Social Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Where's the urgency that should be associated with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11439points) May 3rd, 2010

Do you get the impression that lawmakers think of environmental disasters such as oil spills, as little more than a political annoyance?

Just in case anyone forgot, that’s a lot of oil that going to fuck with a lot of people’s lives.

I’d mention saving the affected sealife but that’s a hard sell because it’s tough enough to get politicians to care about their own fellow human beings let alone non human life.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar


Trillian's avatar

I was wondering about this myself. Sees like “Meh, what else is going on?”

CyanoticWasp's avatar

What is a politician going to do about an oil spill, anyway? It’s not like they can even rig an oil boom to contain or clean up the spill, or run the rig that will attempt to cap the well a mile deep in the ocean. The people we have in office wouldn’t even be capable of being competent deck hands on any of the the vessels where the work will be done.

As a matter of fact, when the well is finally capped and the total dimensions of the environmental disaster known, then they will have field days weeks running inconsequential and pretty much meaningless “Congressional hearings” on the topic, where they can bloviate, cry, beat their chests and tear into the drillers to their hearts’ content, making us know that they are four-square opposed to oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico… unlike “those other fellows”, you know, the ones who live and love to cover beaches with oil.

I loved the way the President said he’s going to “do everything humanly possible” to contain the spill. Gosh, that’s a long list. Maybe we should brainstorm it:

We could all go back to living in grass huts with no electricity and no wheeled transportation at all, and rely on human and domesticated animal power for all of our energy needs. That would be a start, and after all, it’s “humanly possible”, since we’ve already done it as a species. Why not just… do it again?

He could rig oil booms himself, I suppose, and conscript us all like the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia, and have us all launching and recovering oil booms and wiping oil from sea birds.

Hell, with all that oil in the Gulf, we could boil it all up and have one hellacious fish fry with what’s left.

Let’s all start to brainstorm what’s “humanly possible” and send the ideas to him. He seems to be pretty much out of any good ones lately. Since early 2009, I mean.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

So wait… we cant do anything so we (humans) shouldn’t try?
That dog won’t hunt.

SuperMouse's avatar

I am incredibly taken aback by the laissez faire attitude many seem to be taking toward this spill. This rig is pumping at least 42,000 gallons of oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico. That is an astronomical amount of oil and this morning I heard that the best shot BP thinks they have at stopping it will take three to four months to implement. The math on that is mind boggling! Conservatively that is 5,000,000 gallons of oil, about five times as much as the Exxon Valdez leaked in 1989.

I am thoroughly disgusted by the entire episode. I hear a lot about how much this is going to cost and that BP is agreeing to pay for the clean-up but that is really missing the point. The damage to the eco-systems down there could very well be permanent, and that isn’t even considering what it will do to the folks who live there and are going to be forced to scrape out a living among this horrifying black muck. We are all supposed to be congratulating BP for stepping up to fix a disaster they caused? Really? How about they take some responsibility and stop all their offshore drilling until they figure out why and how this happened and have some real, viable, working measures in place to keep this kind of destruction from happening again.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy I don’t understand your viewpoint. Of course there is urgency in attempting to contain the spill and cap the well. Millions are being spent every day in every way that we already know to attempt to contain, break up or burn off the oil at the surface, as well as parallel efforts to cap the well. Not only is the well costing several million dollars a day in lost oil (10,000 bbl per day @ about $75 / bbp is $750,000, and that’s conservative), but anyone with a brain recognizes the scope of the environmental catastrophe that’s going to hit the beaches any day now.

The costs of the cleanup on the beaches, not to mention damage to fisheries, is going to be monumental.

So what do you suggest should be done that isn’t? There’s always that Khmer Rouge option, I suppose…

PandoraBoxx's avatar

They are trying to keep things contained, and they are trying to cap the bloody thing. Until they cap the leak, there’s nothing they can do but make BP aware that they are accountable for clean-up. The oil, up until today, has been confined to international waters. The US has no jurisdiction outside the 12 mile limit. The US government has shut down all new offshore drilling indefinitely. They declared a it a disaster, and apre pumping money and organization into the area. Unemployed fishermen have been hired as clean-up crews for the coastlines.

What else would you like them to do? The oil companies are ostensibly the ones with the technology and the tools to take care of this. The US government does not have nationalized oil well ownership. Perhaps it seems like nothing’s being done because the right things are being done right from the start, and there’s not a Katrina screw-up in managing a disaster?

cockswain's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy Why do you think they aren’t taking it seriously? I haven’t got the impression it is being taken lightly.

Disc2021's avatar

Does anyone know how or if this is affecting Obama’s plans to open more off-shore drilling venues?

I think it’s quite sad that the sake of ocean wildlife isn’t a “seller” for adequate clean-up. I think that should be a big enough incentive despite how expensive clean-up is, not to mention how this will impact the lives of many. :(

cockswain's avatar

Obama said something to the effect of he’s declaring a moratorium on new offshore drilling until this situation is analyzed. Apparently a fail-safe on the rig failed, and it is unprecedented.

john65pennington's avatar

First, you really do have to think about the wildlife thats going to be involved. these are innocent creatures that have no protection against petroleum. second, i hate to say that Obama is just trying to make a good showing to the public and maybe thats not the case. i hope not. i hope he has a genuine concern for the doomed sealife and animals. i can see millions and millions of dollars being used in the cleanup and i hope the oil company is prepared to pay the price.

skfinkel's avatar

What I really don’t understand is how a private company that has this power of such enormous damage is allowed to operate…I mean, what are the safeguards. But as I write this, I realize this is true for just about all big industries as well as financial institutions. It boggles the mind. As long as we keep devouring their product, they will keep on doing whatever it takes, even destroying ____, to provide us with it. Do you see anyone switching to bikes as a result of this spill?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I’m not sure where the rest of you live, but from where I’m standing, my friends and I are taking this thing very, very seriously. I live on the Gulf coast near St. Petersburg, Fla. The Coast Guard here has reserved booms to block the entrance to Tampa Bay, the 7th busiest port in the US and one hell of an important fish and wildlife estuary. I’m not sure what other city, county, state and federal agencies are up to.

I hang at a coffee house that has a pretty solid clientele. We’ve been together for years, doing art, promoting one cause or another. On Sunday, 23 of us got together, went to one of the old hotels on the beach and had The Last Seafood Supper that we expect to be able to afford for a long, long time. One of us gave a poignant eulogy to set the tone as we toasted what we believe to be one of our last great sunsets on this white sugar sand beach. We then emptied our accounts in a 6-hour bacchanal of local seafood and wine and talked about what it was like to come of age here—catching our first big fish, learning to surf during a nasty off-shore blow, our first free dive, chumming for hammerheads as teens in the Southwest Pass, quietly sailing offshore under the stars on a moonless night with a bright electric blue effervescent trail for a wake and bow wave, exploring and camping on the out-islands, boating and fishing in the afternoons after school, clumsy adolescent groping in the sand under a sultry moon.

We went from sad to pissed off, pissed off to sad, weary, mournful, and in the end, determined to do something. Real Kubler-Ross shit lubricated amply with Veuve Clicquot. The waiting staff joined us in some of our toasts—they know their jobs are gone when this thing gets here. Many of us know what’s coming—we’ve seen it on a smaller scale in other spills.

On Monday we and many more friends signed up as volunteers with the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, Mote Marine Labs, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Tampa Bay Marine Institute, Save the Bay, and many other orgs that have been around here for a long time protecting our most important resource. These orgs report that calls from people wanting to take part in this is unprecedented and are organizing to meet the challenge.

It’s not much against something this big, and it’s only a local effort, but we decided at that dinner that we really like our local bounty and we wouldn’t let this habitat go down without a fight. We’ll attempt to rake and shovel this shit off our beaches, blockade as many wet lands, estuaries, bayous and bays as possible, clean off and protect as much wildlife as we can, and generally help wherever, whenever we’re needed. This is huge. I don’t think the US has seen anything like it before. We may lose the Gulfcoast as habitat, as a tourist economy, as a food source for at least a generation. But we have vowed to do something rather than just sit and watch this shit roll in and smother our shores in stinking tar, kill off our beaches, our wildlife, our goodtimes and our livelihoods.

Ivy's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus You write beautifully and I admire your efforts. What’s happening is genocide for ecosystems and catastrophic loss of income and way of life. I can’t find words to express my sadness and disgust. Just wanted to remind you how proud I am to count myself among your friends.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Happy Mother’s day, my good friend.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther