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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Remember the Alamo? Titans? Oil Spill?

How quickly we NIMBY Americans forget! Now that autumn is here, our thoughts turn to pumpkins, and festivals, and football; away from all vestiges of a summer past and forgotten!

Including the largest man-made accidental disaster the world has ever known!

BP's website doesn't address the spill on it home page any longer; they are more focused on their next opportunity to drill, baby, drill! The media talks more about Kim Kardashian's hemlines than they do about the devastation. Yet, for thousands of Gulf Coast workers, life is still in turmoil, and futures are fuzzy and unknown!

Sure, BP maintains that they will "do whatever it takes to make it right". Really, BP? Define "right". Is it "right" to refuse to allow cleanup workers to wear respiratory equipment they provide for themselves, because photos of people wearing such equipment appear "unseemly" in the national media. Is it "right" to spend your efforts sifting through sand to remove tiny tarballs from the beach, while you buy time to allow millions of gallons of oily sludge to settle out of sight to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Is it "right" to spend more time and money in court protecting your bonuses than you spend in the Gulf cleaning up the mess you made?

Oil is completely inert- it does not break down, decay, or disperse. The chemical "dispersant" BP dumped into the waters doesn't "disperse" anything- it simply encapsulate drops of oil, making it heavier than water so it sinks to the ocean floor. There, the oil will recollect at the surface, and slowly entrench itself into the muddy bottom of the Gulf, where it will permanently poison the underwater fields where seaweeds grew to feed the plankton and keep the ocean fresh. With no plankton, there will be no Gulf shrimp. The oyster beds will be permanently marked with oil, and even if the invertebrate inside the shell were pure, the presence of oil on the outside of the shell renders the seafood inside unusable- there's no way to get to the inside without contaminating it with oil from the outside.

21 years after the Exxon Valdez disaster, sportsmen and explorers in Alaska still routinely find pockets of oil that have been trapped in the water and ground near the site. And remember: the Valdez disaster was finite- we know exactly how much oil was in that ship, so we know exactly how much it leaked. We also know that BP lied, time and time again, about the amount of oil the blown out well was emitting! Their own containment ships were filling faster than their capacity allowed, yet time and again the media repeated BP's estimates of the damage as the gospel truth.

Never forget, people! Never! The humanity affected by this debacle will never be allowed to! We mustn't forget it, either ! There are lessons to be learned!

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