Tuesday, June 8, 2010
This afternoon I ran across a former law colleague of mine. He looked grim and solemn and so I asked him what was weighing him down. Of course, I immediately thought that this oil spill is weighing on everyone's mind these days, especially down here in the Gulf Coast, and so I was ready to lend some empathetic words of solace to him as we stand united in this cause. In the same manner that you tell someone your mother just passed away, he looked at me and said, "It's this Obama thing. He is trying to now ruin the oil industry. People think they have it bad now, they have no idea of how much worse it will get if he closes these rigs down." I just stood there. I didn't know what to say. I am one not to talk about politics or religion or anything that anyone may have very strong opinions about. I value everyone's position on any matter, but I can't sit and listen to what sounds like sheer selfishness.
I thought about his words over and over this afternoon. Ironically, I was called earlier in the day by the Audubon Society to schedule me as part of my volunteer efforts to receive oiled birds in Port Sulphur, Louisiana. I thought to myself, how can we be so alike and so different at the same time?
I came across the following post tonight that I want to share with all of you. Please don't think of this as a political statement on my part. I don't care whether you are a Democrat or Republican or who you voted for. I don't care what religion you are or to which god you pray when you are alone. We are all in this together and the fact of the matter is that we have this mess on our hands and we must do whatever we can to stop this from happening now and ever again. This is our earth, our home, our children. Value what you have now because it may not be there tomorrow.
Oil Drilling Moratorium: Sense vs Cents
Since the dawn of civilization, the debate over whether mankind is inherently good or evil has raged. While we see amazing acts of kindness and martydom around the world, the selfish outrage that has ensued because of the recent federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling clearly proves otherwise.
Shortly after the explosion on a British Petroleum oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that caused the death of 11 people and led to the beginning of what continues to be an endless oil spill, President Obama halted all offshore drilling operations. He put this temporary stoppage in place until investigators could figure out exactly what went wrong in the tragic accident and to give scientists and engineers time to come up with preventative measures to stop any future toxic spews if this scenario should repeat itself.
Yet, despite the common sense policy, many fellow Americans are calling it outrageous, a knee-jerk reaction, and a blatant over exaggeration. And they are doing so all because they just found out that the safe federal maneuver may cost them a few extra pennies per gallon at the pump.
The protestors cite the rare possibility of such a catastrophic event from happening again. They cite the extremely low percentage of oil spills versus the number of oil rigs in operation off our coastal shores. Despite the fact that their bellows are accurate, they fail to comprehend that even though the ratio may be one oil spill in the last 1,000 oil rigs erected, it is one too many.
Near twenty five thousand gallons of oil continue to gush out of the leaky pipe on a daily basis. Although BP is now capturing some of the leaking sludge, the biggest oil spill in US history continues to grow at an alarming rate. Animals of the Gulf Coast waters are starting to wash up dead on southern beaches. Endangered species of the area are now under more threat of going extinct.
And yet, we Americans don't seem to care. We focus our displeasure not on this eco-disaster, but on the fact that it and the governmental reaction in its aftermath are going to cost us a little more money to fill up our huge SUVs.
Most just naturally believe the oil slick will successfully get cleaned up (assuming we actually stop it one day) and that Mother Nature will wash the noxious slick off its back and rebound to its original vital and healthy state. Maybe this mentality is because it's not occurring in our backyard. Maybe it's because we don't actually see the blackened-tar dead bodies of dolphins and pelicans lying next to our kid's sand castle.
For whatever reason, mankind thinks about the minor hit to its wallet rather than the major blow to the environment it lives in. In doing so, mankind is thinking about today's small onus to its daily struggle rather than its long-term survival.
When it comes to environmental protection, there has always been a reluctance by society to take action. Many citizens and politicians, especially in tough economic times, don't think about what may or may not affect us tomorrow - they think about the here and now. And that thought process always and inevitably comes back to one thing: money.
Jobs, investing, and development don't necessarily go hand-in-hand with the pro-environmental movement, although recently many are trying to change that through the push for renewable energy sources.
Selfishness is the act of putting our own needs ahead of the needs and desires of others. In a nut shell, it is the equivalent of people voicing their concern over a federal oil drilling moratorium simply because they want a few extra green dollars in their pockets rather than ensuring there is a healthy, green planet here for our kids and grandkids to enjoy. (Another Happy Meal for your child or an investment in his or her future?)
We are human and, whether we like it or not, we run the gamut of dramatic emotions and feelings - be it happiness, sadness, kindness, guilt, greed, or selfishness. It's just the way it is. So, the debate on whether mankind is inherently good or evil will futilely rage on well into the future.
That is if there is a planet still here to allow it.
Posted by BizarroGuy at http://blogcritics.org/politics/article/oil-drilling-moratorium-sense-vs-cents
Posted by Karina Gentinetta at 8:10 PM