Monday, September 28, 2015

Oh I See How It Is: A Letter from the Chukchi Sea to Royal Dutch Shell

Dear Royal Dutch Shell,

Oh I see how it is. 

It wasn't so long ago--March 19, 2015 to be exact--that you were begging me to get back together with you, writing me a long, forlorn love letter published openly right here. And also copied and pasted below. So you remember exactly what you said.

Remember that letter? Remember how you said "we have so much potential," and that you just knew we could "be so happy together someday?" In your own words, you literally BEGGED me to get back together with you. You even called me "Chuki"--your pet name for me--to try to get back into my good graces.

Then I finally agreed, and now what? Well, more of the same. That's what. And to think: I had to read about it in the newspaper of all places. Not so much as a call, a text, an email even--NOTHING! 

According to the Alaska Dispatch--the Alaska Fucking Dispatch!--you are going to "abandon" your drilling program in me, finding that "reserves were 'insufficient' to continue." Oh--and this is rich--that "at any given time" you "have a suite of investment options" in your "portfolio," that "not all of them can be funded" and that "exploration is over for the foreseeable future." But wait! Because "in another 10 years" you "could be interested in doing it again?!"

Well. That's rather presumptuous, don't you think? Who's to say where I'll be in ten years (aside from a few degrees warmer and a few inches higher, I mean)? What makes you think I'm just going to wait around for you to get your act together and finally be the partner you've been promising to be all along? 

Some nerve you have. You know who you can call in ten years? The "suite of investment options" in your "portfolio." That's who!

They say love the player, hate the game. Well, I hate the player AND the game. Yes, I'm cold, mercurial, and harsh. I know this about myself. After all, I'm a SEA IN THE ARCTIC. I have fifty foot swells, king crabs crawling all over my backside, and polar bears up in my ever-shrinking ice floes for fuck's sake! It's in my nature! 

I can't change, and I won't change. Not for you. Not for anyone. And now I'm starting to see that your little yellow scallop will never change its stripes, either.

Formerly yours,

The Chukchi Sea 

P.S. In case you forgot, here's what you told me just a few short months ago:

Dear Chukchi Sea,

I know we’ve had our problems in recent years, and I admit that I haven’t always treated you as well as you deserved. But I know we’re meant to be together, even if a lot of other people keep telling you that I'm selfish and irresponsible and that I don't really care about you. Search your trenches. Like way deep down where all of your most valuable resources reside, and you'll know that I'm right.

Listen. There are all these outside forces trying to keep us apart: environmental groups, protesters, regulatory hurdles, hippies in Seattle, lawsuits. It's a lot of pressure and it's really taken its toll on our relationship. But babe, they're lying to you and you know we can overcome anything this world throws at us, because I have a plan!

I know we can be strong and stand together against the people and things that don’t want us to be great—like Sally Jewel and maybe a few bowhead whales. We’re living on a prayer, like in the Bon Jovi song. (Can that please be the song we dance to at our wedding)? Whoaaa, we’re half way there (with some newly-granted federal permits). It really has a ring to it, doesn’t it?

But I digress.

We have so much potential, Chuki (I know you love it when I call you that). I know we can be so happy together someday. We have SO much to give to each other and the world. And you’re so beautiful, too, albeit wild, unpredictable, temperamental, and often very cold. But of course, that just makes you more alluring. When I fall asleep at night, all I can think about is how much I want to take my huge drilling rigs and make sweet, deep, crude-oil love to you for eternity until we have nothing left to give or take from each other.

All the haters keep saying our love isn’t real. That it's not workable—that it’s too risky and “unsafe” because of ice floes and polar bear habitat and sea lion rookeries and bullshit like that. That I'll leave you as soon as I get what I want. I promise you, they’re wrong. I admit that I messed up a few years ago when one of my rigs accidentally ran aground, and everyone said that means I don't have my shit together and that we can’t make it. Well, let them talk. Let’s show the whole entire world that we CAN make it!

I want you to know that I've really been cleaning up my act. I’m taking stock of everything in my life in order to give you everything you desire and more. I’ve rented us a pied-a-terre in Seattle. I'm upgrading my containment and propulsion systems and talking to The Coast Guard to make sure that I never pollute the shores of our love and that no reef or rock will ever breach my hull. I don't know what more I can do. Fortunately, your congressional delegation and business community recognize my efforts; they know that our love is meant to be.

Look. I know we come from different worlds. You're a large body of water from the wilds of Arctic Alaska, untamed and bold, home to delicate flora and fauna. I'm a publicly-traded, Fortune-500 Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company with shareholders to answer to. But it's precisely because of our differences that we have so much to offer one another! 

Don't you see that? Because I do.

I’ve asked The Department of the Interior for your hand in marriage, and I think that will finally prove to you that I’m serious about being with you forever.

With all my love always and forever,

Royal Dutch Shell (affectionately known as R.D.S.)

Photo: Courtesy of You

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