The Cost of Corporations: The Eye of Fire
It is beyond doubt that the current state of our planet’s climate is, at the very best, concerning. With global temperatures rising by the day and being in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, hearing news that the ocean is “on fire” only adds to the distress.
On Friday, July 2nd at roughly 5:15 am, a burst underwater pipe west of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula erupted into what people have dubbed the “eye of fire”. The gas leak in the pipeline caused large flames to materialize at the surface. A video taken during the disaster depicts ships surrounding the eye trying to douse the fire with water.
The burst pipeline belonged to a Mexican oil company called Petroleos Mexicanos, more commonly known as Pemex. The state-owned petroleum company claims that a heavy storm had affected some of the equipment at the same time that the gas leak had become detected. As the gas rose up the ocean surface, it was struck by lighting from the storm, causing the fire to break out.
The situation is now under control, luckily with no oil spill and little environmental damage. But this begs the question as to what could have happened, and opens up the public's eyes to the dangers of events like this. This is not the first unfortunate occurrence to happen, Pemex has a long history of events like this one. In April, one of Pemex’s wells in Tamaulipas developed a leak. In february, a fire broke out at the tula-salamanca pipeline. And in January of 2019, a fuel pipeline in Hidalgo exploded, killing dozens who were gathered around an illegal pipe drain.
Even outside of this specific company, it is no secret that large corporations have had detrimental effects on our environment. Time and time again corporate greed has been valued above the best interest of the planet. Hence why we over consume, over produce, cut down our forests, overfish, etc., etc.
The main goal for conglomerates like these is to make money, regardless of the harm it may cause. Short term wealth trumps long term sustainability. There are more environmentally friendly methods that these companies can take to ensure that they do not drastically impact our ecosystems, but those methods may require more change and effort in their production processes, which to a lot of these corporations would seemingly be the end of the world.
To combat these unethical companies and increased consumerism, a movement to transition to more eco-friendly products, systems, and workflows is on the rise. But will these options be able to compete with the mega corporations it opposes? The chances are quite slim unless the general public accepts and works toward a shift to green living. And on top of that, the green product movement can just as easily become another way for corporations to exploit people and make profit by misrepresenting facts and embellishing the details of their own products, which is why we, the people, must actively question the exploitation of resources and identify greenwashing and other bad practice when choosing which companies to support.
While all of this negative environmental news is discouraging, we must remember that there is hope for the future. In recent years, there has been a surge among the public, especially the youth, in preserving the environment and holding these large corporations accountable for the negative effects they have had on the planet. We hope that in the future, these companies will face consequences for their negative actions, and real conclusive change can be brought about.