How ExxonMobil Controls Our Lives - Lake Harding Association

How ExxonMobil Controls Our Lives

How ExxonMobil Controls Our Lives

By Micah Moen 87 Comments March 19, 2020


This video is sponsored by Brilliant, if you
stick around until the end, I’ll give you a link to get 20% off a premium membership! In July 1977, Exxon held a meeting in its
headquarters and a climate scientist told the truth: without strong action to curb fossil
fuel emissions within the next 5 to 10 years, the world would face a warming trend that
could spell disaster for countries around the globe. These were harsh facts, especially
for the executives of one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. But Exxon
leaders didn’t face these daunting climate change facts with opposition, instead, they
embraced the scientist’s conclusions and poured money into funding state-of-the-art
climate models and research vessels to gain a better understanding of the climate change
their industry was causing. As InsideClimate New’s senior correspondent Neela Banerjee
asserts, “Exxon was on the cutting edge of science, they wanted to be on the cutting
edge of science on climate change.” But then everything changed: “And they ended
up instead leading the denial and clouding the public perception of science. I mean the
change is amazing.” Exxon knew about climate change since 1977 and has since worked hard
to make sure no one does anything about it. This company is one of the largest in the
world, worth almost $400 billion, and since its inception in 1911 with the breakup of
Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly, has been involved in countless nefarious operations
harming the environmental and social ecosystems of not only communities but whole countries.
So today, we’re going to dive deep into the environmental and social consequences
of this fossil fuel giant. Today, we take on ExxonMobil. First and foremost, ExxonMobil is a fossil
fuel behemoth. It ranks fifth on the top 100 companies responsible for 71% of cumulative
global greenhouse gas emissions since 1988. Its operations span the globe with refineries
dominating the Niger Delta and offshore exploration reaching into Egyptian deepwater wells. It’s
not too far of a stretch to say that ExxonMobil is one of the leading causes of climate change.
The list of environmental wrongs created by ExxonMobil’s business is extensive. You
can point to the 4167 spills ExxonMobil’s operations have caused since 2005. Or the
over $20 billion spent on exploring and expanding their fossil fuel infrastructure in 2018,
locking in deepwater drilling operations in Guyana and Mozambique for years to come. You
can even look towards the 20-day methane leak from an ExxonMobil natural gas subsidiary
in 2018, that, according to the New York Times, “released more methane than the reported
emissions of the oil and gas industries of countries like Norway and France.” The list
of environmental grievances is long, but let’s zoom in on one of the more ecological racked
regions globally to understand ExxonMobil’s relationship with the environment: the Niger
Delta. According to one 2018 study on Nigerian ecosystems, Europe as a whole experienced
10 incidences of oil spills in 40 years, while Nigeria experienced 9,343 incidences in just
10 years. The same study goes on to claim that the Nigerian environment has experienced
the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez oil spill every year for the last 50 years. This vast
amount of pollution has led to a loss of 5-10% of the delta’s mangrove population and a
decline in fish stock decimating the livelihoods of local fishers. And the largest oil company
operating in the Delta is none other than ExxonMobil, which, with its private army of
over 2,500 security guards protects its polluting interests with supreme aggression. Essentially,
the world, and particularly marginalized and indigenous communities, has become ExxonMobil’s
dumping ground. Environmental destruction, climate change, and waterway pollution are
just seen as unfortunate side effects of the company’s growth. The full extent of ExxonMobil’s impact can’t
be understood, however, until we address the connection between their fossil fuel activities
and the communities they operate within. So, let’s travel back to the United States for
a minute. To the Charlton-Pollard section of Beaumont, Texas where a majority black
community lives with consequences of ExxonMobil every day. A 2017 investigative report from
The Intercept followed residents like Joseph Gaines, as they struggled with the constant
flaring of chemicals from the ExxonMobil refinery down the block. The Intercept report revealed
that the plant releases at least 135 toxic chemicals, many of which are carcinogens,
and the plant is regularly in noncompliance with the Clean Air Act. People in Charlton-Pollard
live with the constant smell of sulfur wafting through the air, and residents have been diagnosed
with cancer and heart problems. The air pollution there is over 54 times higher than the national
average. The population of Charlton-Pollard has sought answers in form of a complaint
to the EPA, but only after 17 years was it answered, and it took the investigative reporting
of The Intercept to push the EPA into action. The EPA eventually fined ExxonMobil $2.5 million
for polluting the communities around eight of its Gulf Coast refineries, with the added
requirement of spending $300 million to fit their refineries with pollution control systems.
While this is a victory, it’s too little, too late. This slow action is a symptom of
ExxonMobil’s and other fossil fuel interests’ defanging of Texas enforcement agencies. In
2016, for example, the state punished fewer than 1 percent of illegal pollution releases. But ExxonMobil’s strategy of casting its
negative externalities onto low-income communities and communities of color is not just limited
to the local scale, it happens globally as well. If we go back to the Niger Delta, the
consequences of big oil companies like ExxonMobil have manifested in nearly double the infant
mortality rate near oil spills as well as a complex web of illegal refineries and armed
conflicts surrounding pipeline and fossil fuel operations. One community leader interviewed
by The Guardian laments, “Oil companies do not value our life; they want us to all die.
In the past two years, we have experienced 10 oil spills and fishermen can no longer
sustain their families. It is not tolerable.” Nearby, ExxonMobil, with the help of the World
Bank, tore a sharp line through the land of Cameroon’s Bakola indigenous peoples in
order to construct the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline. They did this despite the knowledge of an
impact report detailing the damage the pipeline would cause to the Bakola people. According
to a World Bank environmental specialist, “ The pipeline didn’t need to go through
their area. It could have followed the road on the outside… But, ExxonMobil didn’t relocate
the pipeline. They put it directly through Bakola lands, doing much environmental damage
in the process.” Farther down the coast, one 2013 study connects
the prevalence of malaria in Equatorial Guinea with its rapid transition into a petro-state
spearheaded by ExxonMobil. When the study was published most of the population had yet
to see the substantial royalties from ExxonMobil’s oil operations. 60% of the 650,000 citizens
at the time lived on less than $1 per day. And despite the wealth pouring out of Exxon’s
oil fields, the government was slow to act on malaria aid as well. There were an estimated
193,000 cases of malaria in 2006. The study points towards ExxonMobil’s illicit backing
of the country’s dictator and other leaders as a part of the reason why malaria continued
to be a major problem within the country. The author asserts that the “rapid influx
of wealth in one sector can lead to… depression of other economic sectors, general inflation,
potential for conflict, and the encouragement of weak or corrupt management.” Essentially,
the paper argues that ExxonMobil was propping up a failing government with little desire
to address the malaria epidemic all in order to maintain control of its lucrative oil assets.
This exploitation of the resources of oil-rich countries at the hands of corporations like
Exxon has become such a pervasive global issue it’s been deemed the “resource curse”
in academic circles, as in, to have more resources, which should create economic power for a poor
country, actually leads to worse economic outcomes for that country. According to one
study, between 1970-1993, “resource-poor countries without petroleum, grew four times
more rapidly than resource-rich countries with petroleum, despite the fact that they
had half the savings.” The study goes on to say that “The World Bank and International
Monetary Fund (IMF) have both confirmed that the greater a country’s dependence on oil
and mineral resources, the worse its growth performance.” Essentially, as ExxonMobil
extracts fossil fuels from countries around the world, it is also exploiting and destabilizing
their economies. A leading World Bank official stated that “Exxon people are the least
responsible organization I ever dealt with. They couldn’t give a damn about the environment,
such as prudent routing of pipeline[s], vulnerable ethnic minorities and their life-support systems,
double-hulling, spill response plans, and greenhouse gas emissions. Getting them to
consider such prudentiary measures is like getting blood from a stone.” ExxonMobil then tries to cover up the myriad
of environmental and social costs of their fossil fuel dealings with a deluge of PR and
marketing ploys, all in an attempt to avoid the punishments and regulations surrounding
the global costs of fossil fuels. In the three years following the Paris Agreement ExxonMobil,
alongside four of the other largest publicly traded oil and gas companies, spent $1 billion
of shareholder funds on misleading climate-related branding and lobbying. They initially sewed
doubt in the climate science community to slow down regulation and public action, but
as the mounting evidence proved that tactic ineffective, ExxonMobil has since taken other
avenues. According to InfluenceMap, ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies are using
a combination of positive messaging combined with a system of negative lobbying to make
sure no legislation passes. This looks like $2 million spent on social media ads before
the 2018 midterm election branding the oil and gas industry as a jobs generator building
a brighter future. It also means that ExxonMobil spent over $9 million in direct lobbying money
in 2019 and has contributed over $900,000 to campaigns in the U.S. during the 2020 election
cycle. The idea is, as one New Yorker piece reports, to identify and back key votes in
Congress that will block all progress made on fossil fuel regulation. Essentially, ExxonMobil
has a vested interest in clouding the science and policy surrounding climate change and
preventing any meaningful environmental bill from passing through Congress, because at
the end of the day, regulation means a dip in their profits. But unlike many other smaller
companies, ExxonMobil has the power and money to protect their interests. As the New Yorker
article puts it, “[ExxonMobil] functions as a corporate state within the American state—constructing
its own foreign, economic, and human-rights policies.” ExxonMobil is the epitome of concentrated
power in the private sphere. Together with other large multinational oil companies, it
is responsible for the firmly entrenched fossil fuel infrastructure that seems ingrained in
every facet of our lives. So when we are told that climate change is the individual’s
fault and that we must all stop driving cars and flying, we have to think critically. ExxonMobil
is a perfect example of why this isn’t true. It holds sway over a vast amount of oil and
gas production, and in 1977 they knew that climate change was coming and it was going
to be drastic. ExxonMobil had the opportunity to make great changes, to transition the world
towards a path of renewable energy. They had the chance to make a massive impact on the
environment for the good not just on a local scale but on a global one. But they didn’t.
Instead, they covered it up and continued pushing the world down the path of no return. In order to create and build an extensive
fossil fuel free infrastructure we’ll need scientists, mathematicians, and engineers–problem
solvers who know the consequences of a world with climate change and are invested in preventing
it. Luckily, Brilliant is already teaching this next generation of problem solvers through
an amazing selection of online courses that use interactive puzzles to hone critical,
mathematical, and scientific thinking skills. Brilliant is a course-based website that lets
you explore the realms of math and science through storytelling, interactive explorations,
and daily quizzes. Which is exactly what you’ll get when you dive into their new Calculus
in a Nutshell course. Using visual and physical intuition to present the major pillars of
calculus, Brilliant guides you through the intricacies of calculus: an essential tool
for aspiring ecologists and urban planners alike. Ultimately, if you’re like me and
are curious about how the world works or just want to build your problem-solving skills,
then I’d highly recommend getting Brilliant Premium to learn something new every day. So, if you want to start developing your analytical
abilities, go to brilliant dot org slash OCC, or click the link in the description, and
sign up for free. As a bonus, the first 200 people that go to that link will get 20% off
their annual premium membership. Hey Everyone! Charlie here. If you’re interested
in supporting the videos I make for this channel, there are two things you can do. First, consider
backing me on Patreon. Even a dollar a month goes a long way to helping me out. And second,
sign-up for my email list with the link in the description. Again, thanks for watching,
and I’ll see you in two weeks!

87 Comments found

User

Our Changing Climate

What do you think are some of the best ways to create a fossil-fuel-free world? Renewables? Green New Deal? Personal action?

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User

KarolaTea

Ugh. This is so dishartening. How can so much… evil go without consequences.
Thank you for this video.

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Phil the Fixer

7 fossil fuel executives disliked this video.

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Jethro Thomas Barnett

I mean… Would it really hurt to put this video on the trending page for a couple days cough instead of the other crap that's on there… I mean, doesn't YouTube also have the power to do good with their massive influence…

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Gemma Seymour

Is ExxonMobil too big? Yes. Yes, it is, but really, stop spewing this nonsense about how corporations are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions. It's a lie. ExxonMobil isn't forcing you to burn oil and gas, and you are the one doing the consuming, not them. Stop blaming "Big Oil", and look in the mirror. If you want to save humanity from its own stupidity, then you have to vote for environmental regulations that are going to dramatically decrease your quality of life, and you have to convince a critical mass of people to do the same, and therein lies the problem—very few people, effectively no one, is going to sacrifice their wealth and comfort for others. All the technology that went into creating and disseminating this video, where do you think the wealth and resources come from to do that? Solar power? Hamsters?

So long as oil exists to burn, it will be burned, even in the face of certain human extinction, because oil is power and oil is money. If every oil company in the world vanishes today, tomorrow, new companies all over the world would spring up to take their place. There is no such thing as a fossil fuel free world, and there never will be. But if you want to mitigate the damage that fossil fuels can cause, then the only way to do that is through land policy. This may not seem directly related, but it absolutely is. Tax land, not labor and capital. Stop substituting transportation for better land policy. Stop substituting the profligate consumption of fossil fuels for better architecture and urban planning.

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Stohe Claims

any humans who do deserve to be here probably don’t want to be here

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Jude Furr

ExxonMobil stock has been going down for years, they're hardly the strongest company in the world.

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Stohe Claims

dislikes are from exxon mobile

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Ariel Aguilera

This one was tough to watch

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Geoffrey A

I saw a video about the 97% climate argument, saying that it was misleading, and I was wondering if you had a refute.

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YouTube lover 1

I can’t believe the amount of suffering one company can induce. I feel sick. This video makes me feel guilty for being apart of this by buying oil at the pump. I will never buy Exxon Mobil in my life from now on. When I use energy, I will try to find alternative ways.

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Kurt Lacourrege

Thank you for doing videos like these. Your work is so important to counter these destroyers' propaganda.

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Sarah Karver

Great video!!! Thank you for all you do!!!

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nickability

Great video.. If you guys want to come to my channel and watch my #ExxonKnew video! my Extinction Rebellion put crime scene tape on the Exxon building in Houston, and talk about their crimes

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Tayla

This is really messed up. It's like these company higher ups enjoy causing suffering in exchange for money and power. The world is run by fkn psychopaths.

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Omari O'Connor

So when the people from this company and others like it destroy the environment for profit where do they think they are going to live and enjoy their profits when the planet becomes inhabitable?

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Regenarc Canis

Vempire

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Shawn Michel de Montaigne

This is a damning portrait of true evil. Thank you for posting this.

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Πετρος Ρουσσος

"the path of no return". I strongly believe we are there as well. How/when can be sure about that?

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SpoopySquid

"The Earth is not dying, it is being killed and the people doing the killing have names and addresses." -Utah Phillips

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ThingOfSome

Framing Brilliant as if it were a public service, is disingenuous: they are a private company, commodifying education. If inclusion is the solution, then promoting something inherently exclusive is not helpful.

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Doug Grinbergs

Excellent research, useful links

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BioMutarist

Greedy corporations are the scum of the Earth, especially fossil fuel companies.

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python java

All that money they spent lobbying and advertising could have been used to massively help the environment and climate

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Ivor O'Connor

Reminds me of TV shows like ghost hunter or something about alien abductions and UFOs. Crazy conspiracy nuts broke free of the church and TV land. Losers can pair up at XR rallies and such and show your sincerity by crying the loudest.

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Elise Silvestri

Do a video on the animal ag industry!

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Sampath Kumar

Reminds me of how Boeing lost its way

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Feed Reed

Can’t wait for your take on Gazprom!

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Luca Rossi

So what? Are we going to do something about it? You climate activists actually think that bitching and bitching about the problem is going to solve it.

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Nick C

There is no punishment severe enough for these thousands of Exxon villains.

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Killer Bean

Imagine a big red button. Everytime you press it you get $1000, but a random person you've never meet has thier live shortened by 1 year.

This is the oil Industry.

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mitchio86

I think your making up a vague narrative – which overall is just a moan. We all need and use oil. If you don't like oil, don't use it. Simple.

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Erdem

they have 43 years. the extinction of oil reserves…

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5aral

this video started to lose credibility when it tried to imply they are targeting people of colour. they simply target poor places where poor people live, simple as that which happens to be mostly blacks in usa.

All companies will obviously dump the waste in some poor region over some well developed rich region since chances are they would get sued and taken down fast compared to poorer region. so the choice is more based on economic need rather than person's skintone.

"Oh wait that region is full of people of colour, let's fuck with them" seriously you think all those board meetings go like this?

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Angel Hernandez

I like your sponsorship voice it sounded very enthusiastic

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sourav jaiswal

Here is a better approach to climate change. Stop expecting oil companies to act against their own interests, instead use that energy to lobby companies to invest in greener technologies, like innovating new evs, producing energy efficient products. That will do far more good.

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Sweet Jenna

We seriously need HEMP OIL

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James Helliwell

Exxonmobil and other companies wouldn't exist if all consumers stopped using their products so seeing that everyone is whining so much just stop using ALL products that use oil and set an example.
But also i do except that the businesses do take a lot of the responsibility but unfortunately most consumers put price before the environmental and social costs

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Nita Willis

All Energy Hemp Fuel Used In First Auto,Better Than Corn

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Kansarme

Corrupted company

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TheKingOfTheWorld

Capitalism doing what capitalism does! Evil

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Dave Herrera

On a positive note Exxon mobiles stock has been down over 50% for the first half of 2020

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Andrew Mahoney

exxon was cleared of charges, good luck getting sued for this

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Aniket Raikwar

Avatar movie getting recreated on Earth

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R4ym1n

The real question is will human civilization change ? Exxon is only providing YOU the people with the product that YOU use 24/7. EVs only represent a tiny fraction of the cars on the road today. People who drive $500 used beat up hondas & toyotas cant afford $40k teslas. Trains, planes, motorcycles, ships, construction equipment etc… Run on fossil fuels. The massive infrastructure providing every home & building with gas. 25% of the world still burns coal to produce electricity. Over 6000+ products like clothes & plastic are chemically engineered from oil. "Oil rich" nations like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait etc…who depend primarily on oil & gas for their GDP dont care about renewables/clean energy. And to build the clean energy will take massive drilling/digging from miners such as BHP, Rio Tinto, Vale that wreck havoc on earth to get these minerals. Yes big oil deserves some blame but primarily YOU the people are the consumer. Every major corporation has some "evil" tied to it. Apple products are built by Foxconn which is a nightmare to work for workers committing suicide. Nike products are built in Vietnam sweat shops by children. The list goes on & on

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Jeroen Kampen

How can you even sleep at night when you're the ceo or project manager at ExxonMobil knowing all this is crap is happening while you swim in money…

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Thunder #1

Your production quality (both when it comes to the information you are spreading as well as the cuts and animations) is absolutely insane. Fantastic job, love the videos. Keep fighting the good fight!

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Leconte

This is not Exxon fault. It is what the African leaders allow.

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Aaron Oneal

Our changeing climate needs to do another video about ecosia they know run on 100 percent renewble energy.

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Matt Bertram

We're the regulators that deregulate
We're the animators that de-animate
We're the propagators of all genocide
Burning through the world's resources
Then we turn and hide

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Kathy Fausett

Exxon is in the business of making money. They haven't been good stewards of the earth. The products that they sell have little to no impact on the earth's climate.

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M B

CA and US big oil is now being decimated by the Saudi/Russian price war…. Don't know who will win the price war but, I already know who's going to lose… Say goodby to that beloved "petro" buck! North America needs to move away from oil anyway…. My next car will be a Tesla.

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Johnny Doggs

Yawn 😴

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Johnny Doggs

Trump won stop whining.

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Johnny Doggs

Why don't you stop driving your car then? Or eating your food that's delivered by trucks? You just like to cry but offer no solutions.

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Johnny Doggs

Keep deleting those comments crybabies wahhhhh

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Johnny Doggs

😴

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Johnny Doggs

Yawn

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Johnny Doggs

Why do you delete comments with an opinion different then yours? Thumbs down 👎

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Johnny Doggs

Zzz

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Johnny Doggs

😴

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Johnny Doggs

Wahhhhh wahhhhhhh

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Johnny Doggs

😴

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Johnny Doggs

Trump won 👍

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Johnny Doggs

Trump2020

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Johnny Doggs

😴

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Johnny Doggs

Wahhhhhhhh

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Johnny Doggs

Trump king Yee haw!

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Johnny Doggs

My shit is more accurate then this garbage.

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Johnny Doggs

Yo muhdik

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James Holden

In 1977, climate scientists said that within 5- 10 years, climate change would cause irreversible harm.
Here we are in 2020, and just fine. Ya hoaxer.
To clarify, I'm talking about C02 pollution.
The stuff this company does is evil, though.

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Robert Field

With more the one million words in the English language, there is one that perfectly describes this video …. POPPYCOCK. Come back in one or two centuries and this climate hysteria will rank with Dutch tulip bulbs as one of the great examples of the madness of crowds.

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Ulaş Aldağ

And know imagine if standard oil had not been broken up.

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Arif Koçer

The use of fossil fuel must be banned except in agriculture and heavy transportation in the short run.

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Bof Pwet

I have liked the video, it is well done and worth sharing. But i would say all this was kinda obvious for everyone interested into thoses things for a long while. I have here a book about pollution and fossil fuel industries that was part of a collection from the seventies produced by Jacques-Yves Cousteau… I am saying this because i have read some scary and violents comments here that point fingers as if we as consumers and voters had nothing to do with it. Yes this is horrible but we need to come together on what we want, elect thoses who will make and inforce laws to transform our societies… Going rambo style with a list of names in the pocket would not make anything better if you ask me.

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DerekSpeare

good topic, but poor narration

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sam sloan

Love xom that dividend it to good. F humanity give me 💸💸💸📈

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Mike King

Thank god for random politically motivated Google searches, look to the lower right and check out the "sources" just some nerd searching the web and pulling random facts that coincide with his political beliefs and slapping a video together, all the facts are opinion based with no names given or sources?? Exxon employs 72,000 people and hundreds of thousands of support companies and families, they paid $110 billion in taxes.
"In 2018, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $211 million in contributions worldwide. Of that total, $74 million supported U.S. communities and $97 million supported communities in other countries.

Remember gas fuels delivery trucks that ship the countless amounts of crap you and your neighbors order from ebay and Amazon and every company you buy shit from. Gas gets the trucks to your local store loaded with the food you eat every day, Gas gets you to and from work, Gas makes the generators run to provide you with electricity for your homes and the electricity to charge up your "electric car" Who ever made this video made it on a computer made of petroleum products made in a factory that runs on electricity and shipped with trucks ran on Diesel fuel, 70,000 scientist including the founder of The weather channel said Global warming caused by mankind is a total Hoax don't take my word for it get off your asses and research this stuff, Don't be a sheep. The climate has changed hundreds of thousands of times remember the great land ice bridge that melted 15,000 years ago? Well it wasn't caused by cars or factories

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Compulsive Walker

If you notice the World Bank was mentioned working along ExxonMobil. This isn't a one company thing, it's systemic, only with a compliant judiciary, legislative and bankers that the economic strength of ExxonMobil can be effective as a shield against any attack or being accountable for their crimes.

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the life of behr

Thank you for including your resources

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Just Random

I thought climate change wasn’t real according to Trump supporters.

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C C

So what is the alternative if we don’t use oil? You can criticise these all oil companies all you want but at the end of the day, they are the one powering the world for you. All the convenience you are enjoying from modern technologies today is powered by fossil fuel/natural gas (mostly). Are you guys ready to give that up right now?

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Greg Bly

Now go hop in your shiny new truck and complain about it. Heat up your massive square footage home. Enjoy your athsma you earned it.

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Michal Kunst

Activists just need to fight some "evil". Exxon is just normal company, and of course it has some accidents, because it is handling oil and is simply too big to not have one. SOOO many things wrong with this "goebbels" propaganda video.

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MASTER BLASTER

Natural greenhouse gases in the oceans can't be stopped – have a good day

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hbarudi

So the question is why is exxon – mobil doing things in Nigeria and Cameroon? Nigeria and Cameroon as countries should have their own fossil fuel companies with local workers doing the job when it comes to building pipelines and so on. It should not be a US company doing things and inavding those countries… The US foreign policy on those issues is severely lacking when it comes to helping people overseas improve their countries.

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Maui Chaui

Dont be fooled. Exxon is crashing and the Saudi Oil industry is running the show.

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guowen chen

What a idiot, without the petrolium products, your may not survive more than 7 days in a city, it is easily to blame XOM , but first tell us what is the alternative solution?

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