Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thoughts on the Tragedy in the Gulf

I don't consider myself an environmentalist. I think that recycling is a great idea, and am sad that my community only nominally supports it. I believe that we can use resources like the wind, the water, and the sun in dynamic and innovative ways (we are the United States after all). And I am a firm believer in historic preservation as an environmentally necessary method of limiting our imprint on the planet.

I've definitely been indifferent to environmental issues surrounding oil. However, after more than a month of watching oil flow steadily into the Gulf of Mexico, and realizing that our government is essentially without viable options to stop it, I am more convinced now than I have ever been that the United States needs get off of the teat of oil. We are too reliant on resources that we don't know how to stop in case of disaster, and we are too dependent on corporations, that care nothing for anything beyond their bottom lines, to resolve problems that they cannot or will not resolve.

The historian in me was jumping for joy to see Rachel Maddow remind her viewers of the oil spill that I'd certainly forgotten about back in 1979. Maddow showed that virtually NOTHING, in terms of how to respond to an oil spill, has changed.

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In this next clip, Maddow shows that she has a viewer in Congress who was willing to ask testifying oil interests about what she saw on "The Rachel Maddow Show." The response was...well, just watch:

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I am almost at a loss for words, almost.

What we are seeing is nothing more than the full fruition of the Reagan Revolution. This is what we get when we shun regulation, deem government as evil (until there is a clusterfuck, right Gov. Jindal?), and put into important positions within government people who are more interested in making sure that their corporate buddies are covered, than being concerned about the well being of the American people.

And what the fuck is "un-American" about trying to hold bad businesses accountable for their failings? It seems to me that we have replaced God with the corporation. Normally, I would try to balance this a bit by saying something to the effect that I am not against capitalism. But you know what, I am totally against what our capitalist system has become. It is not an economic structure of the rising tide lifting all boats. It feels more like the swells of "The Perfect Storm," and that is not an environment that will allow us to remain number one in the world.

The saddest part about all of this is that nothing I've written will help to stop the flow of oil pouring out of that pipeline, bring back to the living the individuals who died on that rig, or stave off millions of gallons of oil washing ashore on the various beaches of the Gulf coast. But I can sat that the ability to have cheap gasoline is simply not worth all of this. I don't give a shit if I am called naive for saying it, but that seems to be what it boils down to. Our society is like a crack whore for oil, and we ain't trying to do no rehab.


Anonymous said...

Wall Street wasn't held accountable, they simply ensured their bonuses were paid, and they have blithely gone on. The carnage is scarcely their concern.

So goes it with the oil industry.

Lobbying toothless regulation, and fines which are pittances, allow this industry to make record profits, or near-record profits, year after year.

The lives lost on the rig, the livelihoods being destroyed in the region, and the passing off of this problem as belonging to the government (and President Obama), is simply a matter of an industry employing "expendable lives", treating the natives like so much collateral damage, and deftly obfuscating their own culpability.

I'm just sayin'...

The $3000 Dress said...

here, here! this should be bigger than petty party politics, but it is not. not yet at least.


"accidents happen" is as shameful response as anything i've heard or seen. i never knew that the "opposition" party and industry hack's favorite (character) in the bible was Pilate - hmmm... not surprising... pass that buck! pass that buck! pass that buck! (right over to me!)