Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

13 June 2010

Boycott BP: ARE YE NUTS?!

I understand everyone’s anger at BP. I get it. We see the Big, Bad Foreign Company that is befouling our environment. We see the unstoppable oil spewing from the well. We see their flippant CEO making inappropriate comments on TV. It just pisses us off.

I also see a growing movement to boycott BP. And to this I ask: WHAT ARE YOU IDIOTS THINKING?!

We need BP to be healthy and strong. We need this so BP can continue to pay for the cleanup, and to compensate those people and businesses that have been harmed by BP’s actions. We do NOT need BP filing bankruptcy, washing their hands of this whole deal and walking away.

If you want to be angry at someone/something, let’s be angry at ourselves. Other countries have stricter safety standards for offshore drilling than the U.S. We're the ones who drive gas-guzzling SUV's instead of a Toyota Prius (I'm guilty here). We're the ones with the instatiable need for oil and the products that come from it. We, the people have allowed our government to allow companies to drill for this oil “out there.”

We act like there’s some huge barrier between the Louisiana waters and the Florida waters. Or that the "Louisiana oil industry" is a million miles away. Or that a "deepwater" well must be really far out there...like down by Mexico probably! Only now we realize just how close Louisiana’s “deepwater” drilling industry is to Florida.

It is only 110 miles from Pensacola Pass (1) to MC252 (2), the location of the Deepwater Horizon rig. Not very far. And today Pensacola Pass will be shut down and boomed-up during incoming tides, as there are large amounts of oil all along the gulf coast, ready to come into our inlets and bays with the tidal flow. More and more oil is washing up on our beaches. Large underwater plumes have been sighted just offshore, despite BP CEO Tony Hayward’s contention that they do not exist. What started out as a small amount of tarballs has become something quite a bit larger. As we knew it would.

These containment booms are not 100% effective. They are certainly not effective at preventing the passage of oil that is not on the surface. They do not work well in rough, choppy water where they are easily topped.

And, in today’s Pensacola News Journal there is a story that some boaters, eager to get out and exercise their God-given right to enjoy their boats, have driven right over these containment booms and damaged them. Authorities are considering criminal charges…as soon as they figure out just what they could charge these boaters with.

It is a horrible situation. Here on the gulf coast, many of our lives have been changed in a very profound and negative way as we deal with this oil. This event will not be over quickly. Even after BP eventually caps that well, the oil will not simply stop. I suspect that tarballs will be washing up on our shores for a very long time to come. It’s enough to make you fighting mad.

But calling for a boycott of BP products is not in anyone’s best interest. We need BP to stick around and clean this up.

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