This is amusing from Greg Palast

Throughout the nation, we heard the same refrain: nostalgia for the old days of freedom and prosperity under Soviet rule; under BP rule, the people’s health, income and freedoms have decayed rapidly, as pollution has turned their Caspian fisheries into a dead, chemical toilet.

Someone actually arguing that not Soviet industry is more polluting than Soviet industry.

Doesn\’t really pass the smell test, does it?

8 thoughts on “This is amusing from Greg Palast”

  1. There’s another reason why these things don’t pass the smell test: they stop well short of any meaningful technical details. For example, he refers to BP’s “horrific drilling practices”, but doesn’t actually say what they are or who – both companies and individuals – are ordering them done and carrying them out.

    Contrast this with the discussions on Macondo, where people go into details of at what pressure the well kicked, who said what and when, what was done in reaction to what was said, and what equipment was being used.

    The difference may be because the journalist does not want to fill his script with technical details which his audience will not understand, but if you’re going to make sensationalist claims then I’d at least expect some coverage of the technical detaisl. I’m more inclined to believe the journalist hasn’t got a clue what constitutes “horrific” drilling practices, and spends his time listening to those who have an axe to grind from the comfort of the Baku Hyatt instead of finding out and seeing for himself.

    And this:

    Baku, once the world’s leading manufacturer of oil drilling equipment, is now one of the world’s leading centers of oil-toxin cancers.

    This is a crude (‘scuse the pun) attempt at guilt by association: BP’s operations are all offshore, and a long way offshore at that.

    Azlan, afraid to give his last name, paid to have a cancerous lung cut out, because employer BP wouldn’t pay. He says the oil company fired him after he could not keep up with his work.

    So is BP his employer, or former employer? How long ago did he get fired? Was the firing warranted? It’s hardly inconceivable that the bloke in question was fired with good reason. This is shite journalism.

  2. “nostalgia for the old days of freedom and prosperity under Soviet rule; under BP rule, the people’s health, income and freedoms have decayed rapidly,”

    I’m trying to make sense of this sentence. Is the author trying to say that the USSR was a harbour of joy and love until it collapsed and then evil BP kicked the door in and made them all work 18 hour shifts in labour camps?

  3. Nostalgia is rarely linked to common sense. People were probably more overtly equal in the communist days – the inequality was hidden away in the dachas and the Party-hierarchy-only shops. Whereas, now, it is expensively coughing exhaust fumes in your face. Less obnoxious fumes than from Ladas or Trabbies, to be sure.

    And you were free to do everything the Party thought you should be doing. Not free to not do what the Party thought you should be doing, of course, but as the Party was the benevolent friend of the working people, then that shouldn’t have been a problem, should it?

  4. It seems to me to be true that pollution in the Caspian Sea has got worse. Why wouldn’t it have? Democracy is likely to be less polluting than dictatorship, but capitalism is not inherently less polluting than communism.

    However, I suspect that BP deserves only a small part of the blame.

  5. The Blair Party tenure also saw loss of freedom , health (obese, drugs etc) to varying degrees. Maybe its catching.

  6. sackcloth and ashes

    ‘capitalism is not inherently less polluting than communism’.

    I’m still wondering what (after 1989-1991) the free market has done which is worse than Bitterfeld, Teplice, Chernobyl and the disappearance of the Aral Sea.

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