Sunday, January 14, 2007

If You MUST Use Gasoline - Make The Best Choice You Can.

The Sierra Club has published "Pick Your Poison: An updated environmentalist's guide to gasoline", an update to a 2001 article, which profiles the 8 largest U.S. oil companies. The review of each company includes "Black Marks", "Stance on Global Warming", and "Green Initiatives."
The basic lineup is as follows:

Bottom of the Barrel: ExxonMobil -ConocoPhillips
Middle of the Barrel: Royal Dutch Shell -Chevron-Valero Energy Corp. - Citgo
Top of the Barrel: BP - Sunoco

Although we should be personally off of petrol in the next few months with our biodiesel production, it has taken us a year and a half to do so and we're still using gasoline from time to time. Being more green has been a slow transition for Laura and I. As we learn more about where our goods come from and the true cost of the energy we use, we make slow but important changes in how and what we consume. I wouldn't call being an ethical consumer "hard", but it does require research education, and attention to detail. This guide is just like any other consumer guide - it puts power in the peoples' hands to choose what companies deserve their dollar. This concept has been covered in The New Internationalist fairly well and it comes down to the fact that ethical shopping IS important and will slowly but surely change how even the biggest corporations source, manufacture, package, and transport their products. If we refuse to buy processed cheese with nitrites and preservatives, demanding organic cheese from grassfed beef, the healthier, more environmentally friendly option will become more available and less expensive. The same goes for our gasoline - if we refuse to support the likes of ExxonMobil, who has spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil, violates EPA standards routinely, and has paid millions of dollars to falsely add doubt into the science of global warming, they will lose power. If you won't write your congresspersons, get solar, use biofuels, ride your bike, march in protests, etc, you can still be a "lazy environmentalist." A little bit of simple research on what you consume, followed by a modicum of thought and judgement and your everyday spending habits can make a huge environmental impact (for better and for worse). This doesn't just apply to oil - ethical consumerism is something that needs to be mainstream - your consumption choices in everything impact the market, change how products are grown, made, traded, and sold and need to be made as responsibly as possible!
Boycott ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you get that shirt? Great graphic.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Clint Slaughter, M.D. said...

It's someone else's photo but I do have the shirt. That and other great politically charged, sweatshop free masterpieces can be found at

8:07 AM  

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