Reflective Essay Through my research, the article that I had found was roughly about the Nigerian farmers decided to sue Shell company in Dutch court claiming the oil spills ruined their livelihood. There was serious damage in Niger Delta due to Shell leaking pipelines. Their fish pond, farmland and forests in three villages (Goi, Aruma, Ikot Ada Udo) were all being destroyed. Their villagers want Shell to pay the compensation for their loss and cleanup the damages they made. But Shell rejected the liability claim. Moreover, they still blame on the sabotage. Shell lawyer told the court that sabotage and oil theft is widespread in the region.
That is the main reasons that caused the pipelines leaked. It is not their fault at all. They push away all their responsibilities and blame on the sabotage. Through responsible commerce, corporate responsibilities are very important. Corporation is not a moral agent. There are two views of corporate responsibilities. They are narrow view and broad view. In narrow view, the main goal of the company is as long as they can earn profit it’s enough. The business for business is to do business. They just care about their self-interest.
They will not care about public or social needs. They will use any methods or tactics just to maximize their profit. All the benefits will go to their company and shareholders. On the other hand, in broad view, they want to maximize profit too but they will more concern about social needs. Whatever they do, they will put social needs in the first place. All the benefits will goes to public and society first. In my opinion, Shell is belongs to narrow view of group. They just care about what they get but all the consequences go to the Nigerian. They can just harm and polluted the environment just to earn the profit. They not even try to clean up the oil spills around the areas or repair the pipelines leaking
. They knew that the amount to fix the problems could be huge, so they are unwilling to pay the amount. Thus, they just blamed on sabotage is the main reasons that caused the pipelines leaking. They thought that this reason may be avoid them from paying the compensation and the losses of the villagers. In my point of views, broad view is better. Shell should learn from the broad view. Shell should not always concern about profit. They should plan before what they do. For example, they knew that Nigeria is famous with the crimes rates was high.
Therefore, they need to prevent all those things that can cause the pipelines leaking, oils spills and oil theft. Moreover, they need to think from the side of the Nigerian farmers. All the pollution that they caused had influence their livelihood. When they found out the problems, they should fix it as soon as possible. I feel that, Kant theory is closely related to broad view. No matter what is the consequences, as long as their actions is right. Based on my own understanding, Kant theory is mainly about non-consequentialist theory. It is more focused on the rightness or wrongness of a person action, rather than the consequences of those actions. A
ccording to Kant, the principles by which actions are judged right or wrong can be determined by reasons, and the individual has a duty to act in line with these principles. It is regarding as long as you act in a moral way then the consequences of your actions don't matter. For example, you want to earn profit up to $200000 in a year. On condition that you act in moral way such as do more advertising to attract different customers, manufactured various type of products and so on try to reach your goals. But you can’t reach your goals with immoral actions such as lying and using people as means to an end.
According to Kant theory, the actions of Shell were immoral at all. They just care about their own interest. They knew that Niger Delta is the region of oil wealth but the criminal rate is high. Thus they take the advantages. What they want is all about profit. They have the negative motivation to reach their goals. They can just blame all mistakes to others. For example, pipelines leaking may be their problems but they still blame on the crimes rate are high in that areas and sabotage. They knew that the pipelines leaking problems long time ago, but they dint take any actions.
They just left is there and do not come out with a new solutions on how to prevent it. Kant theory will not agreed with the actions of Shell company. Furthermore, in my opinion, Oil and gas industry is a dirty industry. It is because there is no such thing as clean oil or an environmentally friendly oil company. There are just degrees of the company responsibility. It is similarly with business ethics. If the company has the social responsibilities and business ethics, they will care about social needs first. They will try to avoid from any environmental damage but not continue to harm the environment. Whatever they do is not only concern about profit. They will try to figure a ways that can produce oil with minimum harm to the public and environment.
According to my research, Shell is a capitalism company. They just want to earn profit and discard other damages or effects. All they want is about profit, profit and profit! Shell actions are immoral and unethical at all. They will not care about social needs and the consequences at all. They just want to earn profit as much as they can. Profit is their main goals and objectives. They will use any tactics or ways just to reach their goals. Of course, the ways they used normally are unethical and immoral. According to Kant theory, they should do the right things to reach the goals but not harming the environment.
Whatever they do must be right actions. For example, the pipelines leakage is their own problems but they can blame on the sabotage. I think it is their own effort to find a ways to fix or prevent the problems but not just blaming on others and not taking any actions to overcome those problems. They already found out the problems long time ago but they do not try to overcome those problems. They just let the pipelines leaking and do not repair it. Other than that, they still blame on the sabotage that cause the problems. Shell should take the responsibilities. I suggested that, Shell should ask someone to repair the pipelines as soon as possible or replace with the new pipelines.
Moreover, they should also come out with new solutions that can prevent the pipelines leaking easily. For example, they can build up a prevention wall around the pipelines to prevent theft or increases the thickness of the pipes. Thus, the theft will be difficult to steal the oil and the oil will not spill around the areas. Additionally, there are many large international company often been blame on having claim in concerning of human rights and environmental issues with their operations in developing countries.
Shell is not excluded too. Shell is a globalization company that involved in many court cases too. Many cases wanted Shell to pay up the compensation and claim for their losses. I think that Shell is failed to respect the basic human rights of the people who lived in Niger Delta. It is because they can’t even try to avoid and reduce pollution or improve the oil spills situation. Based on Kant theory, failed to respect human right is an immorally actions.
Most of the bigger size and power of corporations that are under globalization conditions are being considered as forms of private government. When they have the power and economies of scale, they will do anything in their own way just to get profit.
They will not consider others benefits. They just will think about their company and shareholders. They do not have the responsibilities concerning existence wrongdoings. They will feel whatever they do is the right things. Most importantly, they will not bear the risk and the negative consequences. All the bad effects will goes to society and public.
Through Kant theory, no matter is big or small company, they should in the right pathway to do the right actions. Through my research, I found that, the parent company (Royal Dutch Shell) has rejected all the responsibility for the pollution of its subsidiary (Shell Nigeria). They are challenging the authority of the Dutch court over its actions in a foreign country. Furthermore, they still blame oil spills on sabotage to its tools, utensils and equipment. I opined that, Kant theory will not support and agreed with what Shell company had done. They had polluted the environment badly and reject all the responsibilities. It is not the right actions to reach the goals.
According to the article, to reach their goals, Shell had caused several negative effects or consequences. For examples, environmental issues such as air, water and land pollution. Shell is an international and globalization company, it has many subsidies in all over the world. They will go to exploit any countries that wealth of oil. Niger Delta is rich of oil thus it is prized by multinational companies. The chief among them is Shell, which gains around 10% of its global profits from that region.
Shell had made massive profits and developed a succession of Nigerian regimes, but the problem is the pollution they caused is the major factor driving the local people into poverty. The fish pond and farmland polluted caused the villagers in Nigeria lack of foods and unable to survive without the main sources of their incomes. Without the fishes, forests and the plantations, there is no other ways and sources for them to earn the income. Without the income, they are unable to give their family a good living. They even have not enough foods to eat and get hungry. Moreover, it not just only harmed the people living there but it also had consequences to the animal. They caused the animal lost of their homeland.
For example, when the fish pond polluted, all the fishes will dead. The animals that live in the forest will need to find a new place to live. In my thoughts, the pollution that Shell made is a big problem. It not only harmed the environment, but also people and animal. They do not care about human life at all. When the environment polluted, all the water and the foods are also polluted. When they drink or eat those foods and water, it will affect their heath. The villagers will have health problems and diseases. Not only land and water pollution, indirectly, they also caused air pollution too. When the oil spills, it will evaporate and become toxic water vapour. Other than that, the air conditions will turn bad.
When they breathe, they will breath in toxic air. Continuously, they will get lung disease and breathing problems. Applied to Kant theory, they look down on the human life and do not concern about human healthy. All of their actions will not be accepted. I belief that all those problems will not be solved until Shell willing to takes the responsibility for its impact on the environment and human rights. Shell must bear the cost of its environmental devastation. The alternative is daily injustice on a massive scale. They must clean up the problems they made as soon as possible. They should not push away their own fault and blame on others. They need to introspection themselves.
They should have more business ethic and act in morally ways. I knew that creating this corporate responsibility is not immediately action. It takes times. In the conclusion, I can conclude that Shell is a globalization company that run their business in unethical and immoral ways. They just care about profit. They do not take the responsibilities. Furthermore, they are unwilling to pay up the compensation to cover or solve the problems. When they figured out the reasons that caused the problems, they dint take any actions to resolve it. They just leave it there and until the villagers sued them. Now they had caused heavy damages to the people, animal and the environment.
According to Kant theory, it is unethical and immoral actions. The theory will not support what they do. Therefore, I suggested that Shell should learn from Kant theory. They should have goods motive to reach the goals. For example, put the environment and people in the first place. With that conditions, public are happy and they also can earn profit morally. It is the win-win situation.
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