Environmentalists and oil don’t go together and never will, but there is a lot for us to learn from the spill and more from the reaction to it.
The blowing of this deep well is a big environmental problem but in the US it is referred to as a ‘catastrophe’, a ‘Wildlife Apocalypse’ or an ‘environmental Armageddon’. Even in the UK the media call it a disaster. But how bad is it in the scheme of things? Really?
I understand not everybody realises the impact climate change is going to have on both the planet and us, but it is going to be huge with over 90% species extinction expected by many scientists. Events are happening all around us yet many persist in arguing it isn’t happening or isn’t much of a problem. Not long now before the situation is recognized and understood.
The US consumes 25% of global oil even though they only have just over 4% of the global population. So whatever impact climate change does have, the US is hugely more responsible for it than any other nation on earth. And interestingly the impact of a changing climate on the US will be huge as it simply isn’t organised to be a ‘non-oil’ economy.
A few oysters and a few pelicans, dreadful as I know it is, are as nothing compared to what is coming very shortly so when taken in this context the American reaction is extraordinary. If the loss of the animal life so far is ‘apocalyptic’, whatever words will be used to describe the coming events? And who will they blame? BP? The Banks? China for not agreeing at Copenhagen? The EU for not going it alone without the US? And most if not all the species in trouble in the Gulf will anyway not be there when climate has responded properly to the rubbish we have already put into the atmosphere.
The catastrophe is not the leak but the burning of all the oil in the world.
The wells in the Gulf of Mexico are there because of American consumption, and without those wells the US will be in a much more disadvantaged position. Drilling very deep is not a simple business, and sooner or later a well was going to blow – a matter of statistical probability. Isn’t it fairer that it blew on the home patch of the nation doing the most damage?