|BP and wildlife and politicians
||[Jun. 21st, 2010|08:15 am]
It's become very clear that BP has no interest in saving wildlife of any kind, and cares only about its TV image.
From an LA Times article of a few days ago: http://preview.tinyurl.com/2whekyu
And this from an organization supporting restoration of endangered sea turtles: http://www.seaturtles.org/article.php?id=1660
It's clear that BP is not only not saving wildlife, but preventing others from doing so. The "controlled burns" of floating oil are also burning wildlife trapped inside the "booms" used to surround the oil to be burned. The endangered Ridley's sea turtles, among many other species of sealife in the sargasso tangles, are being burned alive.
The appropriate place for the top echelon of BP and its Board--plus a host of US politicians who've historically bent over for whatever big oil wanted--is in individual rowboats scattered across the expanse of the surface oil. No motor (I would even say no oars), no radio or cellphone, no rescue. Let them eat what they can catch barehanded of the sick and dying sea creatures, and drink what they can catch of rainwater or try to fashion a little still to get some clean water. Let them see the columns of smoke rising in the distance from the "controlled burns" and the ships ignoring them as they have ignored anything but their own profit....let them see booms being placed, and have to wonder if they're inside or outside. And then let them see the flames coming.
If any of them survived to reach the tainted shores, I will bet you they would have a different attitude...and if they didn't, it would be appropriate to treat them as BP has treated those creatures that made it to shore--as just more detritus to be tossed on a fire.
My engineer mother said "Accidents don't happen--they are caused." This was not an accident. This isn't the first time that a major oil leak in the Gulf caused damage...it was predictable that it would happen again. This was caused by greed, by carelessness, by trusting the fox to manage the henhouse. For over twenty years, the Republican-led opposition to "government regulation" undid one protection after another...and this is the predictable result. No industry can regulate itself...no industry will cut its own profits for the long-term good of the world or humanity or its own nation unless it is made to do so. Historically, and demonstrably still, the profit motive alone does not result in sound thinking and decision-making. Wishful thinking, "Maybe it will never happen" is not the same as reality.
Much as I loathe that smug SOB at the head of BP--and I do--he is not the only villain here. Look back at the list of members of Congress who gleefully dismantled regulatory oversight of the petroleum industry, just as they did of the banking industry. Look at the funding for the agencies tasked with monitoring environmental issues; look at the executive orders former president Bush tossed out like caltrops to hamper them in their duties. Look at the deliberate lack of funding for research into sustainable energy sources; the ridicule heaped on those who kept trying, the smug certainty that there would be oil, and we should have as much as we wanted. Look at that idiot Joe Barton (R-TX) expressing sympathy for poor BP (until wiser heads shut him up) and Senator Cornyn (also R-TX) throwing a hissy fit about a few AWOL Afghans to draw attention away from BP and the oil problem. Had those US politicians not been in bed with the petroleum industry, had their compaigns not depended on contributions from those corporations, had they paid the slightest attention to the realities...it's just possible they'd have at least demanded proof that the various "safety measures" actually worked. It's just possible they'd have listened to those who correctly predicted the kind of disaster that a major leak in the Gulf would be.
Right about now the stockholders of BP should be preparing to oust their entire top level of management. And voters in the Gulf states should be preparing to dump every Republican up for re-election out on his/her ear this fall. And the Supreme Court should be considering its rulings that corporate campaign contributions can be unlimited while corporate responsibility is limited. Human nature being what it is, I don't have much hope of that, nor of those actually responsible admitting their error and changing their ways. But a little hope is better than none.