Saturday, November 05, 2011

Causes Celebre

Recently I've been reading about various celebrities trying to convince Barack Obama not to allow the construction of an Oil Sands pipeline.  Now, despite the industry lobby groups trying to paint it a certain way, there are a number of negatives to the oil sands and the pipeline construction.  It's unfortunate, but it's true.  Today's technology is far superior to that of the past, and the extraction of oil from the Alberta Oil Sands is much better than it has been in years past, but there is still a long way to go.  I'm of the opinion that science will eventually overcome all of the worst environmental hurdles, but in the extraction of oil, there will always be an environmental consequence.  Sadly, we live in a society that uses oil and it's byproducts inefficiently and greedily.  But that's not going to change any time soon.

The latest person to attempt to gain Obama's ear on this issue is Julia Louis Dreyfus, Actress from SNL, Seinfeld, and some other shows that have failed.  Also she's been on Curb Your Enthusiasm, but that's almost a Seinfeld spinoff set in the real world.  The Superboy Prime universe to the Superman main DC universe of Seinfeld.  I don't care if you don't get the reference or the joke, Jerry Seinfeld would, so whatever, man.

The interesting thing in this case however is that she herself is actually an heiress. Her father is Gerard Louis-Dreyfus, a French billionaire.  Louis-Dreyfus family's net worth was estimated at approximately 2.9 billion dollars a few years ago. The Louis Dreyfus group, of which Gerard was president and CEO until 2006, is, according to Wikipedia: "one of the world's largest commodities trading and merchandising firms" and has interests in everything from shipping to sports management.  I wonder if amongst the ocean vessels they manage some happen to be oil tankers?  Hmm.  Looks like they do have an energy department called "Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy LLC"..

Julia has been part of the green movement for years. Julia and her husband Brad Hall's Montecito residence is built from "sustainably harvested tropical woods". The house also features a retractable roof clad in solar panels, recycled newspaper insulation, and a "natural ventilation system". She provides "Eco-Tips" to USA today and promotes clean water and land preservation through her involvement in environmental organizations like "Heal the Bay" and the "Trust for Public Land".  She also drives a hybrid.

Now, its great that she believes in this, but with her connections to this company, one can perhaps infer a bit of hypocrisy.  Still, she does walk the walk environmentally, but when you're wealthy, its a lot easier to spend the extra cash needed to be green.  Not that we all shouldn't install efficient windows and solar panels to help reduce our energy footprint. 

Anyways, the point of this blog post is that Julia is a nice lady and the oil sands aren't perfect either and I'm gonna eat some chicken fingers.



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