The Oil Company Hardship Fund – saving Canada’s forests

The destruction of forests was once thought of as an insoluble global problem. But two new funds offer a glimmer of hope for us all.

In recent years the Brazilians and the Indonesians got a lot of stick from the “developed world” for the destruction of their forests. But they were not the only ones. Just as the Bali negotiations drew to a close, the Financial Times of 15th and 16th December 2007 identified another country with a serious forestry problem.

The FT published a two page feature on the wanton destruction of Canada’s forests and wetlands by oil companies such as Shell, ConocoPhillips, Chevron et al. In the world’s largest area of unspoiled forest and wetlands these blue chip household names were creating an environmental catastrophe second to none: total and utter destruction of forest, wetlands, and peat moss, leaving toxic lakes and rivers, collapses in wildlife populations, and elevated levels of cancer among the local humans.

It was a matter of time before the Global Community stepped into action. Hank Spouter, spokesman for Oil Companies for Forest Justice, was first to call a press conference. “There has been a terrible omission by the UN in its plans to help developing nations fight destruction of forest. They’ve left out Canada, potentially one of the greatest victims.”

“As a developing nation, Canada clearly needs help. Like others, it can only afford to protect 10% of its forest by law1. We must act now to help Canada.”

Professor Des Binge, News International Professor for Cultural Studies, added his voice. Canada cannot afford to educate its indigenous people. Look at the example of one Chris Zorica, spokesman for Albian Sands Energy, mentioned in the same article by the FT. Referring to his company’s mining activities in this pristine wilderness, Zorica is quoted as saying: “If we weren’t here, it would just be woods.” Clearly the man is completely devoid of even the most elementary notions of civilisation.”

Offers came rolling in, and within weeks a USD 100 billion Global Canada Development Fund was established to support Canada in its struggle against economic adversity and to help it save its forests and wetlands. Why, asked the people, should this developing nation be treated differently from any other? Like other developing nations, it lacks the economic resources and the political structures to protect its natural resources properly. The global fund includes a “capacity building” feature, so that poor wandering souls such as Mr Zorica can have a proper education.

But things did not stop there. People realised that multinationals like Shell, which were raping those forests and wetlands, were also suffering gross hardship. They had been forced, by outrageously unfair global economic conditions, to shed their decency, moral values, and any semblance of civilisation they had. Like starving beggars, desperate for nourishment, they rejected their own humanity and resorted to bestial depravity for sheer survival. The employees of Shell, once proud standard bearers of this Anglo-Dutch institution, now had to resort to scrabbling about the chilly tundra of Alberta, grimey and half naked, to forage for beetles and bark and pieces of moss to feed their emaciated families.

So the Global Community stood up against this kind of injustice. A USD 50 billion Oil Company Hardship Fund was quickly raised to support Shell and its peers in their hour of need. The Fund started by distributing to each and every shareholder and employee a Christmas food hamper and a winter heating voucher.

“With the Global Canada Development Fund and the Oil Company Hardship Fund,” said Professor Binge, “the world is a brighter and better place. It is heart-warming to see justice done on such a grand scale. Merry Christmas.”


1. Only 10% according to the FT

This entry was posted in Humour. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.