The Warped Morality of Fossil Fuel Barons: BP’s Shameful Profits
The gluttonous executives at British Petroleum have once again gorged themselves on profits wrung from the slowly broiling carcass of Planet Earth. Reporting second-quarter earnings of $2.6 billion this week, these captains of corruption boasted of lavishing their shareholders with dividends fattened by the incineration of our common future.
Profits soar as global oil and gas market prices tumble since reaching a peak last year. The global oil price averaged $76.60 a barrel in the last quarter, down sharply from an average of about $112 a barrel in the second quarter of last year after.
This carnival of greed comes on the heels of what scientists say may have been the hottest month in human history, a grim milestone achieved only through the relentless extraction and combustion of fossil fuels. Yet BP continues to amass mountains of cash by intensifying the climate crisis, spending billions to enrich its investors while the natural world shrivels like a slug sprinkled with salt.
BP’s Cash Machine
Brazenly indifferent to the deepening cost of living crisis, BP’s CEO bragged last year of his company becoming a “cash machine” amid soaring oil and gas prices. Now, still surfing the lucrative wave of global energy woes, BP funnels more unseemly lucre to its undeserving investors—further bloating shareholder pockets while poverty swallows’ families across Britain.
This is the warped morality of fossil fuel barons: fattening shareholders as the planet shrivels, showcasing capitalism at its most vicious and inhumane. This is the logic of a psychopath, not a normal business.
This slow-motion larceny can no longer be tolerated in a just society. Our energy resources belong to the British people, not faceless foreign shareholders. Reclaiming them is now a matter of urgent moral right.
But the high priests of free market theology will decry nationalisation as an assault on economic liberty. In truth, allowing Big Oil’s demolition of our climate is the real crime against freedom.
The only path to salvation lies in wresting back public control of our energy sector to steward a rapid transition to renewables. No half-measures can redeem this corrupted system.
It’s typical, its corrupt, it’s not a free market it’s a plutocracy.
While BP’s shareholders wallow in another $10 billion windfall, parents across Britain face impossible choices between feeding their children or paying their power bills, casualties of a rigged system that privatises gains and socialises losses.
It is in this moment we realise nothing changes. The gluttons guzzle vintage champagne while the peasants starve outside the manor gates.
Emboldened by the supine politicians they’ve purchased in both Washington and London, entities like BP and Shell press on heedlessly, neither acknowledging the simmering climate calamity they’ve cooked up nor dialling back their rancid gluttony.
Craven as ever, these merchants of doubt even constrict their own pathetic emissions targets, signalling full steam ahead while burning earth to cinders. Confronting such titanic greed and denialism, righteous anger and nonviolent resistance are our only recourses. Our children’s future hangs in the balance.
This is the inevitable folly of modern capitalism – a model that licenses amoral corporations to loot creation itself and imperil civilization. A morally courageous fight back rooted in social duty is now essential to rescue us from the abyss.
But time is desperately short. Unless we reclaim energy as a public good, the profiteering of BP and its ilk will reduce our green and pleasant land to a barren wasteland. However bitter the remedy, public cannot come too soon.