Monday, July 19, 2010

The Blame Game

I used to live in Pensacola, and there is no more beautiful place than the Gulf Coast. Weston was born there, and this picture was taken in our house there on his first Christmas. We really liked it there- the beaches were gorgeous- white sands, turquoise waters and pale green sea grasses. The oil spill makes me sick, but what makes me sicker is the disingenuous placement of blame solely on BP.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending them; they are a bunch of greedy bastards for sure. This morning, though, I heard someone say that the executives should be lined up and shot, as if they exist in a vacuum created by their own selfishness, and sadly that's just not true. If it was true, we COULD prevent future spills by shooting them. But the truth is, we ALL did this. BP is just the middleman. A dirty, slimy one, obviously, but still just a middleman. BP is only drilling risky wells because there is an insatiable market for cheap oil. They're just going after the money. Gotta keep the shareholders happy, right? What's good for business is good for America, after all. And what's good for business is fast profits. And BP's not the only one: the other companies aren't any better, they just haven't been caught yet.
Yep, we all did this. Every time you take a plastic bag home from the grocery store, you might as well toss a few tar balls on the sand. When you order takeout and end up with a bag of styrofoam leftovers big enough to choke a T-Rex, it's just the same as dipping a pelican in a barrel of crude. Driving alone to work instead of carpooling or taking the bus equals hucking a few water balloons full of diesel at a sea turtle nest.
Now, if we were willing to acknowledge the obvious truth that drilling for oil is environmentally risky, and unsafe (don't forget that eleven workers died on the Deepwater Horizon), and were willing to pay the true cost of our lifestyle up front, say around $10 a gallon for gas, maybe we would have a leg to stand on when an oil conglomerate bungles and/or underfunds a cleanup, because we would have a legitimate right to expect that safety and cleanup costs had been accounted for in the pricing of the product. But to keep sucking up oil at the going rate and demanding Government subsidies to keep the prices down, then heaping blame on oil companies after the inevitable catastrophe is hypocritical in the extreme.
This kind of mess is just going to happen again and again, if we don't change our ways. And we probably won't, but that's okay too. Eventually the oil reserves will be depleted, the oceans will be wastelands and most of the people will be dead, because much of our food supply and almost all of our oxygen depends on healthy oceans. Then the survivors will have to devise alternate energy sources. Maybe they can capture the methane from all those decomposing corpses.


Lauren said...

You're totally right (even though I despise serious posts)! Hey, what about those recycling places for the plastic grocery bags? Is that good, or do those just end up in a landfill too, can they really be recycled?
Aaand, I've totally convinved Cory to let us get a compost bin in our backyard after we find out our assignment.

Helen said...

I thought Weston was born in your car during a hurricane evac?

Anna said...

So, Helen, I guess you need a little SFK refresher on the story of Weston's birth:

And Lauren, that is AWESOME! When do you find out? I'm dying to hear where you are going. YAY compost!

Helen said...

Ok, so I was close. I knew there was a hurricane evac involved somehow. My story is way more interesting though. Well, except the part about the elk hunting.