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When I go to my Yahoo Mail inbox, a confident scientist reassures me that even though ExxonMobil is the largest corporation in the world -- annual revenue exceeding 400 billion -- I should relax & trust that the direct descendant of robber-baron John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company is doing everything they can to secure my energy future. Or is Exxon suddenly advertising in my inbox because gasoline is $4 a gallon?
As the price of gasoline began slowly creeping up near $4 per gallon, an interesting phenomenon has been happening on the home page of my Yahoo Mail. A flash-animated film, featuring a middle-aged smiling, confident scientist, starts playing. This person looks & sounds like an actor, yet there is a caption underneath his face that says “geophysicist”. As chemical formulas whirl around his head, he reassures me that ExxonMobile is securing my energy future!
In the ensuing weeks, as speculation drives the world price of oil higher & higher, Exxon starts showing up more & more frequently in my inbox. Now a woman scientist is talking to me, then an eastern Indian engineer. The message is always the same: “Relax. We’ve got everything under control.”
Yes, the current incarnation of Standard Oil does have everything under control, which why we are still living on a scientifically obsolete fossil-fuel planet. But my question here is, wouldn’t the millions & millions of advertising dollars spent greeting me at my Yahoo inbox be better spent on renewable fuel research? I’d like to know how many of you out there are finding Exxon in your e-mail inbox. Drop me a line at email@example.com.
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