LETTERS: Oil companies own our lives, Marking 60 years

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Oil companies own our lives

In a book by Joanna Macy, Active Hope, I first encountered the phrase, “business as usual.” I responded to a plea online by Bill McKibben to be aware, to understand what is happening. That was 11 years ago. In The New Yorker (“Higher and Higher,” July 24) I read McKibben again.

July 6 this year, “the day that many scientists believe was the hottest so far in human history,” happened on the same day the new CEO of Shell, Wael Sawan, was interviewed. He promised Shell would reduce production by “one to two per cent a year up to 2030.”

But then, the smell of money and B.S. once again changed such a modest proposal. The invasion of Ukraine “doubled Shell’s annual profits to a record forty billion dollars.”

An aircraft passes a sign at a Shell petrol station in London, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP File Photo)

Sawan told the BBC that to cut production would be “dangerous and irresponsible.” Why it might even cause the cost of living “to shoot up.” After all, Shell had already met its 2021 target. And besides, his job was to take care of the company’s shareholders.

McKibben noted several heat increases in a few years past and El Niño isn’t here yet. He explains how climate scientists who calculate historic temperatures through examination of proxy records, lake sediments and ice cores believe this well may be the hottest it’s been on Earth since at least the peak of the era known as the eemian, 125,000 years ago, when rising temperatures pushed mastodons north from present-day Texas to the Yukon. This would mean that nothing even remotely resembling human civilization has ever known a world this hot.

There is one thing — if not the only thing — you can do, we all can do: Attend town halls when they begin — no, start asking questions today, online, in person, of candidates for Congress and of course, later, for president. Ask what they will do to push back the powerful fossil fuel companies and other donors to slow climate change. Then vote. Do not be mistaken. These companies and others own our lives. (See Our Lives in Their Portfolios, Britt Christopher.)

Shirley Rickett


Marking 60 years

Did you know that the Camille Lightner Playhouse is celebrating 60 years of live stage productions? Yes, it’s our diamond jubilee!

This gem of our community has the distinction of being the oldest live theater south of San Antonio. We pride ourselves in upholding the vision and traditions established by our founders, always with elegance and good taste.

The cast performs the opening number “Magic to Do” Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, during a rehearsal for the 59th season’s first production, the musical “Pippin” at the Camille Playhouse. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

On July 21 we had the honor of welcoming Mr. Larry Lightner, one of Camille Sams Lightner’s sons, and other Lightner family members, as we launched our pre-opening 60th season. The Lightner family have been pillars of Camille’s history since its creation; they have never abandoned us through our ups and downs (even through a global pandemic!). We thank them profusely for the unwavering support of their mother’s theater. Our hope is that they left feeling the love and pride we display each time we walk in the building.

The cultural and economic importance of this non-profit community theater is recognized by the state of Texas, Cameron County and the city of Brownsville, in attendance to present resolutions attesting to the value of Camille Lightner Playhouse.

Martie DiGregorio


Camille Lightner Playhouse


LETTERS — We welcome your letters and commentary. Submissions must include the writer’s full name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters of 200 words or fewer will be given preference. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar and clarity. Letters may be mailed to P.O Box 3267, McAllen, Texas 78502-3267, or emailed to [email protected].