Total Destruction

They are right, aren’t they? One can question the means, but the essence of their message is exactly what it should be: how can we value stuff in the now when we can’t even think about valuing the future. The depressing part of it all is that science agrees, if we don’t change anything about the ways we are currently all living our lives, we are driving towards a wall at full speed without any brakes, and all of us know. We just ignore it.

Some of us just like the art a bit too much to throw tomato soup at it. Unfortunately that took away the message from time to time. But that does not mean the reasoning behind throwing the soup is wrong. How can it be that some companies steer us towards Total Destruction, while they only aim at short term profit.

Non the less they have a sound reasoning as well, let’s take as much as possible right now when we have certainty, because we can’t be sure it will be there in the future. For our use case that resulted in an exceptional dividend of about 2,6 billion euros (that translates to about €1 per share of €50) in September of 2022. One month after the European energy prices where at their highest point since quite literally forever, and at the start of a winter in which the whole of Europe knew they would have an energy crisis. For example, France, the country where Total Energies is headquartered, are advising their residents on how and when to use energy. Not to save money, but to prevent blackouts.

Total made exceptional revenues that period, thus was their reasoning, lets share it. Not with the people who work for the company, they would get nothing. The employees did not even ask for that much: a raise of about 10%. This split between a compensation for inflation of 7% (that’s about 4% less than the actual inflation increase), and 3% as a share in the profits of the company. Total divided it to the shareholders and in bonuses to their management.

And all of that with the Total Destruction of the world in the backs of their mind, both short and long term. And now we can cycle right back to the beginning, why it is not that stupid to throw cans of tomato soup at art, as a protest to what they are doing. Total Destruction just had the best logo to make a parody on, but a (S)hell could have become a skull, and a draft of KILLOIL was ready to be printed as well. It is not only about Total Energies, but about the use of oil, gas, and all un-renewable resources. Cant we just stop using them? F*ck big oil.

Why would we all still use them? Are we that stupid not to be able to envision a future without them? We just proved we can go with a lot less of them, even when we have a cold period. Only this time it was for the wrong reasoning. Apart from using less resources we need investment in technologies to change our use of resources from non-renewable to renewable. Wouldn’t that €2.6 billion could have been better used here?  But for some reason we prefer our short-term monetary gains to long term survivability.

Why would we care about the long term, we can innovate ourselves out of that can’t we? – That is exactly what one of the leading Belgian politicians even once said in the context of bigger floodings and extremer weather potentially flooding the city he is mayor of.

But we can’t innovate when it is too late. Lets’ compare this to back-pain. Would you rather:

  1. Live 30 years knowing for certain that at one point you will get an incredible back-pain that is impossible to function with. The reason for the back-pain split between your genes and your lifestyle; you lived your live way to fast, and did not listen to your own body. The pain is treatable but the operation is extremely expensive, and experimental, so you are not sure it will work. On top of that the back-pain will always come back, no matter what experimental treatment.
  2. Or live the rest of your live a little bit slower, and invest a fair amount, but not nearly as much as with case a, in preventive healthcare, massages, physiotherapy, etc. You might have some pain from time to time, but will never need the not yet discovered experimental treatment. So you are certain you will be able to survive.

That is exactly what is happening in the world.

We know we are driving at full speed towards a wall. We know we can prevent it by taking our foot a little of the gas paddle, and slightly changing our course. But for some strange reason, we don’t slow down, and ignore the fact that there is a wall.

So why don’t we try a little bit harder?

Hereby the design to print your own version of these stickers! Feel free to print as many as you want.