17 August 2010

A World Gone Crazy

17 August 2010

The rest of the world clings tenaciously to the myth of Obama: that he will bring sanity to the USA and its relations with the larger world. Admittedly, the rabid opposition that would ruin the country before allowing progress stymies much of his effort. Politics is a curious melee wherever it is practiced, swinging back and forth between poles, which seem to gradually drift rightward with the influence of corporate money. This is written from the comparably sane vantage of Europe, but the comedy of Berlusconi and stalemate at the Bonn Climate Conference make clear the prevalence of illogic. Meanwhile, the USA is still the country that tortures, is still having teens kill innocents remotely, still fighting unwinnable wars in two countries with massive civilian death tolls, and even our best efforts at climate control are tepid. So Obama is really the same animal with slightly different stripes; and he is the American politician that received the most campaign contributions from BP between 2004 and 2009 ($77,051.)

Meanwhile, fisheries in the Gulf have reopened, with a small codicil from the FDA that if the seafood doesn’t smell like gasoline, it is safe to eat. And The New York Times is declaring that the Deepwater spill is really not as bad as initially reported, with much of the oil evaporated, dissipated, dissolved, or disappeared. Of course BP will write off much of the cost of the cleanup, thus passing the buck on to the shoulders of the taxpayers, and Obama wants to allow drilling again. In a world gone crazy, sarcasm seems the only logical response.

So all is again well in this best of all possible worlds, in spite of the annoying unwillingness of the economy to create any new jobs as we ship the old ones off to the undeveloped world. Fortunately, the fisherman in the Gulf can return to work. Clearly Tony Hayward was right all along: it wasn’t much oil compared to all of that water in the ocean.

And what about the all that extremely toxic dispersant that was pumped and dumped in the Gulf? What about those disquieting rumors of BP and its Coast Guard lapdogs secreting the carcasses of whales and dolphins away in the middle of the night for disposal? Where are those submerged plumes of oil? What will happen to coastal residents who inhaled all of that sprayed Corexit blowin’ in the wind? The stories of persistent flu-like symptoms and other health issues are un-discussed on the major media.

Clearly the dispersant corrected the problem: out of sight is out of mind. And though the issues it will cause are really just beginning, it and the spill are no longer news.
Another interesting issue to the whole situation is the climate change impact of the whole thing. Between the continuous burning of the skimmed oil (and inadvertent ocean fauna caught in the skimmers), the flares burning captured gases, and more important, the tremendous amount of methane and other volatile gases that gushed out of the hole while it was open (oil was only a small part of what came out), the climate change impact of this disaster is immense.

The larger question is what about the resolve, echoed by every president in living memory, to move the USA to a sustainable energy future? Have we wasted the potential benefits of this crisis?

The last trip I made over the Deepwater site was after the leaky cap had been removed in preparation for the tightly fitting cap that stopped the leak, so oil was gushing freely, thus leading to some of the most interesting pictures yet.

3 comments:

于庭吳 said...

來打聲招呼-大家好!!!..................................................

彬彬哲宇 said...

感謝你的分享 要繼續發表好文章喔..................................................

Beth Wellington said...

Mr. Fair, your photographs are beautiful, your words eloquent. . Hope you'll consider this fair use, as I make no profit, well less than no profit, if I link to this on my own bp story, about the end of the moratorium on offshore drilling and use one of your photos.http://bethwellington.blogspot.com/2010/10/no-more-moratorium-on-offshore-drilling.html

BTW, if you'd like I'll mention your photos to Matt Seaton--maybe the Guardian has some money to buy permission--I don't know--they appear to be using photos from Getty.

Also, you may want to delete the two comments before this one and enable Blogger's spam filter...