Last week I interviewed several activists who are objecting to the Nestle corporation of Switzerland, AKA Poland Spring Water, taking millions and millions of gallons of our water, bottling it and shipping it out-of-state….for a profit.
In my mind, this is immoral. Water is the most basic natural resource required for all life. How can it belong to corporations? But that’s beside the point of this blog.
During the interview, one of the activists said he doesn’t blame corporations because they are legal entities that don’t bleed, don’t die, don’t need food, etc. He said they are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing: making a profit for their investors.
But that’s a crock because corporations were created by people in the first place to do what they do, and corporations are owned by people and managed by people. They are the ones who pull the strings and make all the decisions.
These decision-makers are the ones who buy politicians. They are the ones who create the false advertising. They are the ones working to rollback environmental protections. They are the ones processing foods with poisonous contents. They are the ones addicting us to food and drugs that make us sick. They are the ones who make and sell weapons for war. They are the ones who lie and cheat.
These professional managers and everyone who works for them are responsible to their shareholders to make more and greater returns on their investments. So, by my way of thinking, people who invest in corporations that destroy the environment, enslave the poor, turn their heads from the abuses in third world countries where their profits are really made, and fund the war machine have an even greater responsibility for these crimes against humanity.
Right now in S. Portland, Maine, big Oil is doing everything in its power to hoodwink local politicians, small businesses and the citizens to achieve their goal of reversing the Portland to Montreal pipeline in order to bring tar sands from Canada to Portland where it will be refined and off-loaded onto ships transporting it around the world. The people who run these companies are spending tons of money on false advertising. They send in lawyers – who are people with a conscience – to twist the meaning of local laws and ordinances. The send the same people to browbeat and deceive each of the 260 small businesses that have opposed this plan.
If successful, large smokestacks will be erected in a popular recreational area spewing toxic chemicals over schools, neighborhoods, the City of Portland and Portland Harbor. An oil spill in Casco Bay would be catastrophic.
Furthermore, they are willing to risk running tar sands – the most corrosive, dirty oil on the planet and prone to leaks and spills – all along Sebago Lake which supplies most of the drinking water for Portland and Southern Maine.
Yes, these are corporations, but the people running them, working for them, and investing in them are people who have consciences. Are those who invest in fossil fuels, bottled water, mountain-top and open pit mining, the war machine…anything that destroys the environment, kills millions of people, makes us sick and makes life on earth unsustainable…really making a good investment?