Peacefully bobbing in the warmest and softest ocean waters last Sunday afternoon, the only slimy thing I felt was a ground dwelling creature .... and I moved off him rather quickly. The water turned green and then a deeper blue and the wave tops were browner than they are at Long Beach, but then the soil is redder in the Carolinas than on Long Island. There were school kids and families and bathing beauties and for a while I was able to forget about BP's piercing of the earth, and of Gaia's revenge.
I really do imagine her, wherever she is, watching in horror. As Nance says, I'm a Warner - I just know that something bad is going to happen and I have no compunctions about warning friend and foe alike of the impending danger. I need to be sure that I can extricate myself from a situation before I open a potential can of worms and find myself without a blow-out preventer or a less painful cliche.
Because this really is a cliche. Big business looks at return on investment and writes off fines and penalties and losses on their taxes. Little businesses can do that, too, of course. But little businesses don't usually end up wrecking the Gulf of Mexico. And if they cause a comparable amount of damage, they are small enough that they can be allowed to fail. The punishment can't fit this crime, and to BP it's only money. Is anyone out there still not buying Exxon gas because of the Valdez? How long will we wait before we start pulling into the BP stations again?
Whether or not there are plumes of oil under the surface, whether there are 12,000 or 45,000 barrels of oil escaping daily from a hole that BP drilled a mile under the sea, somebody didn't check his work. And, worse than that, nobody worried. What kinds of mothers did these people have? Weren't they told not to wear torn underwear lest they be embarrassed in the Emergency Room? Didn't anyone tell them to have the fire extinguisher close at hand just in case? These are people who probably never mark the location of the exit doors on airplanes or in movie theaters. They nodded dutifully at the safety lectures, and went on ignoring the risks, not planning for catastrophe.
And look at what happened. Just look at it.
ADDENDUM: Should you wish to contribute to the rescue effort, click here.