Security for Whom?

Previously I mentioned that Exxon-Mobil had invested a few million dollars in PR against global warming. Well, I don’t know whether there’s actually any connection, but the same company posted its highest-ever profits last year:
Exxon’s revenue last year allowed it to surpass Wal-Mart as the largest company in the United States, and by some measures Exxon became richer than some of world’s largest oil-producing nations. For instance, its revenue of $371 billion surpassed the gross domestic product of $245 billion for Indonesia, an OPEC member and the world’s fourth most populous country with 242 million people.

Exxon Mobil Posts Largest Annual Profit for U.S. Company, By SIMON ROMERO and JOHN HOLUSHA New York Times, January 30, 2006

Meanwhile, Exxon-Mobil says its profits rose 40% last year while the amount paid in taxes rose 14%. What does this mean to the rest of us?

Continued dependence on petroleum for energy keeps the world dependent on the few big geographical locations that have the oil, which also continues to fund various unsavory governments that often oppress their own people and fund attacks on others. Other sources of power such as wind, solar, hydro, tide, and nuclear can be far more distributed, thus avoiding many of these problems. Other energy distribution mechanisms such as hydrogen would reduce dependence on the petroleum distribution networks and the electrical grid. The result would be increased security for the great majority people in the world.

Someone remind me whose security (and profits) we’re currently defending?


PS: Remember the Internet is already distributed. Do we want to let it become less so, by letting it come further under the control of a few large corporations?