Saturday, May 22, 2010

The oil spill - British Petroleum has the answer?

I admit it...I'm bitter. After all the BS and lies, it simply turns out that British Petroleum hasn't got a clue how to stop the oil spill. Morons like Flush Limburger (Rush Limbaugh) say it's no big deal. A serious number of Americans are still in favor of offshore drilling. Even the president that I worked so hard to elect hasn't gotten indignant about it.

Are we all really that stupid?

People who say we should continue drilling all point out the dependence upon foreign oil as the rationale. Cleverly, they fail to acknowledge that even if we drilled enough to make the Alaskan Barbie orgasmic, we wouldn't dent our dependence. Never let the facts get in the way of a good knee-jerk reaction.

The same idiots who talk about the economy don't discuss the twenty+ billion dollars Florida will lose in the tourist industry this year. Twenty billion dollars in one year and one state and only in one industry. What about tourism losses in the other Gulf of Mexico states? Add them all together and you get..well...the biggest negative impact on the economy since the election of George Bush.

Ah, but we're just getting started. This tourism doesn't just create creates jobs. When folks who work in the tourism business get paid, they buy things from the grocery stores, purchase homes, and even buy cars. So, the "ripple effect" (not to be confused with the drinking of cheap wine) begins. Naturally, the people they (folks in the tourism business) start is passed to their vendors who pass it to their vendors, and so on.

Of course, tourism isn't the only industry affected. Fishing is still a major economic factor in these areas. Fishermen contribute huge amounts of money to the economy as well.

It's starting to be depressing - as in depression.

"Guestimates" of the damages normally talk about periods of time up to a year. It will take years to clean up this disaster. Nice work! We not just screwed now; we're screwed for the next five or more years.

Still, after we destroy our coastlines and the economies that depend upon them, what are we doing about dependence upon foreign oil?

Guess what - the only way to solve that dependence is to use less oil (and gas). That means cars need to be smaller and more fuel efficient and we need to drive less.

There go those inconvenient truths again (thanks Al).

But there could be hope.

Millions of overweight, out-of-shape Americans could start walking and riding bicycles more. We could develop more mass transit options that work. We could require fuel economy improvements on a major scale.

Or, we could just order another KFC Double-down sandwich while we watch our planet die. After all, legacies are overrated and to hell with our children and grandchildren. We've got priorities.

For more on the spill, look here and here.

For someone else's take on BP's efforts, check out Carl Hiaasen's column here.

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