By Betsy L. Angert
For more than a century, in unison, the planet’s population proclaimed, thankfully petroleum flows. Oil powers our machines. The refined product has helped us manufacture massive quantities of clothing, aluminum sheet, and photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. “Plastics.” As was professed in a popular film decades ago, “There’s a great future in plastics.” Presently, and in the past, BP understood this and much more. The company’s Executives knew petroleum could and would provide endless profits, power, and a perpetual presence.
Mother Earth’s Coffee was BPs Cream
One need only consider the pretty penny made ($9 Billion) on the sale of Innovene, or the big bucks BPs SPORT Polymer Cracking technology is expected to yield. Black Gold, Texas Teas, and Gulf Coast Coffee, arguably, have fostered the good life for Americans. Nothing has changed that truth; yet, recent events have tweaked perceptions.
Talk began in April, on the 20th to be exact. On that fateful day people began to recognize a shift in the wind, or more correctly in the seas. Waterways in the Gulf of Mexico filled with fuel. The flow seemed endless. Months later, the stream of crude has barely subsided. Many mused as the corporate slogan states, BP is “Beyond Petroleum.”
Today, millions, perchance billions, believe this company has operated beyond the reach of what were presumed to be regulations. Documents reveal that on countless occasions the oil giant violated government set standards . With “willful neglect of safety rules, and penalties for manipulating energy markets” British Petroleum moved forward with an unmistakable mission, profits at any price. Human and environmental tragedies were thought the cost of doing business. “Accidents” happen. People perish. Either or each is as milk spilled. A company, as conventional wisdom taught British Petroleum, cannot cry over spilled milk, coffee, or oil.
BP never has. Throughout their more than century long existence cruelty has characterized the corporations policies and practices. BP is not only Beyond Petroleum. This business is Beyond Belief.
Cravings Cut to Mother Earth’s Core
In 2010, as America and the world watches and waits for the calamity of an oil well gone awry to end, most wonder why, how, when, and where did BP go wrong? In actuality, the question is how, when, where, and why did people throughout the planet allow this to happen, over and over again until the scale of the calamity could not be controlled? Perchance, people on this planet collectively decided not to cry over earlier “spills.” For more than a century, we were satisfied with satiated gas tanks, and all the other products petroleum provides.
Try as we might to justify our shared gluttony, it is difficult to imagine that anyone could truly deny the human thirst for fossil fuels has led us down the path of destruction. We wanted Texas Tea, and what we now have is Gulf Coast Coffee.
People may wish to call what occurred a spill, and from what is read and heard in the Press, we do. Yet, no object dropped. No cup of oil can be turned upright. Indeed, the only splash or spatter seen was blood. We can safely say that life sustaining red fluid from human bodies was spilled. However, the oil that rushes from the ocean’s ground is another sort of bleed. The gusher from below is a hemorrhage. It is an uncontrollable surge of fluid. The oil that now fills the sea and covers the shores is the result of a puncture wound. Pierce an artery and the effect is the same.
Humans have purposely, physically hurt their Mother Earth and ultimately, themselves. We have done anything and everything to feed our addiction. People in the “civilized” world might be compared with any individual who desperately craves food, drink, or drugs. We will do what we must to satisfy our desires, regardless of the fact that our folly will injure another.
Thus, we drill hole after hole into our planet’s body. Not long ago, actually days before the Deepwater Horizon rig was ablaze, citizens in this country chanted, in chorus with the Obama Administration, “Drill Baby Drill.”
Even two months after the catastrophe, as a nation we advanced the theme, and happily arranged to act on ”Drill Baby Drill.” The difference is, today, we express a bit of concern for what might be, but only a bit.
To Clean, Wean, or Glean Greater Gulps of Coffee
Americans have begun to recognize the hazards of oil consumption. Still, very few think to immediately turn away from fossil fuels. Only some consider an authentic overall investment in renewable energy. The mantra of most is this must be a slow transition. President Obama speaks to the people’s preference. Gulf drilling only if we can ensure no more spills. Keep the coffee coming. Texas tea is more than a temptation. It is America’s source of elation. “Spills” can be sopped up. Well, sort of.
Conveniently, as addicts do, we rationalize. Several say we have begun to wean ourselves. Besides, in the past, we controlled the Earth’s hemorrhages, . . .or pretended to. Now we opportunely take no blame and call what has occurred a spill.
For so long we, just as British Petroleum, immersed ourselves in the “bliss” of ignorance. The “spilled milk” adage has been our aide. Thus, at present, we proudly search for solutions. BP too has embraced this tradition, although the company’s attempts to answer the call might be considered clumsy , comical., and call into question the term “sweet crude.”
Absolutely. Something must be done. We must find a way to stop the bleed. Bandages have proven to be inadequate. It has been confirmed; crafts and chemicals are calculated risks. Numerous persons recall their childhood. Mom’s tried and true traditional healing techniques were often the better cure to what ailed them. Yes. Scientists, Doctor Riki Ott among them, avow, there are natural common sense ways to clean and contain the flow that gushes from the Gulf floor. However, as is often observed, BP has adopted not one of these. In truth, the company dismissed all but four of the more than 35,000 ideas it received in the month of May. These scant treasures were only “tested.”
Also in May, a frantic Public Offered Ideas to Stop Oil Flow to the Government. These too were rejected. At the time, an Official said the US cannot take over cleanup duty. Let the coffee flow as we klatch, offered company Executives..
Small communities adopted some natural alternatives. The Obama Administration, which had relied solely on the vaunted wizardry of British Petroleum, has begun to be, ever so slightly, more engaged, However, spokespersons say the government is reliant on the company’s tools, technology and expert talent. Surely, it is evident; clean remediation is not BP’s standard. The petroleum profiteer prefers the use of toxic chemical solutions, even those banned by the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA].
People are frustrated, as the oil comes ashore. BPs Chief Executive Officer offers absurd analysis and silly statements. The beleaguered boss admits his job is on the line; however, he assesses the oil gusher and the gallons released into the wild as, “relatively tiny” compared with the “very big ocean”.
Many have wondered why we do not use hay, hair, and other natural fibers to, at least, capture some of the oil as it spouts. Limited supplies of one, fragility of the other, does not negate the truth as stated by Myron Sullivan II, founder of Global Response Group (GRG), a well known industry expert on oil spill responses. In an electronic mail message, he professed hay could be a good complement for other novel systems. Indeed, the GRG prospectus emphasizes that many existing oil spill response solutions could be used in combination with its technology to contain and remove oil spills. Indeed, hay, hair, or other natural forms for cleanup could compliment and harmonize with any safe and sane system.
While Mister Sullivan and his organization could realize capital gains if his own technological triumph was embraced, at least, for now, the creator of the AEROS system understands that biology works to benefit an ecosystem. Surely, any organic alternative would be better than the various poisonous, preposterous, BP funded fumbles and follies the public has seen.
At this moment in time, even a system such as AEROS is not an option. No tested technique, hair and hay amongst these, has been incorporated into the cleanup and containment. BP thinks it best to go it alone, to persuasively advertise, and advance only the message the company hopes will move the masses.
Dollars are not doled out to those whose lives have been destroyed. Almost none of the billions from profits have been spent to hasten the prospect of Gulf water purification. Nor has this cash and crude ravenous company donated dollars to other more sound endeavors. British Petroleum is too busy ravaging the environment and destroying economic stability.
Why? The answer is perhaps as illogical as the attempts to cap the huge hole BP bored into Mother Earth’s flesh. No matter what BP or other companies do, profits are the priority. BP only wishes to capture and resell the crude. Critters, communities . . . These are as spilled coffee. . . only a concern to the degree they might create a problem for BP.
References for a refinement of natural resources . . .
- Plastic. Fantastic. Frontiers. September 2001
- ARCO Aluminum, Incorporated.owned by BP.
- Sale of Innovene, BP Newsletter. Winter 2005
- New Plastics from Old; SPORT Polymer Cracking technology. BP Global. Frontiers 2004
- A Brief History of BP. By Ishaan Tharoor. Time. June 2, 2010
- Safety Violations and Fines Did Not Deter BP and Massey Disasters, By Joshua Frank. truthout. June 2, 2010
- Gilf of Mexico Oil Spill. Deepwater Horizon News. The New York Times.
- Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time, By John M. Broder. The New York Times. March 30, 2010
- Arctic Drilling Proposal Advanced Amid Concern, By William Yardley. The New York Times. May 19, 2010
- Public Offered Government Ideas to Stop Oil Flow. CBS News. May 6, 2010
- BPs The New York Times.
- BP kept using toxic chemical in Gulf despite EPA warning, By Raw Story. May 24, 2010
- Oil Hits Home, Spreading Arc of Frustration, By Campbell Robertson, Clifford Krauss and John M. Broder. The New York Times. May 24, 2010
- Tony Hayward’s greatest hits. By Benjamin Snyder. Cable News Network.June 10, 2010
- BP boss admits job on the line over Gulf oil spill, By Tim Webb. The Guardian. Friday May 14, 2010
- Oil Spill Update: Can Kevin Costner – Or Anyone Else – Clean Up this Mess? By Megan Harris. Faster Times. May 25, 2010
- Energy Outlook Offers Grim Fossil Fuel Forecast, By Melinda Burns. miller-mccune.com. June 10, 2010
- U.S. Energy Information Administration. International Energy Outlook 2010
- UPDATE 2-Obama: Gulf drilling only if ensure no more spills, By Matt Spetalnick. Reuters. May 22, 2010
- BP Suggestion Box Frustrating Companies, Not Cameron, Costner, By Pat Wechsler and John Lauerman. Business Week. June 2, 2010
- Official says US can’t take over cleanup duty,. By Greg Bluestein. Boston Globe. May 25, 2010
- Nelson: Obama should take over oil spill fix if BP attempt fails, By Michael O’Brien. The Hill. May 25, 2010
- BP summons more ships to capture spilled oil, By Brian Winter. USA Today. June 11, 2010
- BP Profits From Gulf Spill, By David Morse. Huffington Post. May 3, 2010
- BP to give revenue from spilled oil to wildlife fund, By Erika Bolstad. McClatchy Newspapers. June 8, 2010
copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org