Where's the freaking outrage over this?
The sheer disingenuity of BP's public handling of the situation is ridiculous; as public relations goes, blatant lies (as exposed in
) aren't usually a great choice of tactics, but I would expect a much
stronger backlash against a deception of this magnitude, and I'm not seeing it, in the media or here on ATS. Sure, there's a sort of simmering
discontentment, and an occasional strongly worded memo from the White House, but where is the outrage? Where are the repercussions
responsible for handling this situation?
If profit had not been BP's foremost concern, they would have terminated the flow from the well entirely as soon as the emergency shutoff valve
failed. They did not; they chose to try methods they knew were unlikely to succeed, as long as they offered some small chance of allowing continued
profit from the well. To allay the demands of Congress and the public for more information about the extent of the leak, they provided us with a feed
showing what turned out to be a tiny part of the oil spewing into the Gulf and washing toward Louisiana's wetlands. They have lied to the government
to the public, and yet neither has taken strides to hold them fully responsible, financially, legally, or by any efficacious means
It's been, what, 38 days? All I've seen has been attempt after failed attempt by BP to control the leak in a manner allowing them to salvage some,
or most, of the oil (i.e. the precious, precious money) being wasted. Their profit-first, stop-the-leak-second methodology, coupled with this
incontrovertible shattering of their (already perilously thin) façade of humanitarianism and ecological concern, should have led to BP's being
flayed alive by Congress, the public, or at the very least by the media; why this is not happening is baffling to me.
The 'Top Kill' will fail. The technique was developed for use on terrestrial oil wells, not those underneath a mile of water (if my 3 AM math is
right, that's something like three hundred thousand pounds of pressure per square foot; this is probably enough to make some
difference in the success rate). BP has been over-generous by a factor of five to ten in their favor, if not more, in more or less every estimation
they have made of any number tied to this leak; if they have publicly stated a predicted success rate of ~30-40%, as posted in the thread linked
above, then I'd peg the real probability of the Top Kill working at a still fairly generous ten percent.
I have no idea what will
seal the leak, but I would bet a fairly large amount of money that we won't find out until July or August.
I do hope that I'm wrong. I just have very little faith left in the ability of humanity to clean up the kind of messes that we, in our unprecedented
state of advancement, are beginning to learn to make.
A few years ago, when peak oil was in vogue, I read an article containing an estimate of the number of millions of gallons of oil left in the Earth.
It was a large number. I don't remember what it was; the point is, it was finite
, and for a while, the public was becoming aware of this. But
we seem to have forgotten, and meanwhile, through this leak, we've knocked a good seven and a half mil off of that already all-too-finite figure. And
that's not all- the oil has not only been wasted in terms of its potential energy but is working pretty strongly against us, threatening to destroy
one of the most important ecosystems in North America and the world. This is an epic double whammy to Earth's level of general entropy, and nobody is
taking responsibility for it.
Offshore drilling is an unfortunate necessity; Western society will not be induced to turn en masse to any kind of alternative fuel until the very
last drop of oil has been wrung from the deepest catacombs of Earth. But anyone who can look at this disaster, consider its full implications for our
ability to plan for and mitigate the destructive consequences of our malignantly expanding need for energy (and for food, and for ever more
destructive weapons, and et cetera) and blithely continue to put short-term convenience ahead of the long-term survival of our species, or to sit by
and watch this happen with the sense of resignation that seems to be gripping America, has a mind that I truly do not understand.
What are your thoughts on this? What can we, as individuals, do to express the depth of our anger over the mishandling of this disaster? Why the hell
should it fall to us to demand action; isn't there some
institution left in America capable of taking charge here, handling the situation
through the concerted effort of our best minds and technologies, and holding those responsible for this dawdling accountable?
What has happened to us as a nation that something like this barely even bothers us any more?