Hurricane Harvey has been making headlines all over due to the scale of destruction it has caused in Texas. While covering Harvey for Al Jazeera, reporter Shihab Rattansi told MSNBC host Ali Velshi last week that fossil fuel companies have been robbing locals in the Texas, Louisiana, and Gulf Coast area of infrastructure funds that could have lessened their suffering dramatically.
Shihab says himself that as an “Al Jazeera guy,” his job is to “get to the point.” Al Jazeera has always been known for creating news and media focused on openness, transparency, and calling out corruption — things we don’t often see in North American mainstream media.
In the clip below, Rattansi discusses climate change and the oil industry’s role in it. It must be noted that the oil industry has been responsible for a ton of environmental destruction including pollution, clear cutting, ocean life destruction, and more. Humanity needs to move beyond oil and we have, and have had, all the technologies to do so for decades. But there is also much to talk about when it comes to the climate change agenda that is taking place. Yes our climate is shifting and we need to respond. We also need to stop pollution from things like oil, but understanding the cause, the natural cycles at play, and how to properly prepare, is much more important than creating tax systems and carbon credits. These won’t solve anything.
Rattansi Exposes Big Oil
“It’s pretty clear something has gone wrong here,” Rattansi said, describing the unexpected flooding. “We’re in what’s called the Golden Triangle… the reason why it’s called the Golden Triangle is because this is the first place in the United States that they discovered large quantities of oil. And that led to the Texas oil boom and the money flowing into this region.”
“It’s pretty clear though,” he continued, “money has not been flowing into this region for the infrastructure for the climate change effects that we knew were inevitable because of the oil and gas industry’s activities on this coastline, even after those oil and gas industries were covering up what they knew about climate change in the ’70s.”
“You can’t make a connection between the oil and gas industry and climate change much clearer,” he said. “In the past, oil and gas companies have gotten away with sort of covertly losing their toxic waste in emergencies like this.”
“This is something we’ve been warned about for years by climate scientists, Pro Publica had a piece just last year warning something like this was about to happen in the Houston area… And there aren’t the preparations for it. And yet, so much money has been generated here.”
Just seconds after this exposure, Velshi tells viewers that MSNBC had lost contact with Rattansi, and they went on to cover more rescue footage. While it’s nice to see people being helped, the timing is suspicious, given he was speaking against corporate interests.
There’s one other detail I wanted to bring attention to. As I watched this video for the second or third time, I thought I heard whispers before Rattansi’s audio was cut. I played it back many times, but couldn’t make it out or even determine for sure if that’s what it was, but clearly something can be heard around 4:52 that resembles a whisper. Check it out for yourself and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Watch the video below.