1) Limited liability is a guarantee of regularly occurring manmade disasters (such the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico or the methane gas containment breach in Southern California) as well as systematic destruction of ecosystems (for example, deforestation, pollution of rivers and oceans from industrial farming, pollution of the atmosphere). It is a way to assign the costs of damage caused by the company to the public.
2) It is a legal protection that allow companies evade responsibility for environmental destruction and encourages companies to assign a value of zero to ecosystems and all elements of the biosphere (such as the atmosphere or any publicly owned lands) not owned by the company.
3) A scheme by which companies can avoid bearing full responsibility for its actions. Because a company can avoid responsibility for damaged caused by an oil spill or the pollution of an underground aquifer, for example, companies have a very strong incentive to take extreme risks.
4) A way for companies to shift the burden of a risk from the company to the public. It is one of the many devices companies uses to push costs for harms it causes away from the company.
Limited liability is a way to shift the burden and cost of a catastrophe away from the company responsible for it and away from that company’s shareholders and place that burden on those costs on ecosystems and the people and other living things that inhabit them.
Limited liability laws were passed before it was possible for a company to cause an earthquake (by pumping wastewater from fracking into the ground) or manufacture a chemical that could kill microorganisms in the soil and cause birth defects in a variety of species—and before chemical plants were so large that a fire could destroy miles of land in the vicinity. The notion of limited liability was conceived when the scale of a mishap was relatively small and when massive man-made environmental catastrophes were unheard of.
1) A system that reduces human beings into economic actors (shoppers and consumers) and other living things into assets and commodities.
2) A system that defines human beings only and as nothing more than economic actors that are valued according to the size of their transactions and as participants in markets (i.e., as buyers, consumers, labor). It sees no other aspect of them as being of significance or value.
3) A pervasive system of reductionisms; a claim that transactions and market participation are the sum of an individual.
This system and its definition of human beings is so pervasive (and persuasive) that many people willingly define themselves according to these terms. Those who see themselves (consciously or unconsciously) as only economic actors (and most are pressured to do so by this system) are driven to vie with others on these terms. This may result in single-mindedness and ruthlessness, as well as a contempt for other living things and ecosystems except in how those things might be bought or sold and contribute to their effectiveness within markets.
Defined as only economic actors human beings then seek to increase their value within the marketplace. This pursuit often causes them to disregard the interests of other living things and the biosphere as this can only interfere with their efforts to maximize their value as economic actors.
This system also holds that any demand in the marketplace—the fulfillment of any desire—is legitimate. It does not allow for the hearing of concerns about the waste or harm that might result from a demand and it’s satisfaction and there is no thought about its long-term viability. In the market, demand is necessary and any criticism against a demand is met with hostility.
1) An arsenal aimed at the atmosphere.
2) A weapon unleashed on the delicate chemistry of the atmosphere, an atmosphere that influences the planet’s temperature and makes life on the planet possible.
3) A culprit behind mercury in the soil and ocean, high CO2 levels, ocean acidification; a tool of ecological devastation.
The electricity from these plants flows right to the light switch in people’s homes.