BP's Accidental Terrorism Brings "Silent Spring" To America
Is British Petroleum's accidental terrorism, born from greed and incompetence, worse than the intentional terrorism that took down the two World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 ? In 1962 the Bald Eagles were vanishing, and Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring warned America about the dangers of DDT - helping spark the environmental movement. But the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout needs no book. Despite bizarre efforts by British Petroleum and subservient Coast Guard units to prevent mainstream media from bringing images of the slow-motion, apocalyptic disaster to the American people, news will get out. Here's why: BP's oil well disaster is far worse than Hurricane Katrina. It is far worse than 9-11. It is worse than the Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the 1930's. The human costs of the disaster will be horrendous. But the environmental costs will be incalculably worse, and in a way that average Americans can comprehend. British Petroleum has just staged, accidentally, one of the most radically destructive acts of political theater in recorded human history, a tragedy of vast proportions that will probably change our lives: in the end for the better, I hope... But, in the short run, it will be grim. See, every year in the Spring countless bird species migrate north, and US Gulf Coast marshes and estuaries are a major feeding point for that energy-intensive trek. So, our backyards will probably get quieter this year and stay quieter for a long, long time. Consider this picture of an "oilbird." Now, think of seeing this picture every day, over and over and over and over and over again. For years, maybe. Now think of countless media interviews of shattered Gulf Coast lives, families driven into poverty from the oil-driven collapse of Gulf Coast tourism and fishing industries. The Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster wreaked havoc along the sparsely-populated Alaska shoreline but the BP oil apocalypse, which is Exxon Valdez X10, X100 -- who knows how much bigger, is spewing crude oil into one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth, America's most bounteous seafood-producing region, one of America's three coastlines. If we are lucky, the oil won't get sucked, also, into Atlantic currents and wind up on East Coast beaches. But what is more likely is that Hurricanes will pick up oil-tainted water and drop it all over the US South. That is the world that the fossil fuel industry has foisted on us: a bit of hell, brought to Earth. This year, the Republican Party is fielding many candidates who espouse radical free-market positions which justify the actions of corporations such as British Petroleum. Rand Paul, Arthur Robinson, and other GOP candidates represent a hellish fusion of religious and libertarian ideology which justifies BP's trashing of an entire region of America. In 2004 Arthur Robinson, running on the GOP ticket for Oregon's 4th Congressional District, proposed dumping oil and nuclear waste at sea. In 2010 Rand Paul, nominated to run as a GOP candidate for a Kentucky US Senate seat, shrugs off oil and coal disasters and claims the Obama Administration is being too tough on BP. That's the extent to which Republican Party ideology is now wildly disconnected from the experience of average Americans. British Petroleum might as well have set off several mid-sized thermonuclear weapons. The Deepwater Horizon catastrophe wasn't terrorism, as such, because it wasn't intentional. But tell that to the victims.