Given that higher education in Oklahoma is controlled by fossil fuel executives (yes, it really is – check out last week’s Oklahoma news), I have come to the conclusion that it is in the my best interest as a university professor in Oklahoma to stop calling out the oil and gas companies for their greed and deception and for contributing to the abysmal failure of our state and to the future global climate chaos that will lead to billions of deaths and the crash of countless ecosystems – yes, definitely not going to do that anymore!
Yes, the time has come for me to accept the mantra of the Chamber of Commerce’s Ackerman McQueen produced ads and videos that this a great state, a really super and grand, high octane, fossil fueled state; as opposed to being a state with the highest female incarceration rate on the planet, nearly the lowest paid teachers in the nation, numerous school districts with four day school weeks, the biggest cuts in education in the nation since 2008, thousands of fossil fuel industry induced earthquakes, a failing healthcare system, more violations of drinking water safety than any other state, and a crumbling infrastructure.
Not only must I now recognize that this is a great state, but I also must now confess publicly that its greatness is owed almost fully to Harold Hamm (so inspiring to see him cheering on our great Oklahoma Legislature from the gallery last week – he is just so super and really supportive), Larry Nichols, and all of the other oil and gas executives who are responsible for this incredible super greatness, yes all this winning, that we Oklahomans are experiencing. Everything is so fabulous that thousands of teachers and their supporters are coming to the Capitol tomorrow for a time of fellowship and to celebrate all that the oil and gas companies and the Oklahoma Legislature have done for them. It is all just so super. I am awfully impressed down here I must say.
So from this day forward (what day is this again?), I am just going to shut off all my clearly misguided criticisms and hope my dutiful support of all that the fossil fuel industry has done for our state, including higher education (don’t want to be brought into any “coffees” with Harold Hamm and a college president now do I? – awkward! – and I am certainly not going to mention anymore that the majority of the major university presidents in Oklahoma either are or have been paid directors of oil and gas companies while they have been sitting college presidents and while some of their universities do paid research for these same companies – research that is sometimes used to lobby the federal government to help the bottom line of these same companies – no definitely not going to mention that anymore) will land me some sweet OKC Thunder season tickets (or at least help me keep my job). Go Thunder! Is this a great state or what?!