Back in my SimCity Societies review I mentioned how one of the more disgusting things about the game was the blatant product placement by BP. How the more environmentally friendly power plants have the BP logo smeared all over them. Well as many may or may not be aware, recent events have caused me to look at that little game and notice how fucking ridiculous it is. I’m surprised they didn’t put the BP logo on a wildlife reserve while they were at it.
Yes, BP has officially destroyed the Gulf. It’s Armageddon for the coast, and the good news is if you’re planning a trip to the area: Congratulations, you won’t have to fight for space at the beach or resort because you’re the only one.
So what is going to happen? I don’t know. There’s talk of BP going bankrupt in the near future, which doesn’t surprise me. But one things for sure, things will change.
When I first heard about this disaster, word was it would take months to fix, which freaked me out at the time. I mean come on! Five thousand barrels (which would be around 800,000 litres) were spilling into the gulf each and every day. I knew the worst was coming. But I figured the problems would have been mitigated by the advanced oil clean up technology we have.
Our advanced oil clean up technology, it turns out is not that advanced, and it’s doing a lousy job of keeping the oil contained. It’s the same crap we’ve been using for decades, and apparently this is not the first time an oil well starting gushing thousands of barrels into the sea…I mean the Gulf of Mexico.
What is wrong with us? The solutions we have for containing oil spills and plugging up oil wells are over thirty fucking years old, you’d think we would have some advancements. But if you really think about it, it shouldn’t surprise anyone. Oil companies, like any company, are in business to make money, so why would they invest in oil spill clean up technology when it won’t help them get more oil. It will only help them prevent the local ecosystem from being slaughtered.
Not that there is anything wrong with being motivated by profit. But I would have thought they would invest in oil clean up technology for the same reason one would by car insurance. It probably won’t benefit you, but it’s a good idea to have in case the shit hits the fan. Which is why I’m glad BP might end up bankrupt. It should put the fear of god in the other oil companies and get them to clean up their act, so they invest in researching oil clean up technologies, that way next time shit like this happens they won’t take months to stop the spill and clean up the oil.
However it’s not just the lack of research into oil clean up technologies that piss me off, it’s the overall handling of the situation.
Okay, so you fucked up and spilled thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Perhaps this could have been prevented if you kept closer check on your safety regulations, but hindsight being 20/20, let’s forget about that. What’s done is done, now we need to fix the damage. So our technology isn’t all that advanced. Neither was MacGyver’s and look what he accomplished! We can clean this shit up using what we have. We are humans! We are intelligent, we are resourceful and we can do anything!
Assuming we actually do it correctly.
First off, there’s the horrible media relations, with what seems to be BP’s attempts to cover up the whole event. Failing to realize that an oil rig blew up and the resulting gusher in the middle of the motherfucking Gulf made international headlines.
Of course it’s possible they are simply trying to cover-up the resulting ecological damage and hope the biologists who study this shit write off the mysterious drop in sea-bird and mammal population as just a coincidence.
You can’t cover up ecological damage of this magnitude. All you can do is say, yes, there will be some ecological damage, and we will do our best to fix it. Cover-ups make you look like a five-year old who tries to hide a broken glass vase by shoving it under the couch…GUILTY! I got news for you BP. A small mea culpa can go a long way, and it would go even farther if you made an effort to actually clean up the Gulf.
This company apparently can’t do anything right. I once heard an explanation of the concept of choking under pressure, and I gotta think that’s exactly what they’re doing. Instead of just doing what is right, what most would just do without really thinking about it, they are over-thinking, trying to make themselves look the best while saving the most money, and looking worse while losing customers, and their associated money, because of it.
You know, I have an idea on how to prevent this kind of shit from happening in the future. Next time a major corporation fucks the environment like this, instead of letting them clean it up themselves, the military is brought in to do the work, who sends the corporation a bill. That way we would know they are putting in their best effort, and we would get the media in to cover the clean up effort and show how hard they are working.
I know why the government let BP run the clean up operation, because the conservatives would have cried out that this is government sticking it’s nose in where it doesn’t need to be, and there’s the idea that because it’s their mess, they should clean it up. Well, I’m sorry for thinking that someone who knows what the fuck they’re doing should be in charge of such a crucial operation, and the government’s nose does belong there, because it’s public land…water…I think…in the Gulf of Mexico. Crisis situations like this are one of the few situations where I would insist the government take action.
Some may say the government is incompetent, that they can’t do anything. Look at Amtrak, or the postal service or (if you’re Canadian) hospitals, they all suck. Well yes, the government has sucked at those…in a way. I’ve had packages lost or ruined. My college diploma ended up getting wet and folded in half because of the friggen postman. Also, waiting three hours in the emergency room when you’re in searing pain from a urinary tract infection is frustrating to say the least. Especially when you are quickly transferred to non-urgent care which is ironically faster. Do they not know what urgent means?
Well anyway, despite that, I would trust those who are motivated by public opinion and votes, more than I would trust those motivated by profits and stock prices. True their stock prices would go down with public opinion, that’s generally how the free market works, but that’s an indirect motivation. They are motivated by profit above all else, and I simply don’t trust an entire ecosystem to the profit motive.
But what bugs me the most about this disaster is not BP’s response, which is abhorrent, but the reaction from, as Bill O’Reilly would call them, the left-wing loons, specifically the left-wing environmentalist loons. The video I cited above and will cite again now is apparently meant to be taken as a microcosm of the entire gulf. Which I will buy. But I do think it’s possible that they simply found the one island that was in the worst situation and filmed only that one, because that’s what it looks like. Anyway, that’s irrelevant. What pisses me off is how it ends, with the presenter saying the lesson we should learn from the Deepwater Horizon spill is: We should end oil production all together and the only reason we haven’t switched to more “sustainable” forms of energy is because we are lazy.
Okay, two things: Firstly, I don’t think I have ever heard someone say an entire industry needs to be abolished because of one major disaster. I don’t remember anyone suggesting the airline industry be abolished after 9/11, and there have been many mining disasters, cave-ins where miners are trapped, died, no one suggested we ban all mining. So, why would they suggest we ban oil production? That doesn’t sound like a reasonable response. Secondly…lazy? You think the only reason we haven’t switched to solar power, wind power etc…is because we’re lazy? Yeah, that’s not oversimplifying the issue.
First off, they don’t provide enough power. It would be great if we could generate enough electricity to power all our technology with wind or solar, but that currently isn’t the case, at least as far as I know. I mean it could possibly power a residential neighbourhood, but what about factories, local businesses, they use much more power for lighting, climate control, shit like that. Power from these things is intermittent at best. Then there is the fact that we don’t have the resources to build enough windmills and photovoltaics to power the continent. Don’t forget, every citizen of the United States owes $43,000 as part of the $13 trillion national debt and Canadians owe $15,000 as part of our half-trillion-dollar debt. As I said before nuclear power seems to be the best option, but people get into a tizzy about that all the time because of safety concerns. Because after all, windmills are 100% safe.
Oh…right… Imagine that happened to a windmill over a residential area. Don’t tell me windmills are completely safe. Now it’s true this is probably an isolated incident and most are a lot safer. But that’s my point. If you can point at a few nuclear disasters and tell me it’s not safe, I can say the same about windmills. The CANDU reactor is the safest in the industry. Chernobyl’s reactor was cobbled together from spare parts.
I wish we could completely dump oil. But if we want to maintain our way of life—and we do—we need to keep it in our lives…at least in the short-term. Untill we find the resources and technology to get off the oil tit. So right now, instead of telling us to just do it, why not tell us to start investing in alternative energy research first and go from there.