Sunday, May 23, 2010

We won't make a mess--Trust us!

I received a proxy for a shareholders' meeting of a Big Oil company about a month ago. The company is not BP, and I'm sure the proxy statement was written before the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Take a look at the questions that some shareholders presented at the meeting--under normal circumstances, it's not surprising that the Board of Directors recommends voting against proposals calling for greater care in environmental disturbances, reduction of company-generated greenhouse gases and consideration of real financial risks of global warming, as well as social justice and refraining from buying political influence.

But of course, these are not normal circumstances, as we are currently witnessing an environmental and economic catastrophe of vast dimensions. And for exactly the same reasons as the Board of Directors of this huge corporation recommend voting against corporate responsibility on this proxy statement: It's too costly, we already take great care in our operations, and besides, you can trust us to do the right thing.

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