SNS Press: Seeking New Solutions

April, 2006
Vol. 5, Number 4
The SNS Press E–Zine presents new perspectives for a better future in society, politics, religion, education, self-awareness and human relations.

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A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.


Why Boycott Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco?

"Over the past four decades, a succession of U.S. petroleum companies including Texaco (now owned by Chevron Corporation), have cut through Ecuador's Amazon in search of oil. Environmental and human rights defenders claim that Chevron has left behind a trail of environmental destruction, which continues to pose serious threats to survival of Amazon communities. You can hold Chevron accountable and help put a stop to this suffering."

Amnesty International

For 13 years as chairman and chief executive, Lee R. Raymond propelled Exxon to the pinnacle of the oil world. Net income soared from $4.8 billion in 1992 to last year's record-setting $36.13 billion.

For his efforts, Mr. Raymond, who retired in December, was compensated more than $686 million from 1993 to 2005, according to an analysis done for The New York Times by Brian Foley, an independent compensation consultant. That is $144,573 for each day he spent leading Exxon's "God pod," as the executive suite at the company's headquarters in Irving, Tex., is known.

“For Leading Exxon to Its Riches, $144,573 a Day”
The New York Times 4-15-06

I have to buy gas, but I hate supporting companies that destroy the environment and negatively impact people's lives while supplying me with it.

Since gasoline is a necessity in our society we must find ways to make a statement about how it is extracted and sold, and what we feel are the oil companies' responsibilities. If the companies that do the greatest harm and earn the most profits while doing so are boycotted, perhaps all the companies will realize that the consumers are fed up with how they are conducting business.

The most dramatic way that consumers can express their opinions is to vote with their dollars. Each purchase we make empowers those receiving our money and implies consent with their business practices. This enables them to continue their practices unchecked by and immune to the opinions of their customers.

A boycott is the first step to start influencing the companies that provide us gasoline. At least it may get their attention if their profits decrease. Below are some questions to consider when making the personal decision to boycott a company:

Oil Company Rights versus Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the members of the United Nations in 1948 outlines the principles and responsibilities upon which life on our planet should be governed. Article 3 of the declaration states that, Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. When governments or businesses jeopardize the well-being of people and the well-being of our planet they are in violation of this agreement.

“Our health has been damaged seriously by the contamination caused by Texaco. Many people in our community now have red stains on their skin and others have been vomiting and fainting. Some little children have died because their parents did not know they should not drink the river water.”
Excerpt: Affidavit of the Secoya tribe given by Elias Piaguaie -Aguinda, et al v. Texaco Inc. - Case # 93-CV-7527.

The right to profit from the extraction and sale of oil may be legitimate as long as the process does not harm people or the environment, as long as it serves the common good and as long as profits are made without exploiting the consumers for the benefit of a few.

Who owns the world's resources?

Presently, the right of ownership of natural resources rests with those who extract them. Many, if not most of the oil comes from territories which are not deeded to an individual or to a corporation. Most comes from beneath undeveloped regions or from beneath the oceans. Does not all the world's resources belong to humanity in common? Who owns the sun, the oceans, the rivers, the air we breathe, the forests? Humanity needs to assert its custodianship over these resources, and those that use them for profit need to be held to standards beneficial to humanity.

Does gasoline constitute a public utility along the lines electricity, water, natural gas, etc.?

Since gasoline is presently a necessity, it ought to be governed as a utility. In my state of Arizona we have a Corporation Commission in charge of balancing the rights of the utilities with the rights of the consumer. These are elected officials. The guidelines are for fairness and the health of both the utility industry and the consumer. The commission sets the rates based on the needs of all the stakeholders. The interests of the environment, the elderly and needy are also taken into consideration. Decisions of the Corporation Commission have the force of law. Currently there are no laws binding the exploitation of oil, especially by American corporations in developing countries. This is a grave cause for concern.

What are the rights and responsibilities of those making profits from natural resources?

A corporation that profits from the extraction, refinement and sale of natural resources must see their business as a public service. As such they must not harm people or the environment in the course of their business. They must not charge arbitrary or excessive prices. The huge profits earned by oil companies can only be justified if some is used for restoring the environment, cleaning up the toxic wastes caused by extraction or accidents in shipping, and to improve the lives of people from the areas impacted by their business. They must also be responsible to encourage and not prevent the development of alternative and renewable sources of energy. Their rights are contingent upon the fulfillment of their duties as responsible benefactors of society and custodians of human and environmental well-being.

What are the rights of people impacted by oil development and mining?

They are entitled to the rights of all people to be respected and not put at risk by the oil companies. They should have a say in the development of their lands and also share the responsibility of custodianship of their environment and the integrity of their culture. They should benefit by the use of their resources to be demonstrated by improved quality of life.

What are the rights and responsibilities of consumers?

The rights of consumers are to use products which conform to standards that they agree with in terms of their effects on people and the environment, and the right to be fairly treated in terms of what they are charged for the products. Health and safety of consumers ought not be compromised in the use of products. Consumers have the responsibility to not waste natural resources. Also they have the responsibility to demand practices of the suppliers which respect the rights and needs of people and which protect the future sustainability of life and economic stability. Consumers have the responsibility to not support companies that do not have business practices beneficial to the common good. Shareholder of stock in these companies are responsible for improving the policies of the companies.

It is our opinion that Exxon/Mobil and Texaco/Chevron be boycotted until they demonstrate responsible practices that do not harm the future of society and our planet. The strength of a boycott is determined by wide ranging support. We hope our readers will join us in publicizing this option for expressing our values and demand that oil companies be held accountable for the consequences of their business practices.

You may email this article to friends by using the link below:


© 2006 Richard Sidy


Click here to take action against Exxon's continued refusal to invest in renewable energy and its continued fight against the court-ordered punitive damages for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. It's time to take matters into our own hands and exxpose ExxonMobil's dirty tactics and pressure it to shed its past and chart a new future.


Related Articles:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?

I Know I'm Not Alone — the wisdom of Machael Franti

Related Poems:

Making Friends
Take Heart
March Madness


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Donate to U.S.A. Fund for UNICEF


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Archives 2005
Volumn 4
January: "Standing up for Humanity"
February: "The Wake of Disaster" – a poem
March: "Unity in Diversity
April: "Life is Calling"
May: "Entertainment" – a poem
June: "Thought and Imagination" part 1
July: "Thought and Imagination" part 2
August: "Imagination and Healing"
September: "Malice or Neglect? – Lessons of Katrina"
October: "Protecting Children"
November: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?"
December: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"
Archives 2006
Volumn 5

January: "Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity"
February: "Satyagraha or Soul-force and Political Change"
March: "I Know I'm Not Alone - Wisdom of Michael Franti"
April: "Human Programming and Conflict Part I"
May: "Human Programming and Conflict Part II"
June: "Soccer Diplomacy"
July: "Sustainable Development is Nature's Way
August: "Parallel Universes"
September: "The News is not New"
October: "Legalizing Torture"
November: "Living Without an Enemy"
December: "Fast Food is really Slow Food"

Archives 2007
Volumn 6

January: "State of Fear"
February: Criminal Justice - "The Powerful Over the Weak"
March: "Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival"
April: "March Madness"
May: "No Child Left Behind" Leaves Many Teachers Behind
June: "Personal Ecology"
July: Criminal Justice - "The Ethic of Custodianship"
August: "Exploring the Mind - part 1"
September: "Exploring the Mind - part 2: The Poetic Mind
October: "How Much Pain Can We Stand?"
November: "When Languages Disappear"
December: "Is it Enough to be Tolerant?"

Archives 2008
Volumn 7

January: "Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future "
February: "Beyond the Bush Years"
March: "The Imaginary Economy - Part I
April: "The Imaginary Economy - Part II
May: Questions from Prison
June: "iGods and Connectivity"
July: "Energy Independence"
August: "Tribalism and the 2008 Elections
September: "Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice"
October: "Have We Been Willing Slaves?"
November: "Are We Ready for the Future?"
December: "Are we done learning from pain?"

Archives 2009
Volumn 8

January: "Awakening"
February: "When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice"
March: "The Good New Days"
April: "The Power of Metaphor"
May: "The Conflict of Mythologies"
June: "The Time is Right"
July: "The New Anarchy"
August: "The Art of Living"
September: "Outrage"
October: "Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?

November: "Effect of the manufacturing culture on the American Psyche"
December: Who are the Real Game Changers?

Archives 2010
Volumn 9

January: The Music of Place
February: Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
March: Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity
April: Why Do People Serve?
May: Decentralizing Food and Energy
June: Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological literacy
July: Organization or Organism?
August: Fear and Cynicism = “Inter-fear-ance”
September: Are we afraid of our "Better Angels?"
October: Choosing Our Battles
November: Meeting the Need
December: A Living Canvas

Archives 2002: Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003: Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life

Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004: Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All
Poetry Diplomacy Science and Religion  Teen Help
Archives 2002 Archives 2003 Archives 2004
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