Oil Spill Woes


Call me late, but hey, I don’t watch much TV news, but I actually did hear about the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Today I watched some video coverage of some of the oil-fouled animals and saw some under water footage of the oil.  I knew the spill was big, but didn’t realize just how widespread this oil is.

CG and I have been talking about it for a while and it’s truly heartbreaking, especially seeing all those beautiful birds covered in oil and unable to fly.

The other day I heard President Obama saying he needed to ask a lot of questions about who was responsible so he would “know whose ass to kick.” That made me laugh.  It usually seems like big business tycoons are often exempted from laws that govern normal people like you and me, who would be locked up in jail if we dumped oil out in the street, or put it in somebody’s swimming pool.

I like being able to fill up my car whenever I want to.  I like being able to order things online and know that they will be delivered to my door in a gas-powered automobile.

But still, even though I enjoy the freedom that having a gas-powered vehicle gives me, I ask that the gasoline be delivered to me without destroying the ecosystem of the ocean.  Not only is the oil destroying fish, birds, coral reefs, plant life, etc. It is also destroying the livelihoods of people who depend on the sea for their livings…the fisherman, the crab catchers, etc.  Peoples lives are being ruined and I’m wondering whose fault it really is.

Is it the men who built the oil rig or dug the well, or those who set up protocol?  Was it the bosses forcing men to work when they knew the thing was unstable?  Why couldn’t the spill be capped immediately?  Who is responsible for making sure safety features and caps will really work in times of need?

As we American’s sit here in our living rooms watching this disaster unfold on TV, or even getting out on some of the beaches and helping with cleanup, we can only wonder who is at fault and what will be done about it.

At this point, the damage is already done, and I’m sure the government will talk the big talk about implementing new procedures to keep this from ever happening again.  But this is not the first time this has happened, and I’m fairly positive it will not be the last time.

The effects will be felt for years to come.  I’m not an Obama hater.  Our country was in debt before I was born and our problems were big back then too.  I think all Presidents were equally ineffective at changing the world for the better.  It doesn’t even matter who our president is at the moment, I’d like to see the man in charge step up and take a firm hold on the problem and get it fixed.  This is not a time to try and save money, but every penny spent on cleanup should be billed directly to BP and whoever the CEO’s of that company are and all their subordinates.  I’d ask the President to not make the taxpayer pay for this one….nor let our gas prices skyrocket.

I’ve worked for a big business before.  I’ve seen the trickle down effect.  I’ve seen things not work and no money be supplied to fix them.  I’ve been frustrated and I’ve seen the place go down because of no parts available……and I mean simple things that break, such as motors, gear boxes, etc.  Big business is all about numbers on sheets of paper and rarely reflects accurately what is happening at ground zero.

I doubt that there is, at the heart of it, just one person to blame.  It’s more likely a culmination of events, shortages of parts, money to buy parts, labor, common sence, etc.  But even though the blame, even if pointed directly at one person or failed mechanism, and in court is attributed to a certain cause…which may be named just to appease the public, even though they may figure it all out on paper…I would demand that our government not make the American worker pay for this for years to come.

When I go to a restaurant and order a salad, I don’t expect that the farmer had to ruin his field so I can have a salad.  When I buy a wooden stool, I don’t expect that the forester had to cut down the entire forest and not replant so I could have a stool.  When I go to the gas pump I expect that the gas in the pump was harvested using means that would not destroy the planet and our oceans.

When I make soap my customer does not expect to me exploit tribes of people to get the oils I need, nor to harm my goats for the milk I need, nor burn down a portion of the forest to collect my lye, etc.  We expect businesses to be honest and conduct their businesses in a way that is upstanding and sustainable.  We demand that those in the business of extracting oil from deep inside the Earth do so in a way that will not destroy it for the sake of money.

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