Guilty Planet

i-3693935110cc1c93c601a1d89487e504-oilspill-thumb-250x318-48992.pngThe people my mom works with wanted to know what I thought of the oil spill. Are there alternatives to: it’s a catastrophe? In America, land of nutbags, there are always alternatives. Texas Governor Rick Perry called it an ‘act of God’ (BP has amassed almost as much power). But really, there is only one position. It’s a disaster.

The Atlantic ran a really nice summary piece on how the spill has changed public opinion, including less support for offshore drilling (down from 62% to 46%), particularly from Floridians (55% now reject it; still a bit low, don’t you think?). Of course, in the land of alternatives, some Republicans support increased drilling (28% of Republicans said the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico made them more likely to support drilling off the coast to an equal 28% who said it made them less likely to be supportive) and some people even say the spill is a conspiracy on behalf of environmentalists (if only they were capable of such acts). The best headline since the calamity is by far Large Air Spill at Wind Farm. No threats reported. Some claim to enjoy the breeze.

We have to do everything to make sure this never happens again. One of the best ways to do this is by punishing the people responsible this time. To avoid shame, the people responsible are shifting blame as quickly as possible. Here are a couple of the President’s remarks on the spill published yesterday:

Let me also say, by the way, a word here about BP and the other companies involved in this mess. I know BP has committed to pay for the response effort, and we will hold them to their obligation. I have to say, though, I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter. You had executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else. The American people could not have been impressed with that display, and I certainly wasn’t.

Comments

  1. #1 Mystyk
    May 15, 2010

    The conservative crank site “Moonbattery” used that Pres. Obama quote to try to paint him as a hypocrite on the issue for allegedly passing blame to former Pres. Bush (a later portion of the statement says this would likely not have happened if not for the climate of lax regulations over the last decade).

    Now, it’s already a stretch that they’re saying Obama’s comment targets Bush personally, but I come out of that swirling morass of stupid wanting to ask those cranks just one question: “If passing blame is the problem, what evidence do you have to lay any on Obama’s shoulders to begin with?” The silence is deafening.

  2. #2 Daniel Bassett
    May 15, 2010

    I don’t understand how this recent oil spill has made some republicans more likely to support oil drilling. For what reasons would this ecological disaster motivate someone to want to oil drill more!!!

  3. #3 yogi-one
    May 15, 2010

    Obama always says the right thing. He’s a Master at saying the right thing. That got him elected. He said he is a staunch supporter of single-payer, universal health insurance. That was the right thing to do say.

    Do he do it? Hello?

    So if Obama getting tough with Big Oil is going to be like Obama getting tough with Wall Street, or like Obama cleaning up the insurance industry, well, all I’ve got to say is don’t plan recreational summer activities that include going to the beach.

    Obama is still pro-offshore drilling. He’s talking about tough new regulations, but I think what we are going to get is what we got with Wall Street and Big Insurance: lots of tough new compromises.

    Hey, you can always say he’s better than Bush. Him and all but maybe two other Presidents in history.

    I voted for Obama, but I’ve got to see some better results before I stop wondering if I just wasn’t duped by a high-dollar corporate-style branding campaign.

    Oh yeah, and to corroborate your answer to your mom’s friends, have them read this. The answer is: it’s worse than BP is ever going to admit. A whole lot worse.

    A volcano of oil erupting
    http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-8199-Breakthrough-Energy-Examiner~y2010m5d13-A-volcano-of-oil-erupting

  4. #4 bonidaazelia
    May 16, 2010

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  5. #5 blf
    May 16, 2010

    From http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/may/13/bp-boss-admits-mistakes-gulf-oil-spill

    Tony Hayward [BP's CEO] claimed its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is “relatively tiny” compared with the “very big ocean”.

    “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume,” he said.

    [E]nvironmentalists are concerned about the unseen damage being done to marine life by the oil, which is sinking to the seabed.

    “Apollo 13 (the unsuccessful third mission to the moon in 1970) did not stop the space race,” he said. “Neither did the Air France plane last year coming out of Brazil (which mysteriously crashed) stop the world airline industry flying people around the world. It’s the same for the oil industry.”

    Yeah, sure! Size doesn’t matter. Nor does where the oil goes or what then happens to it. And Apollo 13 and the Air France crash were environmental disasters. Epic. Fail.

  6. #6 samsungmarcel
    May 20, 2010

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  7. #7 Steven Earl Salmony
    May 21, 2010

    There is a sad state of affairs in the Gulf of Mexico. An ecosystem is being ruined. There has got to be a better way than the unsustainable path we are so adamantly and recklessly pursuing now. Is this what wanton greed hath wrought?

    While Father Greed can be readily seen ravaging Mother Nature, it is just as easy to recognize that without Mother Nature’s abundant resources and viable ecosystem services all the overproducing, overconsuming and overpopulating activities spawned by Father Greed will lead to some sort of unimaginable, human-driven “crash”, the likes of which only Ozymandias has witnessed.

    Disgraceful, greed-mongering Masters of the Universe among us recently cratered the global economy.
    http://rwer.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/i-write-to-you-from-a-disgraced-profession/
    Now they are on the verge of risking the collapse of Earth’s ecology.

  8. #8 smitty
    June 16, 2010

    If we use the oil, we should have to extract from our own country and shorelines. What I find so hypocritical is all this Not in My Backyard bullshit. What did you expect? People in the US use shit tons of oil? Should we go drill some other poorer countries shorline and ruin that instead?

    This classic “its the big corporations maaan! Their greed is destoryin Gaia” is the lamest and biggest failure of the environmental movement. When individual people take responsibility for their oil consumption, we will make progess. You can’t be talking about the “greedy oil companies” when there is a spill and then be complaining about gas prices the next season. Just please stop with all the “big evil corporations” nonsense bullshit. Its people! People! People use stuff and companies made up of people provide it. Get a fucking grip.

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