Saturday, May 29, 2010

BP = Biggest Polluter

I''ve listened to the yammering on CNN tonight following BP's announcement that the "Top Kill" method of sealing the oil geyser in the Gulf of Mexico has failed. I really don't think anyone up the food chain has the foggiest idea of the depth of rage that's simmering in the hearts of sentient Americans about this cataclysm.

If the stone in my heart is any indication, we are cold with rage.

That this happened anywhere, ever.
That deep-sea drilling was ever undertaken in the absense of redundant safeguards and rapid, effective fixes.
That our government issued permits on the word of multinational corporations.
That our Congress and our Presidents, past and current, have more allegiance to Big Oil than to the land, the sea, the wildlife, the people, and our economy.
That our coastlines are not sacred ground.
That our coastlines are not protected as if they are critical to national security.
That nearly six weeks have passed without perceptible efforts to protect the wetlands and the coastline.
That there have not been fleets of tankers out there sucking up this muck for nearly six weeks.
That our Navy, Coast Guard, and National Guard are not deployed en force from the Keys to the Chandeleurs, protecting and cleaning up this toxic waste.
That, incomprehensibly, our Congress in its wisdom enacted LIABILITY LIMITS to protect Big Oil!
That BP is more concerned with its stock price than with fixing this.
That our President hasn't had the wit, apparently, to triage, assigning stopping the geyser to BP; cleanup to US and state goverments; and environmental assessments to qualified scientists.
That BP can prohibit anybody from our beaches and seas.
That our media really couldn't be bothered to cover this until five weeks into the catastrophe.

I can't read the future, but I have the worst feeling about this. I want to wipe the smug faces of every oilman on the planet, and every member of our "oversight" agencies, and our Congress, in the gunk of this cataclysm.

I want everyone to remember that Cheney let the oil industry write our energy policy and staff our supervisory and oversight authorities.

I want to nationalize the fortunes of the Bushes and the Cheneys and the Carlyle Group, and I want to nationalize BP -- all of it -- and use these resources to fund safe alternatives and o restore the Gulf to wholeness.

I want these people to hang by the neck until they are dead. Some things I can forgive, but this? It's not forgiveable, and if it were, it's not the place of this generation to presume to forgive it.

Not one more well. Not now. Not ever.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dear Senator Kyl and Senator McCain:

Please explain to me why the United States Congress, under both parties, has refused to protect our nation's coastline aggressively, and to treat our coastline, wildlife, habitat, marshes, sea food, related industries, coastal economies, and seas as critical to national security.

Please explain to me why the United States Congress, under both parties, limits the liability of corporations involved in the despoilation of our land, sea, and air to any arbitrary sum, and why such corporations should not be liable for the full extent of costs associated with restoring our land, sea, and air to their pre-catastrophe condition.

Finally, having failed in these most fundamental responsibilities, please explain why should you not be impeached and imprisoned.


(Your name)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

There's really only one question

What government wouldn't do everything in its power to protect its coastlines?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Gulf

I'm not a petroleum engineer, a geologist, a climatologist, or an economist, so take this for what it's worth.

This isn't a "spill." Spills are finite. This is a geyser of oil flowing at 5,000 barrels a day. It is already larger than the country of Jamaica. It isn't capped and the latest predictions are that capping it may take months.

The Gulf is in a box canyon formed by Florida, the southern central border of the US, and Mexico and Central America. Maybe some of the oil can dissipate out to sea, but most of it will come ashore. As it accumulates, it will affect not only the environment but also fisheries, canneries, and the entire Gulf seafood industry, tourism, land values, commercial shipping, and exports and imports dependent on every Gulf port, and everything else in a giant swath from the Yucutan to the Keys.

This, in turn, is bound to affect the stock market and the GDP. I don't pretend to know how it all works, but I'm thinking that whatever perils we faced as a nation before this catastrophe are about to be dwarfed unless this oil can be contained and sucked back up again. I'm thinking that we have no idea what the repercussions will be or how far out and up and down the food chain they will extend. I'm thinking that our national security, our retirement investments, and the daily cost of living all will be adversely affected. We just don't know by how much, or for how long, or whether these losses can ever be recaptured.

Call me Cassandra, I don't mind. But meanwhile, start thinking about how to protect your job and your savings. I don't see this ending well.

Will this latest corporate nuclear attack get Americans off our fat asses and into the streets? Who knows. But it seems to me we have a lot to protest, starting with the arrogance and indifference of BP, the probable incompetence of Halliburton, the indifference and complicity of several Congresses unwilling to regulate business even for the sake of national welfare, and other villains not as yet known.

I don't know where we go from here. My heart and prayers are with the Gulf and its people. God knows, they've had more than anybody ought to have to deal with. Can we put our military to good use, for a change? Can our businesses put profit in perspective, now, and devote as much energy to sustaining the commonwealth as to increasing their bottom lines? Will people get it that oil ain't the way, that offshore drilling embodies unacceptable risk, that once the ocean life and the fragile marshland ecosystems are gone, they're GONE?

Will anything change?