I know it's been a long, long - okay, loooooooong - time since I've been here. I've been busy on the Wellspring Community School blog (we've even started a podcast!), and I've had some computer issues, and I had some health issues that had me taking time off from blogging altogether, but I'm trying to get back in the swing of things.
Everyone is talking about the BP oil disaster, so naturally I feel compelled to add my voice to the conversation. I've been trying very hard to avoid watching or listening to any coverage of the spill because it is simply too depressing for me to see. I do not have the intestinal fortitude to see any more pictures of birds covered in oil or a huge slick overtaking the ocean. That said, it is quite difficult to stay away from it altogether since it is all over the place all the time.
Let me first say that I don't really get how this happened in the first place. I mean, as someone who is always preparing for the worst case scenario as a way of life (not as a sign of pessimism but of reducing stress - I find that if I am prepared for problems they don't really bother me that much), I can't see how no one anticipated this possibility and how no safety measures were put into place to turn the well off in the event of emergency. I have an emergency shut off for the water in my kitchen, for heaven's sake - no one thought to put one in the Gulf of Mexico? I have seen several stories saying that the best bet for turning off the leak is to drill an adjacent well to the existing one, divert the oil to the new pipe, and then close that pipe off. We couldn't have done this when all the people and machinery were out there building the well in the first place?
Anyhoo....what I really want to talk about is a press conference I saw the other day with the CEO (or COO, I can't remember) of BP. He said - and I quote, because this is unforgettable - "No one wants this over more than me. I want my life back."
Are you KIDDING me? Dude - really? There are thousands of people who have lost their livelihoods, not to mention the eleven who lost their lives, because of this disaster. The marine life is being decimated, and the ecosystem may never recover. And you're complaining because this whole thing is cutting into your time on the links? Does this company not have a PR department? Does this man have no heart? Every time I think I've heard it all, I am saddened to find that I, in fact, have not.
Every time I think about what is going on down there, it makes me physically ill. No one has the first clue how devastating this will be in the end, and no one has any idea how to stop it. I certainly don't, and though I am not in the practice of criticizing others unless I have a solution in mind, I do have to say that I am starting to wonder if there is, in fact, no solution at all other than stopping offshore oil drilling altogether. If this could happen once, it could certainly happen again, and then what? We're running out of oil to start with, and now there are untold barrels of oil floating on the Gulf never to be recovered for use. We don't really have a drop to spare if we are going to continue to use it at the pace we're going, never mind millions - billions - of gallons of the stuff.