ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson (right) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson (right) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin. AP file photo

What was the best quote and/or revelation of the last week?

Anderson Cooper acknowledging that he is gay? Nah, not even close. Fort Worth schools trustee Carlos Vasquez saying it’s OK to pass over someone for hiring if an administrator just doesn’t personally like them? Well, true, that was more than a week ago.

No, wait, here’s the winner, from Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson. In a speech to the Council for Foreign Relations, he acknowledged that fossil fuels are helping cause climate change, but, hey, “it’s an engineering problem, and there will be an engineering solution,” he said. “We’ll adapt.”


Wow. So simple. So elegant. So … incredibly stupid. Especially coming from the CEO of a company that has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a campaign to deny the existence of global warming.

Static thought of lots of witty rejoinders — then found out that, as usual, someone else (actually a bunch of someone elses) had already gone there. Glenn Scherer of the Blue Ridge Press, for instance, offered 10 engineering solutions the human race could try. They included getting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move coastal cities onto really big rafts for when sea levels rise and launching a huge satellite to block the sun and also function as a vacation destination (Scherer admitted he stole that one from The Simpsons.)

Tillerson must be a closet fiddle player. Because he has the art of fiddling while the world burns (or at least, Colorado) down to a science. Perhaps he gives lessons to Fort Worth City Council members when they, briefly, wonder what to do about the harmful, long-term effects of shale gas drilling.

Rousing the Rabble

Perhaps the best quote recalled — if not spoken — in the last week or so came from ABC News, which put together a list of great quotes from hugely talented author, journalist, and filmmaker Nora Ephron, who died June 26. The funniest one was about how, if you have teenagers, “it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”

The best really, though, came in 1996. Ephron told the graduating class at Wellesley College that wherever they travel, “I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”

To Static’s knowledge, no one at the Weekly is a Wellesley graduate, but we’ve been making trouble every chance we get since, well, 1996.