to work every 4th or 5th day and is considered elite if he is successful 50% of the time, creates 0 jobs, provides nothing of value to society beyond entertainment, and can get off scott free with throwing a projectile going 95 mph at another human being because he didn't like how he ran the bases after he hit a home rum in his previous at bat? (for the record I love baseball)

    Me, I'll take the CEO who creates tens of thousands of jobs (all of which will be taxed), provides an immeasurable litany of products that improve daily life, raises the value of his company stock so old people can see their retirement income keep pace with inflation, pays insane taxes, and gives millions of dollars to charity every year (including scholarship funds that will inevitably be used to educate lawyers and "scientists" who will try to destroy his company).

    What is outrageous and immoral is Class Warfare.
  8. Mark, you make a great point about pro athletes and their outrageous salaries returning little value to society. I would take the jobs/profit-producing CEO over a pro athlete too.

    But that's not an unqualified endorsement of CEO's. I can't believe that anyone needs to make $400m per year to feel incented to run a big company like Exxon, even if that company provides great value to society in the form of jobs, profits, and necessary products (which I wholeheartedly believe). That level of compensation for any job on Earth reflects serious dysfunction in a society where teachers and others who also add value to society are paid $30k-50k per year. The disparity is too extreme. Defenders can argue about the free market bearing those levels of compensation, but it just doesn't pass the giggle test. And yet here we are with Exxon's CEO making $400m per year and many dozens of pro atheletes making $10m per year. That is crazy on the face of it.

    Side note: A person who "needs" $400m per year to feel fairly compensated for their work (any work) probably has a serious personality disorder. I say this based on personal experience with numerous similar people.
  9. Aug 20, NPR, Talk of the Nation piece titled:

    Should Science Take Sides In The Gulf?

    "Some scientists say they're being locked out of research on the oil spill because they refuse to sign confidentiality agreements. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the problems of doing scientific research when a lawsuit is pending. Is there a way to keep science independent?"

    Story available for streaming at:

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