One of those wonderfully colourful, powerfully descriptive phrases of the American vernacular is that ‘reform means taking some dog’s bone’.
That may be just a street version of ‘follow the money’, but it rings all too true, especially when we hope uber-powerful entities might change their ways and help us change ours.
Yesterday, Saudi Arabia’s state-backed oil producer, Saudi Aramco, reported profits of €42.15bn in the first half of the year. To achieve that, the company produced 13.2m barrels of oil equivalent per day.
To put that figure in context, our Government’s income for all of 2017 was €76.5bn, less than Aramco’s profits — not turnover — if you double their six-month figures.
Set in that context, and the realisation that Aramco is just one of several mega oil companies, it shows how very difficult it might be to take that particular dog’s bone in an effort to avert climate collapse.
That investors placed orders worth $100bn when Aramco, in April, offered bonds worth just $12bn, underlines that Davis-and-Goliath crisis.