Thursday, June 10, 2010

How Did We Get Into This Mess (In More Ways Than One)?

(Photo Left: A Heron photographed yesterday at Harlem Meer in New York)

According to wildlife expert, Jeff Corbin of NBC, the oil crises in the Gulf represents an "unprecedented ecological catastrophe."

Nothing else compares to it.

As of this moment, we don't know how much oil continues to pour into the Gulf of Mexico. Nor, do we don't know the effects of using chemical dispersants in the unprecedented amounts we are using them now to try and break up the oil.

Indeed, we don't even know exactly what is in those dispersants.

Most of the news reports these days are centering around loss of livelihoods to people, claims against BP and lawsuits.

While one can deeply sympathize with those people losing their jobs or businesses through no fault of their own, the bigger issue seems to be the toxic destruction of the waters, the coastline, marshes, marine and wildlife and wetlands.

Can we really afford for the entire Gulf of Mexico to turn into a toxic dead zone for virtually all sea life?

Can we afford for the precious wetlands, so important for protecting inner lands and cities from destruction during storms and hurricanes to virtually disappear?

Although I did not vote for President Obama because I felt he was too inexperienced for the job of President (I was a strong Hillary Clinton supporter), I was generally approving of him throughout the first year or so of his Presidency -- at least until this disaster.

Now, I don't know who he is or where he's coming from.

For a man who fired up millions to passionately and generously campaign and vote for him, Obama can't seem now to muster a phone call to CEO of BP, Tony Hayward.

The nonsense yesterday on the Today Show of "whose ass to kick" seems contrived, pointless and out of character for Obama -- especially when one doesn't even pick up phone to actually "kick ass."

Perhaps our President is afraid that if calling the head honcho at BP, Tony Haward won't take the call?

Therein seems to be the real problem.

Its not our President or the government that's seemingly in charge and control -- Its BP.

Indeed, everything goes through BP.

BP determines what is reported to the press and when. BP decides what efforts are made (or, more notably, not made) to clean up the mess or try to prevent oil from reaching the shores. BP is in charge of the dispersants and how they are discharged. (So far, BP isn't telling anyone what's actually in them.) BP is in charge of all rescue efforts for wildlife and is now barring members of the press from certain sensitive areas or from photographing some of the captured animals. Those charged with the task of rescuing distressed wildife are apparently not supposed to talk to the press. (This according to Anderson Cooper of CNN).

Question: Why is so much power being ceded to BP -- the ones who actually committed the crimes? Why is so much trust and faith being ceded to those who have continually lied and taken all those actions necessary to keep their liabilities down?

Last week, President Obama criticized BP for its 50 million dollar advertising campaign.

But, the TV and newspaper ads still continued unabated.

How much does BP listen to our President?

As much as most teenagers listen to their parents.

The so-called "booms" being placed by BP in the Gulf are the equivalent to filling up a bathtub with water, dumping a few gallons of oil in it and then using a cotton ball to try and soak up the mess.

Mind you, a water-filled bathtub is not our sensitive ecological system.

Large tankers (from other oil companies or even foreign nations) should have been brought in with means to "vacuum" and suck up some of the oil.

Rescue efforts need to be greatly expanded (without interference from BP) in order to try and save some of the animals, especially endangered wild and sea life.

As of yesterday, 68 dead mammals were found (presumably, mostly dolphins). Only 2 were found still alive. More than 700 dead birds have been found so far. (Mind you, those are just the ones actually seen and found above the water. What does that say for the ocean floor?) But, even for the birds found still alive and treated, the long term prognosis for their ultimate survival is extremely grim.

Stats like these are unacceptable and spell doom for most or even all of the ecosystem surrounding and in the Gulf.

I don't know when our government, political leaders and President are going to get it together and start acting like leaders, instead of wooden puppets.

But, judging from some of the statements of the past couple of days, I don't have much hope.

For our President to say the other day (on the Today Show) "Most of the sealife should recover in a season or two" sounds like it was straight out of a BP ad or commercial.

And for a newly victorious candidate for the US Senate (Carly Fiorina) to negatively comment on her opponent's hair style while all this tragedy is going down, shows that the new leaders "coming up" are potentially even worse than the ones currently in office.

How did we get into this mess -- in more ways than one?

More importantly, how do we get out of it? -- PCA


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