Gulf Oil Spill: Point By Point, An Alternative Perspective

With the President’s visit to the Gulf Coast yesterday, it seems more of the U.S. has begun taking the Gulf Oil Spill seriously.  People are getting excited, waxing political, and suggesting solutions.  Some of those solutions are downright frightening, making us glad that person isn’t in charge of the response to the situation.  Here are some points to consider.  We welcome your thoughts and opinions, whether you agree or disagree.

1) The use of underwater dispersal agents has to stop IMMEDIATELY.  BP is trying to do an “out of sight, out of mind” tactic. The oil spill is just as toxic on the ocean’s floor, but it’s a mile or more beneath the surface that way.

The rest of these are presented in no particular order:

2) Obama didn’t cause it, and he’s one man in a big country within a bigger world.  What other aspects of huge import do you want him to stop doing to take care of this one?  Fact is, visiting is a dog & pony show, but a waste of his leadership time.  Stop hammering him so he can pay attention to the many aspects of his job instead of trying to appease a public that wants to blame him for everything.

3) Blowing it up isn’t an option.  Despite all the rhetoric to the contrary from armchair experts, bombing the well site presents a much greater likelihood of making a small hole into a big one, where the water can drop down and push the oil out faster and longer… This is the earth’s crust, 5000 feet below sea level. “Nuking” things never really was a solution.  The opposite of destruction is CONSTRUCTION.  Creativity is in order, not brute force.

3)  The financial cap may not apply.  All real-world damages should be included in the portion which does NOT have a cap.  That will be for the lawyers to duke out later.  But as to why BP would pay more than they’re obligated to, if they ever want an oil lease or a break in this country again, they’ll step up for this disaster.  Our government isn’t entirely stupid.  Folding BP and reforming with any of the same principles under a guise isn’t going to work.  So they’ll do the right thing… or else.

4) We’re so self-absorbed in how the coastal residents will be impacted that we’re not addressing the fact that this is NOT going to be contained to the U.S. shores, nor to just the loss of relatively mindless creatures like shrimp and fish.  The cetaceans, which are clearly sentient beings, are also being affected, as are shore birds, turtles, sea tortoises, giant manta rays, etc., and the whole ecology which flies through the south.  Though the flow moves eastward, it will likely also affect Mexico to some extent.

5) This has been going on for two weeks, and will likely continue to leak for months. Even if the majority of the gusher is successfully closed off by a valve, that’s no assurance that the smaller leaks won’t become larger as that pressure relief is closed off.  The containment cones are a good idea, but should be there YESTERDAY.  (Of course, they also result in income from that oil, so I don’t think they’re being slothful.  It probably simply takes time to build something that large, able to handle being dropped a mile below sea level.)  It seems reasonable to say that, unless skimmers and containment become far more effective very quickly, we’ll be seeing at least as much MORE oil hitting the shores.

It would seem the energy revolution has begun.  Is this what it takes for us to finally see that pumping oil out of the ground for our cars and trucks and planes isn’t a grown-up solution?   BP’s greed isn’t behind this situation.  OURS is.  We are the ones who make a demand for the petroleum, and want it as cheaply as possible.  The U.S. government also taxes them and gets a cut off of each ounce of oil that comes out of that well.  WE need to change the way things work.  Alternative energy sources aren’t some vague pipe-dream.  They’re very real options already, and would be easy to put in place — as soon as We The People decide it’s important to us.  The cost of alternative energy sources is relatively small, given the cost of continuing to trash our air and water.

This planet is one huge organism.  What affects one portion will have repercussions on the whole.  What we do and don’t do with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will affect the rest of the planet as well.  What’s certain is that we must protect the ocean, both for the planet and because it’s the best way to protect ourselves.


1 reply
  1. Nicholas King says:

    The oil spill in Mexico would surely be one of the greatest environmental disasters for this year.


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