Reminder that oil companies have been preparing for this moment, redesigning tankers, drilling equipment, and offshore platforms for a melting Arctic since the 1970s. A quick thread of their patents:
1973: Exxon ice-breaking cargo vessel…
1974: Texaco granted a patent for a mobile Arctic drilling platform. A "marine platform adapted to be removably positioned at an offshore body of water, the surface of which is periodically subjected to sheet ice and floating ice masses."…
1974: Chevron (which now owns Texaco) granted a patent for their own version of an Arctic offshore platform…
1983: Shell granted a patent for *its* Arctic offshore drilling platform…

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More from @amywestervelt

5 Feb
This, in @NYTParenting today whew “Just before the pandemic hit, for the first time ever, for a couple months, we had more women employed than men. And now we are back to late 1980s levels of women in the labor force.” BUT something's been bugging me abt how we talk about this...
Yes, women and in particular mothers have been pushed out of the workforce in droves as a result of the pandemic + systemic inequality. But also because American capitalism relies on free labor from women *and* because we can't figure out how to value labor that's unpaid
Reducing it down to jobs lost reinforces this idea that if mothers were just employed they'd be fine. Not so! Working mothers have an absolutely terrible time in this country. Why is the solution always: better get those moms back to work. And not: caregiving is work, pay them?
Read 5 tweets
27 Jan
We’re at a moment in time where radical change is necessary *because* those in power refused to make incremental change over the last 20 years. That’s as true on minimum wage as it is on climate.
We could have slowly increased min wage over the past 20 years, but those proposals were blocked at every turn, mostly by GOP and corporate interests. Now we need to double it overnight which is exponentially harder.
We could have decarbonized gradually but those proposals were blocked at every turn for going on 40 years now. Now we need to decarbonize in a decade, which is exponentially harder.
Read 6 tweets
24 Jan
I see a lot of people drawing the obvious parallel between both-sides takes in climate and politics, but it's bigger than that. The PR industry invented both sides-ism to help industry deal with muckraking journalists. Standard Oil was one of the first to use it to great effect
In the 70s and 80s, Mobil Oil turned it into a damn science. In the 90s, the API, Exxon, et al knew so well how to weaponize both-sides journalism that it was a key part of a detailed strategy to use media to shift the public toward thinking climate change was merely a "theory"
Ivy Lee, Standard Oil's publicist and the first modern-day PR guy, created the whole crisis actor thing too. He claimed coal miners protesting low wages and poor working conditions were crisis actors back in the early 1900s. This shit is almost as old as the oil industry itself
Read 6 tweets
9 Jan
Bizarre how some people see not being on top as being on the bottom, as though there’s not a giant middle place where everyone does okay. There’s a pathological attachment to hierarchical power in this country that’s distressing and depressing
I feel like I’ve been seeing this constantly in spaces where people claim to want to upend existing power structures —climate, feminism, progressive spaces. Even very well intended folks don’t know how to collaborate instead of compete, how to handle no one being in charge
If your plan for change involves the same structure with different people at the top, that ain’t it. If you hear calls for equity as an attack on your power, that’s not gonna work. I really worry about how/whether we can change when even those who want to don’t know how
Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
This is the natural outcome of a social contract that excludes most citizens from the jump and places individual success above the common good. It's where America has always been headed.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how the U.S. was the first country to form during/post Enlightenment and how much that plays into what we think of as American-ness. But also... how much American industrialists deliberately misinterpreted Enlightenment philosophers
The whole American identity & social contract was constructed to allow for the immorality of native genocide and the enslavement of African people. It takes a lot of really wild logical leaps to get there. And from there of course we end up here *gestures around*
Read 7 tweets
1 Dec 20
Been working on a series about this: to understand why climate science denial was effective, you have to understand how much effort & $ the industry put into instilling the idea that it's fundamental to American identity, which is inextricable from capitalism.
One of my favorite examples, this Jetsons-style 1956 film, commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute, and created by legit Hollywood film folks.…
Oil and competition make America great! This, that @cmuffett1 shared with me, from the book Hucksters in the Classroom, is along similar lines... but with some real racism mixed in: The Mochans, about a "primitive" people who put natural resources over profits.
Read 9 tweets

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