Pursuit of Profit by the CEFIM
Nature conservation requires participation in politics. Here’s the outline of a political problem to consider: Large multinational corporations often pursue profits without regard for the consequences. We can limit corporate impacts in three major ways: We can divest our holdings in the largest chemical, energy, finance, insurance, and military corporations (CEFIM), we can stop purchasing their products, and we can support politicians (yes there are some) that oppose corporate power over government.
Divesting, boycotting, and voting. I listed brief bits of useful information for CEFIM corporations below. If you want to get involved, you might wish to pick one industry and follow links to gather information and find top protests to support. Then pick your politicians and go to work!
On everyone’s mind just now are the pesticides that are killing the bees and butterflies. A social media push to block toxic pesticides is using the hashtag, #BeeKindObama to call on the president to halt the massive poisoning that the major chemical companies are promoting. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) produced an info-graphic concerned with pesticides, seeds, and other biotechnology. It shows how a few chemical companies dominate the global market. If pesticides are your thing, go to PAN to find ways to take action.
If energy and it’s pollution of air, land, and water are of interest to you, you might want to help make Global Divestment Days (February 13, 14, 2015) a society-shaking event. Fossil Free Indexes website ranks energy corporations by their potential to release CO2. The short list below includes the worst of the worst, the top tar-sands companies. Go to Fossil Free Indexes for information on other companies.
||Potential Emissions (Gt CO2)
||Canadian Natural Resources
||Royal Dutch Shell
U. S. financial institutions constantly lobby to become “too big to fail” so that they can have tax money to cover their losses. Congress just passed a bill to allow just that. Elizabeth Warren strongly opposed the bill. Top U. S. banks include Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and US Bank. Use local banks instead. Credit unions are often the least expensive. The Banks Around the World website lists banks and other financial institutions.
Here I’m focusing on health insurance corporations responsible for inflating costs across the health-care industry. They’ve all been involved, but the largest companies are: WellPoint, CIGNA, Aetna, Humana, United Healthcare, and BlueCross BlueShield. As the Affordable Health Care Act (Obama Care) brings prices down, you might want to shop for smaller providers less likely to exert pressure on politicians to guarantee their profits. Perhaps our next president will again try for a single-payer system.
Armed conflicts waste significant amounts of the Earth’s resources. We’ve all heard about the political influence of the military-industrial complex that is sometimes more correctly called the military-industrial-congressional complex (MICC). The MICC “. . . comprises the policy and monetary relationships which exist between legislators, national armed forces, and the arms industry that supports them. These relationships include political contributions, political approval for military spending, lobbying to support bureaucracies, and oversight of the industry” (Wikipedia).
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the 2013 top five arms and military services corporations were all American: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, BAE Systems, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman. The U. S. companies are big, but there are other large arms corporations in many countries. The 2013 top ten arms exporting countries in approximate order of total revenue: U. S., Russia, France, U.K., Germany, Israel, China, Turkey, Netherlands, and Sweden. This list is approximate because records of arms exports are not well reported.
Getting Control of the Military Industry
This is a tough problem. Perhaps the best strategy is to watch for and vote for politicians that mention the MICC and oppose armed conflicts.