BK 22 (Apr 7, 2020): Blowout - Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth

Hi Everyone...

Our Apr 7th discussion will be on "Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth" by Rachel Maddow (Oct 1, 2019). 

With 365 pages and 5 weeks it is approximately 10 pages a day.

Check out the book bio & video below:

"In 2010, the words “earthquake swarm” entered the lexicon in Oklahoma. That same year, a trove of Michael Jackson memorabilia—including his iconic crystal-encrusted white glove—was sold at auction for over $1 million to a guy who was, officially, just the lowly forestry minister of the tiny nation of Equatorial Guinea. And in 2014, Ukrainian revolutionaries raided the palace of their ousted president and found a zoo of peacocks, gilded toilets, and a floating restaurant modeled after a Spanish galleon. Unlikely as it might seem, there is a thread connecting these events, and Rachel Maddow follows it to its crooked source: the unimaginably lucrative and equally corrupting oil and gas industry.

With her trademark black humor, Maddow takes us on a switchback journey around the globe, revealing the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing a surprising conclusion about why the Russian government hacked the 2016 U.S. election. She deftly shows how Russia’s rich reserves of crude have, paradoxically, stunted its growth, forcing Putin to maintain his power by spreading Russia’s rot into its rivals, its neighbors, the West’s most important alliances, and the United States. Chevron, BP, and a host of other industry players get their star turn, most notably ExxonMobil and the deceptively well-behaved Rex Tillerson. The oil and gas industry has weakened democracies in developed and developing countries, fouled oceans and rivers, and propped up authoritarian thieves and killers. But being outraged at it is, according to Maddow, “like being indignant when a lion takes down and eats a gazelle. You can’t really blame the lion. It’s in her nature.”

Blowout is a call to contain the lion: to stop subsidizing the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world’s most destructive industry and its enablers. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, “Democracy either wins this one or disappears.”

Video (No embedding code)
This is what we discussed at the meeting via Zoom...

* Everyone thought this was an AWESOME book, in coverage details/depth.

* The content was felt to be tragic and scary.

* Deep Horizon more details, no safety plan & other leaking for 20 yrs

* Our & societies awareness of the oil companies activities here & in other countries.

* Russia oil company & gas station in the US

* Breath & Depth of Corruption & Pollution Caused

* President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue & his son Prince Teodorin
   ~ Update Article:

       + Son of President Teodoro Convicted on Corruption in France (2017)

       + Brazil Seizes $16M from Prince (2018)

       + Swiss Auction Prince's Cars Raise $27M for Charity (2019)

* The American Museum of Coal in Kentucky is run by Solar! :-)

* Earthquakes in Kentucky

* Oil Industry ability to change prices

* Oil companies using safety plans decades old and written by people who are dead now

* How ignorant congress is and how the oil companies use that to their advantage

* Overwhelming amount of money made

* Bribes and money made by dictators rather than helping country

* US Congress not understanding by letting this corruption it is defeating the purpose of helping countries with poverty, illness etc.

* Office of Technology Assessment being dismantled by Republican in 1995 (started 1972). Its purpose to "provide Congressional members and committees with objective and authoritative analysis of the complex scientific and technical issues of the late 20th century." (Wikipedia)

* Reminder Frontline's Plastic Wars view on their website

* The Last Mountain movie...I did find!

* Turn Your Blue Mind On website with "Find Your Water" link...please email me any water features in IL or elsewhere & I will add them!

* Getting Sustainable website with "Broadcasts" link...schedule of documentaries I'm showing via Zoom with permission!

* I have added some of our past books to the Sustainability Book Club Blog. I will email you when I have all of them up there.

* You can add comments to the Blog but make sure to hit the "Submit" button. It will then email me for approval & I'll get them posted ASAP!