Having lived in the prosperous British colony for the entire 1970’s, I learned HSBC (Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation) is a multi-billion dollar international octopus which was founded in 1865. Since Hong Kong (which is a Chinese word for “fragrant harbor”) was the original British base for selling opium to China, the super wealthy colony could be ranked as one of the oldest drug cartels in history.
Millions of tourists flock to Hong Kong yearly. Those who chose to leave posh hotels like the Mandarin or the Peninsula discover 200 HSBC branch banks dot the area and HSBC printed currency for the former colony.
There are four dominant banks in the central district of Hong Kong. First on the block is the bank of East Asia. Bank of Canton denotes a geographic fact, Canton is the southernmost province from Peking/Beijing, China’s ruling capital city. Next is the towering Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) building that overlooks one hundred ships which could dock any time in a magnificent harbor. At midnight on New Year, every vessel in the harbor sounds a powerful harmonious welcome to another year of prosperity. Hong Kong thrives on commerce with little awareness that a rising ocean has more power than any financial institution.
Could there be a degree of environmental consciousness rising in corporate meeting rooms as HSBC executives arrive at a decision not to grant blind support for investments in fossil fuels? (Common Dreams News Service, (4/21/18)
By contrast, in Washington DC, the Trump Administration chose to move forward with oil & gas drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) revealed in the Baton Rouge Advocate, April 20, 2018.
Environmental groups denounced the “shameful” decision to drill in the ANWR which would be announced on Earth Day 2018, also the eighth anniversary of the BP oil spill in the gulf.
During the 1970’s political ill will forbade any US ships from touching Chinese soil. USA military seeking rest and recuperation from the war in Vietnam were frustrated because ships dropped anchor over one mile from Hong Kong where small Chinese fishing boats picked up the free spending soldiers and sailors so they could spend tourist dollars in Hong Kong. USA dollars were exchanged for HSBC currency.
USA naval officers in 2018 are far more aware of the fact Norfolk, VA is the largest naval base in the world now threatened by a warming, rising ocean.
Will the decision by HSBC to detach from fossil fuels affect our thinking in time? Nature has the last word.