Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Drill, baby, drill???

Last week a deep water oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, my backyard, exploded and sank. The reasons that this happened are still to be determined. Was it simply an accident? Was it sabotage? Was it an attempt at terror? Or is there even some other explanation that hasn't surfaced yet?

Whatever the reason for the explosion may have been, the consequences are horrendous. First of all, eleven human lives lost, lives of people who accepted those risky jobs on the rig - as the dead coal miners in West Virginia accepted their risky jobs - to support themselves and their families and to try to make better lives for them all. The jobs were there because of our insane addiction to oil.

But that's just the cost in human lives. The cost in animal life and in degradation of the environment because of the oil now spilling from that wrecked rig is incalculable and is ongoing. Where will it all end? Will the oil reach the Gulf Coast to damage the birds and turtles and other wildlife there? Or will it go out to sea and damage the deep water species which we do not see? Out of sight, out of mind? But it is all connected, all interrelated. Damage to one part of the environment resonates in the entire ecosystm.

This happened at a very inopportune time for the Obama Administration. Just when the president had acceded to the demands of the oil companies and their lackeys in the Republican Party to "Drill, baby, drill" and had agreed to open up more areas to offshore oil drilling, this very inconvenient spill occurs to remind us of why that might not be such a good idea. Do you think Mother Nature is trying to tell us something? Do you think we will listen this time?

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