Leading Critics from Brazil to Angola Expose Chevron's Abuses at Shareholder Meeting Today
At a press conference on May 29, labor and community leaders from Brazil, Ecuador, Nigeria, Angola, California and Texas revealed the true cost of Chevron’s operations in the places where they live.
They will take their message to Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting today, where they will make clear that those paying the price for Chevron’s profits will no longer tolerate or subsidize its bad corporate citizenship and negligent, risky and dangerous operations.
“Tomorrow, I join with the United Steelworkers to call on Chevron to increase the safety of its oil rigs and refineries the world-over and to tell Chevron that its outrageous neglect for local communities and the environment from Brazil to Ecuador, from Nigeria to California, will not go unanswered,” said João Antonio de Moraes, national coordinator of Brazil’s largest oil workers union, the United Federation of Oil Workers (FUP).
The FUP filed suit in March demanding the cancellation of all of Chevron’s oil and gas contracts in Brazil in the wake of the companies offshore oil spills there.
"After 18 years, we won a historic legal victory against Chevron, but it doesn't want to accept responsibility for the environmental crimes caused in our lands," said Robinson Yumbo, president of the National Indigenous Federation of the Cofan Tribe, Ecuador. "The Cofan people, just like thousands of others, have suffered so much at the hands of Chevron. I plan to inform the company that all of the human pain they have caused will soon turn into financial pain for the company."
"Chevron’s legal problems are on the rise and with them investors are being exposed to greater financial risk,” said Ginger Cassady of Rainforest Action Network. “Last week, Institutional Shareholders and Glass Lewis announced their support for a resolution calling for a separation of Watson's role as board chairperson and CEO. The impetus for the resolution was due to Watson's mishandling of the Ecuador oil contamination case.”
Chevron’s AGM takes place under a darkening cloud of mounting pressure from governments, shareholders, global labor and community leaders and the increasingly organized 99%. Joining a historic season of revolt at shareholder meetings across the country, representatives from Brazil, Ecuador, Nigeria, Angola, Richmond and more will attend the AGM and participate in a shareholder revolt, presenting seven critical resolutions. Outside, the 99% Power Coalition, MoveOn, Occupy, United Steelworkers, 350.org and local community organizations will hold a colorful, creative and conspicuous protest.
"Chevron is killing people for profit," said Cristóvão Luemba, Rádio Ecclesia correspondent, Cabinda, Angola. "Chevron's constant offshore oil spills have decimated fisheries and compromised the livelihoods and subsistence of coastal communities. Its constant acts of impunity are supported by an authoritarian regime that cares more about oil revenues than the lives of its people."
“On January 16, the world stood still for the people of Nigeria’s Bayelsa state when a giant explosion came from Chevron’s Apoi North Gas Wellhead, killing two workers,” said Emem Okon, of the Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre in Nigeria. “The fires burned for months and the evidence of Chevron’s destruction still floats on the waters and the people have yet to recover.”
“Chevron’s Richmond Refinery is the largest industrial greenhouse gas emitter in California and the largest source of CO2 and criteria air pollutant emissions in Richmond,” said Nile Malloy of Communities for a Better Environment of Oakland, California. “Will Chevron commit to support policies that protect community health and our environment from increased and prolonged pollution caused by refining heavier, dirtier oil?”
The growing Texas solar industry is offering a safe harbor to unemployed oil and gas professionals amidst the latest oil and gas industry bust, this one brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Houston Chronicle reports.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>