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04 June 2010 @ 02:04 pm
the BP oil spill  

Cherie Priest says it all about the BP oil spill, a disaster of such magnitude I couldn’t hear anything about it for two weeks after Young Indiana was born because just knowing it had happened/was happening was enough to break my fragile-from-exhaustion mental state. I can still barely stand to hear about it, which is why I’m grateful for Cherie’s beautiful, poignant response: I couldn’t have written it myself.

(x-posted from the essential kit)
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The Renaissance Manunixronin on June 4th, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
This is, by any possible measure, a catastrophe. It's looking as though it may pollute — possibly fatally — not only the entire Gulf, but large areas of the Atlantic too including most of the US east coast. This could potentially kill every fishing ground from Texas to Nova Scotia, and possibly down to the Yucatan peninsula and the Caribbean.

What's worse, there's good reason for believing that BP not only knowingly and intentionally lied to us from the start about the magnitude of the gusher, but is still lying. On even just the evidence BP has allowed to escape its control, the claim of only five thousand barrels a day is laughable. I've seen expert estimates, based on the available data, ranging from twenty times that to a hundred times.

There are two major parties at fault here — BP, who put a difficult, complex, and already troublesome operation in the unsupervised hands of a trainee manager who'd never run a deepwater well before, who cut corners and violated mandatory safety rules after the well was already overdue and over budget; and the US Government, which basically handwaved all the required regulatory approvals without any inspection or anything. From what I've been reading, honestly, almost anything BP could have done wrong, they did.

It's all very well to say that we're all at fault and blame the consumer, but, you know ... consumers have to live, have to heat their homes, get to their jobs, run their businesses, and they're sort of stuck with using the available means for that. I'd LOVE to have a car powered off a fusion bottle, or even just a fuel cell, and have my house heated and powered by a deep-well geothermal tap. But I can't buy either one. They don't exist on the market. I'd love to cover my roof with solar panels, but they're not affordable enough yet. We're only now starting to see development of practical all-electric cars, whether battery or fuel-cell powered, because it's only now starting to become something within the reach of small upstart technology companies. The big automakers, particularly those in the US, really haven't been much interested. As long as they could continue to just update a few hundred dollars worth of paint and plastic each year and sell the same old crappy car, and add or update a couple of features every four years or so, and the customer had nowhere else to go, that was good enough for them. Toyota and Honda let that genie out of the bottle (yes, there was the GM EV-1, but really, come on, it was a bad joke). Hell, GM first sabotaged Saturn, then tied Hummer around its neck and threw it off a pier, for daring to be innovative and sell cars the customers actually wanted in a way that was fair to the customer. Saturn was too successful and GM's legacy divisions couldn't compete, so GM backstabbed it.

But I could go on about all these stupidities for a long time... and it won't fix anything as long as people continue to allow it to go on over and over and over again. We have a corrupt government that we know lies to us because voters keep re-electing and re-electing corrupt politicians whom they know lie to them. We have car companies that can get away with building crappy, inefficient cars because buyers are willing to keep on buying crappy, inefficient cars. And so it goes.



(Yeah ... I'm more than a little angry and upset about this, too.)

Edited at 2010-06-04 03:46 pm (UTC)
mayakdamayakda on June 4th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
Yes! Thank you. I totally agree.