Rex Tillerson: Chill out, world!

[If anyone out there knows how to code, I’d love to put a little widget down below where it says HA_WIDGET. All it needs to do is print the word “HA” over and over again until the end of time. Like, literally, forever. Thanks.]

Yesterday, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson complained that, “We are all losing our shirts today. We’re making no money. It’s all in the red.”


Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Tillerson’s complaint of course wasn’t about oil. In oil, his company is so far in the black that black holes are getting sucked into its gravitational field.

Last year, ExxonMobil earned profits totaling $41 billion. In other words, the company made $78,000 every single minute of the year. January 1, 12:01 am: $78,000. January 1, 12:02 am: $78,000. ExxonMobil made more in a minute than the average American household makes in a year — with $26,000 to spare. ExxonMobil could have paid a household’s bills every minute and thrown in a new car just for kicks.

Tillerson’s complaint was about natural gas. Drilling is happening so broadly that supply is rising quickly. A slower economy and warm winter in the Northeast suppressed demand, making profit margins low.

Yeah, that warmer winter. Rex knows about that. He knows about global warming and yada yada. And he has a message for us: Chill out.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Tillerson, in a break with predecessor Lee Raymond, acknowledged that global temperatures are rising. … He said that people would be able to adapt to rising sea levels and changing climates that may force agricultural production to shift.

Warmer winters are a total drag when people aren’t buying awesome natural gas. But when warmer weather means flooded cities and reimagining the world’s food production: Learn to deal, guys.

Seriously. That’s basically his argument, that we’re too stupid to understand that this isn’t a big deal.

Tillerson blamed a public that is “illiterate” in science and maths, a “lazy” press, and advocacy groups that “manufacture fear” for energy misconceptions, in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“We have spent our entire existence adapting. We’ll adapt,” he said.

You should probably bookmark this page for when ExxonMobil is foundering, struggling with increased drilling costs and the looming reality of a shift away from fossil fuels. When Rex Tillerson (who will have been dead 100 years, but whatever) comes crying about Exxon’s woes, put your arm around his shoulders, look into his eyes, and say, “You’ll adapt.”

Until then, sorry that the warmer winter caused by fossil fuel emissions meant that you’re not making as much money as you’d like. In the words of Shakespeare: boo-fucking-hoo.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.