Venice, Louisiana is aptly nicknamed “the end of the world.” The community of 1000, which includes Venice, Orchard and Boothville, is south of New Orleans is the most southerly terminus of the Great River Road and the last community on the Mississippi River. Venice was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. East of Venice, LA is a human-induced oxygen deprived dead zone on the Gulf of Mexico seabed with too little oxygen to support fish, shrimp, crabs and other forms of marine life, that expanded to its largest on record by 2008 of c. 8,000 square miles.

One of Venice’s main industries is to provide service and transport for off-shore petroleum platforms, including BP’s  Deepwater Horizon oil rig which exploded 2010-02-20 killing eleven people and causing a huge oil spill.

Deepwater Horizon, built in 2001, was a Transocean-owned semisubmersible drilling rig but it was leased to BP (65%), with partners Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Mitsui & Co. owning the remainder.

BP plc founded in 1909 as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (See wiki for its Iranian-British-American history), which became The British Petroleum Company plc then BP Amoco plc now called BP) “is a British global energy company that is also the third largest global energy company and the 4th largest company in the world. As a multinational oil company (“oil major”) BP is the UK’s largest corporation, with its headquarters in St James’s, City of Westminster, London.[2][3][4] The company is among the largest private sector energy corporations in the world, and one of the six “supermajors” (vertically integrated private sector oil exploration, natural gas, and petroleum product marketing companies). BP’s 2009 reports a revenue of $246.1 billion, a net incomeof US $16.58 billion, a total equity of US $101.6 billion with 92,000 employees worldwide. wiki source

See dramatic photos here.

BP’s Gulf of Mexico Deepwater operations which include Atlantis Oil Field, Thunder Horse, Mad Dog, Pompano, Holstein, Horn Mountain, Marlin, Nakika and Tiber oilfield (announced 2009; production not commenced) operates from Houston, Texas.

“Transocean LTD is the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor. The company rents out floating, mobile drill rigs, along with the equipment and personnel needed for operations, to oil and gas companies. The company was spun-off from its parent, Birmingham, Alabama based Sonat, Inc. in 1993 and was originally called Sonat Offshore Drilling, Inc. Sonat Offshore acquired the Norwegian group Transocean ASA in 1996 and adopted its name. In 2000 the company merged with Sedco Forex, and was renamed Transocean Sedco Forex. In 2001 the company bought Reading & Bates Falcon. The name of the company was simplified to Transocean in 2003. Sedco Forex was originally part of Schlumberger until 2000 when it was spun off. Sedco Forex was originally formed from the merger of two drilling companies, the Southeast Drilling Company (Sedco) and French drilling company Forex. Transocean employs approximately 26,300 people worldwide and has a fleet of 136 vessels and units as of March, 2009. It was incorporated in the Cayman Islands while the principal office is in Houston, Texas. On December 8, 2008, the company’s shareholders voted to move its incorporation from the Caymans to Zug, Switzerland. The company has offices in 20 countries around the world, with major offices in Stavanger, Aberdeen, Perth, Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia. On July 23, 2007, Transocean announced a merger with GlobalSantaFe Corporation. The merger was completed on November 27, 2007.” wiki source

Steven L. Newman, CEO became CEO of Transocean in March 2010 just before the explosion. Newman joined the company in 1994 in the Corporate Planning Department. Mr. Newman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business.

Macondo prospect:
“The Macondo prospect is located on Mississippi Canyon Block 252 in the Gulf of Mexico in a water depth of 4,993 feet (1,522 meters). BP serves as the operator and holds a 100% interest in the prospect, which was acquired at the MMS Lease Sale #206 in March 2008. On Feb. 23, 2009 an EP was submitted to MMS (OCS-G 32306) proposing to drill and temporarily abandon two exploratory wells on the field. Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon semisub, which caught fire on April 20, 2010, was drilling the Macondo prospect. According to Dow Jones, the well had reached a depth of at least 11,500 feet (3,502 meters), when BP filed a permit with MMS to temporarily abandon the well. The rig sunk after erupting into flames from a blowout. BP may drill a relief well, if required, and will utilize a nearby drilling rig, which is available to commence drilling immediately source.”

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Deborah Yedlin (2008-12-30) of the Calgary Herald’s Business section succinctly summarized the economic nightmare of 2008 in which the investment banking industry collapsed, Chicago school economics theories were debunked and their heroes dethroned, trusted risk management managers were vilified, and the axis of financial power shifted from the West to the East.

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Citations

“The consequences of the lack of regulation in the shadowy subprime housing market, and the ability of banks to get loans off their balance sheets and have investment banks repackage them as rated securities, allowed for the spreading risk. It was a practice that was supposed to ensure if something went bad, the damage would be contained because the exposure would be spread out. It was an axiom that was lent an even greater reliability because U. S. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greens-pan was a believer in it. As many are now painfully aware, the dominos began to fall when two hedge funds at Bear Stearns collapsed in late 2007. This started the clock ticking on the 84-year-old investment bank, which proceeded to lose the confidence of investors and counterparties and was sold post-haste to JP Morgan Chase in March for $10 a share with the “help” of the U. S. Federal Reserve and its investment banking veteran, Hank Paulson (Yedlin 2008-12-30).”

“Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, in opining on the multi-billion fraud perpetrated by Bernard Madoff, suggested one of the reasons he was not discovered was because of society’s worship of the wealthy. Too many, he said, have drawn the conclusion that people who have made huge sums of money must be very smart and to question these individuals would be to insult them (Yedlin 2008-12-30).”

Webliography and Bibliography

Yedlin, Deborah. 2008-12-30. “Storybook year ends in economic nightmare.” Calgary Herald.

“Canada’s social safety net results in lower rates of poverty and income inequality along with higher rates of self-sufficiency of vulnerable populations than in the United States. But many Canadians would be surprised to find out that the U.S. has a lower burglary rate, a lower suicide rate, and greater gender equity than Canada […] Canada’s relatively poor record on child poverty, income inequality, and assault [remain] shocking […] Particularly troubling is its ranking on child poverty. In Canada, according to OECD statistics, one child in seven lives in poverty. Canada also still has an unacceptably high rate of poverty among its working-age population. According to statistics published by the OECD, just over 10 per cent of its working-age population is below the poverty line. This is double the rate of Denmark, the best-performing country on this indicator. Canada’s crime record is also disturbing—with 17 times the rate of assaults as the best-ranked country, 7 times the rate of burglaries, and 3 times the rate of homicides. Crime takes its toll on trust—both within the community and within public institutions. This picture of crime is not what Canadians think of when they think of their society. […] Canada ranks high on the indicator measuring acceptance of diversity […] Canada’s past achievements, such as reducing poverty among its elderly, show that, given the political will, Canada could successfully address other social challenges to sustain future quality of life (Conference Board of Canada Society Overview 2008 ).”

The Conference Board of Canada (2008 ) compared economic, innovation, environment, education, health and society performances of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States which are considered to be Canada’s international peers. Canada’s standard of living ranking dropped from 4th spot in 1990 to 9th in 2008. In terms of Education and Skills, over 40% of adult Canadians lack literacy skills required for everyday life and work in modern society. In terms of innovation Canada scored D since the 1980s and has failed to produce any top global brands.

The full report for 2008 will not be available until September. I am curious to see how data specifically related to Canada’s growing aboriginal community with its unique social histories and current dilemmas will be analysed in this report. When we examine the weakest points in the report, it is obvious that the vulnerabilities faced by Canada’s most at-risk group (aboriginal women and children) affect our international ranking. It is also useful to consider the location of remote aboriginal communities in terms of the most volatile environmental debates in Canada.

Data for this annual report comes from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (c.80%), the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. The report measures quality of life based on this definition:

“The Conference Board defines a high and sustainable quality of life for all Canadians as being achieved if Canada records high and sustainable performances in six categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health and Society (B 10/17). The word “sustainable” [1] is a critical qualifier. It is not enough for Canada to boost economic growth if it is done at the expense of the environment or social cohesion. For example, to take advantage of high commodity prices by mining and exporting all our natural resources may make the country rich in the short term, but this wealth will not be sustainable in the long or even medium term. The Conference Board has consistently argued that economic growth and sustainability of the physical environment need to be integrated into a single concept of sustainable national prosperity—what we call here a “high and sustainable quality of life for all Canadians.”

..

“Having a high quality of life means living in communities that are free from fear of social unrest and violence, communities that accept racial and cultural diversity, and those that foster social networks. A country that provides a high quality of life also minimizes the extremes of inequality between its poorest and richest citizens, while reducing the social tensions and conflicts that result from these gaps. Performance in the Society category is assessed using 17 indicators across three dimensions: self-sufficiency, equity, and social cohesion. Self-sufficiency indicators measure the autonomy and active participation of individuals within society, including its most vulnerable citizens, such as persons with disabilities and youth. Equity indicators measure equity of access, opportunities, and outcomes. Social cohesion indicators measure the extent to which citizens participate in societal activities, the level of crime in society, and the acceptance of diversity [. . .] Canada’s social safety net results in lower rates of poverty and income inequality along with higher rates of self-sufficiency of vulnerable populations than in the United States. But many Canadians would be surprised to find out that the U.S. has a lower burglary rate, a lower suicide rate, and greater gender equity than Canada […] Canada’s relatively poor record on child poverty, income inequality, and assault [remain] shocking […] Particularly troubling is its ranking on child poverty. In Canada, according to OECD statistics, one child in seven lives in poverty. Canada also still has an unacceptably high rate of poverty among its working-age population. According to statistics published by the OECD, just over 10 per cent of its working-age population is below the poverty line. This is double the rate of Denmark, the best-performing country on this indicator. Canada’s crime record is also disturbing—with 17 times the rate of assaults as the best-ranked country, 7 times the rate of burglaries, and 3 times the rate of homicides. Crime takes its toll on trust—both within the community and within public institutions. This picture of crime is not what Canadians think of when they think of their society. […] Canada ranks high on the indicator measuring acceptance of diversity […] Canada’s past achievements, such as reducing poverty among its elderly, show that, given the political will, Canada could successfully address other social challenges to sustain future quality of life (Conference Board of Canada Society Overview 2008).”

Footnotes

1. “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland 1987:43).”

Webliography and Bibliography

Brundtland, Gro Harlem. 1987. Our Common Future: World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Conference Board of Canada. 2008.

Through WSJ Online which I follow on Twitter, I was alerted to Kuroda’s Wall Street Journal timely and informative opinion piece on Asia’s Food Crisis (2008-05-05). I realized that this article was rich in research-based information and provided an excellent summary of a pivotal moment in the social history time-line of the way in which “Wealth Disparities Will Intensify.” See Drummond and Tulk (2006). First I dugg Kuroda’s article.

Then I began a slow world rhizomic process using the semantic web with its microblogs, blogs, social bookmarking, aggregators and folksonomies locating this article at the centre of a dendronic cartography.

Leaving all the windows and tabs open on Firefox I worked with and between Adobe Photoshop, notepad, blogs, etc to produce this series of layered images which I call digitage. They conform to Powerpoint’s default size and highest resolution (1440 x 900). I saved them as .jpg to upload to the Flickr account using my new handy Flickr desktop uploader. These images Circum Asian Pacific Globe http://snurl.com/27ekf 2. “Globalization: Food, Fertilizer and Fuel“, http://snurl.com/27el3 3. On the Tomato Trail 4. Consuming Questions: East and West http://snurl.com/27en3 were then combined into a .ppt PowerPoint file entitled “Food, Fertilizer, Fuel” which conforms to the slidenet.com default size. Once the slidenet.com presentation was uploaded I collected all the urls and transformed them into snurls. (Snurls are shortened urls that can also be used with microblogging services like Twitter.)

This article then on the East and West was a catalyst to my first “snurl cloud” or “snurl roll” on on Twitter. (A second snurl cloud links to the first: “Wealth Disparities Will Intensify also on Twitter (2008-05-06).

In a sense this is a virtual faint echo of Barndt’s Tangled Routes (2001). See also Flynn-Burhoe (2006-11-17) on the layered digitage linking tomatoes, French Fries, fast foods, high-meat-protein-consumption, Milton Friedman’s “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Profits” (1970), Cannibals with Forks and Barndt’s Tangled Routes: Women, Work and Globalization on the Tomato Trail (2001).

Webliography and Bibliography

Barndt, Deborah. 2001. Tangled Routes: Women, Work and Globalization on the Tomato Trail. Aurora, ON. Garamond Press.

Drummond, Don & Tulk, David (2006 ) Lifestyles of the Rich and Unequal: an Investigation into Wealth Inequality in Canada. TD Bank Financial Group.

Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2006. “Wealth Disparities Will Intensify (Drummond and Tulk 2006).” >> December 15, 2006.

Kuroda, Haruhiko. 2008. “Solving Asia’s Food Crisis“. Wall Street Journal Asia. May 5, 2008.

Ceres is composed of and works with investors ($4 trillion) and environmental groups to address sustainability challenges. In their report Corporate Governance and Climate Change (2008 ) they argue that the banking sector needs to become aligned with GHG reductions.

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The uber wealthy are the most mobile, the least at-risk to the unintended and frightening by-products of their industries. Pricewaterhouse Coopers reports that 18 % of North American CEOs are not concerned about climate change, while most Americans, the UK and EU are. In Canada these CEO’s have increased their lobbying power over public policy.

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King of Canada: Tom d’Acquino CEO of CEO’s

January 9th, 2007

The Canadian business community has taken the most active interest in politics at the CEO level than any other business community in in the world (d’Acquino cited in Brownlee 2005: 9 Newman 1998:159-160). And this interest and influence has been on the rise in the last decades. Canada’s business community has had more influence on Canadian public policy in the years 1995-2005 then in any other period since 1900.

Look at what we stand for and look at what all the governments, all the major parties . . . have done, and what they want to do. They have adopted the agendas we’ve been fighting for the in the past few decades (cited in Brownlee 2005: 12 Newman 1998:151).

Tom D’Acquino should know as he is the CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

While the average North American is becoming increasingly concerned by climate change, a recent report by Pricewaterhouse Coopers has found that fewer than a fifth – 18 per cent – of North American chief executives are concerned about climate change putting them increasingly out of step with their colleagues in Europe and Asia Pacific.

This a current list of the Chief Executive Officers of the Officers of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives:

  • Dominic D’Alessandro, Vice Chair Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and President and CEO Manulife Financial
  • Thomas d’Aquino, Chief Executive Officer and President of Canadian Council of Chief Executives
  • Paul Desmarais. Jr. Vice Chair President of Canadian Council of Chief Executives and Chairman and C0-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation of Canada
  • Richard L. George, Honorary Chair Canadian Council of Chief Executives and President and CEO of Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Jacques Lamarre, Vice Chair of Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and President and CEO SNC-Lavalin Group, Inc.
  • Gordon M. Nixon, Chair of Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and President and CEO of Royal Bank of Canada
  • Hartley T. Richardson Vice Chair of Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and President and CEO of James Richardson and Sons, Ltd.
  • Annette Verschuren Vice Chair of Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and President of The Home Depot Canada

For more see: King of Canada: Tom d’Acquino CEO of CEO’s

Geopolitics of Oil, Money and Militarism: George W. Bush pledged $350 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy over a period of 10 years. The invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have cost $250 billion so far. According to a Financial Times report, foreign investors: China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea own c. 53% of all US Treasury bills.

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Geopolitics of Oil, Money and Militarism
The US is the world’s largest debtor ($3 trillion in 2005) due to tax cuts and wars during the presidency of George W. Bush who pledged $350 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy over a period of 10 years. The invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have cost $250 billion so far, with another $6 billion added each month (Dillon 2006:2). According to a Financial Times report, foreign investors such as China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea own about 53% of all US Treasury bills and over half of these overseas holdings be-long to central banks (Dillon 2006:2 citing Financial Times 2005/08/16).

A timeline of geopolitics of oil, money and militarism

Late 1980s tranquility before the crises of the 1990s.

2005 According to a Financial Times report, foreign investors such as China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea own about 53% of all US Treasury bills and over half of these overseas holdings be-long to central banks (Dillon 2006:2 citing Financial Times 2005/08/16).

2006 “The US is the world’s largest debtor. Its external debt, measured in terms of its “net international investment position”, approached $3 trillion at the end of 2005. The US debt is comparable in size to the total debt of all developing countries which reached $2.6 trillion at the end of 2004 as measured by the World Bank (Dillon 2006:1).”

2006 “Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers warily compares the apparent calm on global financial markets [in February 2006] to the tranquility that preceded the crises of the 1990s. Today, the imbalances that threaten global financial stability are rooted in the USA’s burgeoning debt (Dillon 2006:1).”

Selected bibliography and webliography

Dillon, John. 2006. “Will US debt lead to a financial crisis?Kairos. No. 2 February. KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives unites eleven churches and religious institutions in work for social justice in Canada and around the globe.