Climate Change and the Oil Industry: Common Problem, Varying Strategies

Climate Change and the Oil Industry: Common Problem, Varying Strategies

Climate Change and the Oil Industry: Common Problem, Varying Strategies

Climate Change and the Oil Industry: Common Problem, Varying Strategies

Synopsis

Thankless, mundane, and "never done," housework continues to be seen as women's work, and contemporary women poets are still writing the domestic experience sometimes resenting its futility and lack of social rewards, sometimes celebrating its sensory delights and immediate gratification, sometimes cherishing the undeniable link it provides to their mothers and grandmothers. In Sweeping Beauty, a number of these poets illustrate how housekeeping's repetitive motions can free the imagination and release the housekeeper's muse. For many, housekeeping provides the key to a state of mind approaching meditation, a state of mind also conducive to making poems. The more than eighty contributors to Sweeping Beauty embrace this state and confirm that women are pioneers and inventors as well as life-givers and nurturers. "My fingers are forks, my tongue is a rose... / I turn silver spoons into rabbit stew / make quinces my thorny upholstery... / how else could the side of beef walk / with the sea urchin roe?" sings the cook in Natasha Sajé's ode to kitchen alchemy. "I love the notion that we can take our most poisonous angers, our most despairing or humiliated or stalemated moments, and make something good of them--something tensile and enduring," says Leslie Ullman. Whether we are fully present in our tasks or "gone in the motion" of performing them, whether our stovetops are home to "stewpots of discontent" or grandmother's favorite jam, something is always cooking.

Excerpt

Climate change and a number of other environmental problems are partly, and sometimes mostly, caused by the legitimate activities of large corporations. Corporations, therefore, often control the behaviour that needs to be changed to solve the problem in question. the conventional way of studying the effectiveness of international environmental regimes or domestic environmental policy is to analyse the chain of consequences flowing from policy decisions to the strategies and behaviour of target groups. in this study, we have turned this research approach upside down by taking non-state target groups, i.e. large corporations, as our point of departure. Instead of starting out with joint international commitments or national policy goals, we have focused on corporate climate strategies. Why do corporations apparently operating within very similar business contexts nevertheless choose different strategies to confront a common problem? Which conditions trigger changes in corporate strategies?

The consequences of this ‘bottom-up’ approach immediately became clear when we planned this study: fact-finding had to start at the corporate level rather than at political level. in two rounds in March and November in 2000, we visited oil companies in the us and Europe. We also talked with representatives of the environmental movement, government authorities and various business organisations. To us as political scientists, the business community represented a new challenge, and our understanding of the sources of corporate strategy choice is coloured by our profession.

We started our work on this study in 1999. Preliminary find-

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