got a bad taste of oil in my mouth. Beyond sadness and frustration, it turns my
stomach to see some of the very people who in 2008 pushed to waive requirements
for operations like Deepwater Horizon to have a "blowout scenario" plan (having
earlier championed the loosening of well testing requirements) - on both counts
having accused the government of being heavy-handed - now leading the charge
against the Obama administration for not doing enough to stem the spill. The
dirty, oily little secret, though, is that while at some point a solution will no
doubt be found, at the moment there's not a person on earth who knows how to
stop this leak.
Of course I'm hoping that in the wake of this tragedy we'll have the good sense to renew stringent testing and emergency plan requirements for all offshore drilling projects. (Not to mention requiring redundancy in protection systems, especially when a relatively new technology is being used in deep water conditions.) But so too, in the stain of this tragedy, am I hoping that a whole new crop of us will commit to making even a tiny effort to reduce our daily use of carbon-based fuels, while at the same time supporting those companies struggling to do the same. Maybe this time we won't cop out to the self-indulgence of cynicism, letting ourselves off the hook by claiming that the choices one person makes don't really matter. This is not about sacrifice. It's about mindfulness. It's about living more consciously in the world.
Unfortunately, for years to come when I hear someone bitching about the evils of government (and admittedly, that point is often not without merit), what will come to mind first is this sad harvest of the so-called free market - these dying birds, this killing of fish, this unraveling of community.