Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oil Spill: What are We Thinking?

Excerpts from the article:

Missing the real drama of the Deepwater Horizon blowout

By Bill McKibben

Let’s think about the stories that are suggested by this trouble.

One has something to do with Peak Oil. BP has gone to all this trouble for a well that taps into what they now think may be 100 million barrels of oil. And that’s…5 days supply for the U.S? Does that give you any sense of the precariousness of the arrangements undergirding our economy right at the moment?

Another -- even more important -- has to do with global warming. Let’s assume that the oil from the Deepwater Horizon made it safely onshore and was refined and then burned in the gas tank of your car. What then? Well, the CO2 in the atmosphere would be doing at least as much damage as the oil spreading across the Gulf.

People are sad and bitter only in part because they see those pelicans oiled; mostly, they sense correctly that our leaders have yet to deal with what is clearly the biggest problem we face, the transition off of fossil fuel.

How out of balance with the natural world are we? And what would it require to get back in balance?

BP’s great victory will come if it need merely confess to technical overreach and pay a few billion in fines -- if that happens, it can get back to making serious money, and the planet can get back to burning.

Editorial Cartoon by Tom Toles:
Are we out of our minds?

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