Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why "shareholder value" and humanity are on a collision course

Chopped down Boreal forest near a tar sands mine in Alberta, Canada -CC- Greenpeace  - Credit: Jiri Rezak / WWF
Here is why I think humanity will end with a bang followed by a whimper or a whimper followed by a bang. Take your pick. DS
(H)ardcore conservatives: (...) have come to understand that as soon as they admit that climate change is real, they will lose the central ideological battle of our time—whether we need to plan and manage our societies to reflect our goals and values, or whether that task can be left to the magic of the market.” Naomi Klein - "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate"

Oil and gas companies produce away their main asset each year –- reserves — and have to replace them or eventually go out of business. It’s a fact of life. Valuations, debt lines and ultimately stock prices flow from this single piece of paper, which is how you figure out profitability. Oil and Gas Investment Bulletin

The reserves replacement ratio is one of the key metrics for assessing an oil company’s performance. It measures the extent to which it replaces the crude oil it produces with new reserves, such as those discovered through exploration. A company could eventually run out of oil if it fails to maintain the ratio at 100 per cent or higher.(...) The majors used to have little trouble replenishing but that changed as the balance of power switched to oil-producing states, especially in the Middle East, who shut the majors out. With control of the world’s oil reserves now in the hands of big state-owned energy groups such as Russia’s Gazprom and Saudi Aramco, western oil companies have to run ever faster just to keep still. Financial Times

The past decade has seen a reassertion of state control over national petroleum resources, which has continued to limit international oil company (IOC) access to easy oil. The bulk of the oil that remains freely accessible to IOCs is technically difficult and expensive to produce such as the Canadian tar sands, ultra-deepwater and the offshore Arctic. BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster highlights the scale of the risks involved in pursuing some of these marginal resources. Oil International

I'm your mamma, I'm your daddy
I'm that nigga in the alley
I'm your doctor when in need
Want some coke, have some weed
You know me, I'm your friend
Your main boy, thick and thin
I'm your pusherman


Anonymous said...

In business school terms I think I remember it being called "social opportunity" or "social costs". It was the part of the costs missing from the standard balance sheet which, while it may indicate the shareholders are indeed getting good money for their $, would actually show that society as a whole is getting reamed by the operation of this business in terms of
polluted rivers, air, future viability, what have you.
Nature doesn't show up on the standard balance sheet but, long term, she will indeed have her say.

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Great comment! Thanks.

oldfatherwilliam said...

since it's clear enough that modern humans are no better than they've ever been, Naomi seems to be bleating at darkness. As are all of us who imagine possible better outcomes.