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In the Boston Globe's "Big Picture" this week: A series of heartbreaking images by AP Photographer Charlie Riedel of seabirds caught in the oil slick on a beach on Louisiana's East Grand Terre Island. This is just the beginning of the destruction, and of the suffering and death for all manner of living things in the region. F*ck you, BP.

72 Responses to “Birds drenched in oil from BP spill: photo gallery”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think BP should be disassembled and all assets confiscated to use to pay to fix this mess, and if anything is left over it should be used for research grants into renewable energy. I know BP is a British based corp, but I have spoken to many brits about this and they don’t have a problem with the idea.

  2. johntheobscure says:

    And how many of you will stop driving?

    You wring your hands over oil on a pelican, but blithely spew out its burnt remains into your neighbors’ lungs and the entire sky every day.

    BP is a bastion of morality by comparison to its pseudo-environmentalist customers. At least the corporation is open about its greed and laziness.

    • Anonymous says:

      Justice fail. When its pseudo-environmentalist customers have a viable transportation alternative, and BP doesn’t recklessly cut corners for profit, you might have a point. Until then, quit trying to pin crimes on people you don’t like, and actually look at who’s responsible.

  3. LongFlight says:

    Maybe it is wishful thinking that simply riding my bike 2 miles to work in the searing Texas heat will make a difference. Maybe it’s crazy to think that if I stop buying needless crap, I might have an impact. Maybe I’m delusional in thinking that changes to my diet and where I buy my food from will make a difference. Maybe I’ve gone mad for thinking that there’s something we can do, that we’re not just innocent bystanders, that we share responsibility, that I can make a change long-term by the way I build my business and live my life.

    I’m sure no one from BP will be prosecuted for criminal negligence. I’m sure no one in our government will be prosecuted for making safety concessions for BP. It’s just the way it’s always been. I don’t expect THEM to change. I know I can though.

    My grandfather once told me a story about a kid throwing washed up starfish back into the ocean along a beach miles full of starfish, one starfish at a time…. Some of us see the fruitless nature of trying to make a difference. Others realize that we can fight this one starfish at a time.

    It doesn’t take much.

    And yes, F*ck BP.

    • N3OX says:

      “Maybe it is wishful thinking that simply riding my bike 2 miles to work in the searing Texas heat will make a difference. Maybe it’s crazy to think that if I stop buying needless crap, I might have an impact. Maybe I’m delusional in thinking that changes to my diet and where I buy my food from will make a difference” It’s important to keep something in mind when you’re riding a bike (which I do too), buying less crap, and eating locally. How much population would we have to shed or how much legitimate standard of living would we have to give up for *everyone* to do that? That’s not an important question for you and me right now, because we all know that there are a lot of people who could never be convinced to make that kind of change.

      But imagine everyone was magically compliant to whatever improvements we might suggest. Can we feed everyone? Can we employ them? The answer is not always “no” but we need to be careful when we’re talking about thinking the problem will be solved with individual life choices that on the small scale are good ideas. They make us feel good (and maybe make us healthier and happier too). But if everyone was a local-eating, bicycling, useless-junk-avoiding person, would that solve the problem? Energy is important. Energy is important to a lot of the good and wonderful things that human beings can do. The more energy we have, the more we can do.

      We shouldn’t be wasteful of that energy. We need to rethink where we get it when we’re doing massive damage to our environment to get it. But I’m not so sure we can end up slashing our usage to a tiny fraction of what we’re using without ultimately cutting too deep into all the GOOD stuff we do with it. So until we can replace every non-wasted Joule of oil energy with a Joule of “other energy” we’ll still have some sort of problem. Part of that is to cut the waste. I think ***short*** bike commutes probably help that, even with the massive inefficiencies of turning food energy into mechanical energy using a cyclist.

      Not everything works out like that… probably even medium range transportation. And while it’s nice to imagine a local-eating, bike-riding densely-populated needless-crap-free utopia based on how happy you are as a local eating bike rider, I think the reality would be disappointing.

      With clean cheap energy, we could still deliver massive quantities of food (maybe food that was of vastly higher quality and less damaging to the environment) to a large population who lived where they wished. Cutting out all the waste is a worthy goal but beyond that we should be looking to INCREASE the amount of available energy while making it clean and safe for everyone, including the poor birds :(

      We all know humans are not inherently self-sacrificing, and I think it’s silly to hope they would be. My bike commute is MUCH more pleasant than driving 90% of the time. Eating locally and thinking about your food probably means you get nicer food that actually makes you feel physiologically better much of the time. Those aren’t sacrifices, they’re improvements. But cutting our **energy usage** enough to cut out oil entirely right now would mean major, serious, sacrifice for almost everyone. We need to work out the replacement energy, and quick. But we have to replace it.

  4. bkad says:

    I DO hate BP. British Petroleum fucked over the country of Iran bigtime via their pressure on the U.S. to have Iran’s first and only democratically elected civil leader (Mohammed Mosaddeq) be assassinated by the American CIA.

    This is the first I’ve heard of this. Maybe I’ll read more, and reconsider my sentiment. Though your post is a little bit too emotional to be convincing. :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    “BP’s and the MMS’s executives should clean this birds themselves, with their hands.”

    maybe that would be a punishment for Bp, but also a punishment for the birds. i can imagine very good how this would look like.

    “what? the bird is dead? yeah right, you said ‘clean it’, it’s clean now, after i washed them in my washing machine. damn activists, not easy to be pleased”

  6. pAULbOWEN says:

    Oh boohoo, we got oil on our beach because of those wicked BPs who made us love gorging on cheap oil so much! Waah! Bad BP!

    Grow the fuck up, then go tell Iraq about how much America has suffered for America’s addiction to cheap oil. Fucking idiots.

  7. Anonymous says:

    British Petroleum isn’t going to pay for a god damn thing except public relations and advertising campaigns (and maybe a few well timed political contributions). BP has only one concern – the continued profitability of BP. They couldn’t care less about a few dead turtles and oily birds, except for the way it affects their bottom line. If they did, they would have taken the necessary precautionary steps to prevent this disaster in the first place.

    Fuck BP. And while we’re at it, fuck the rest of corporate America, including the government it pays for.

  8. Anonymous says:

    OMG it’s like something out of H.P. Lovecraft. The long term impact will be staggering.

  9. gravytop says:

    The point is made above, but can not be made enough. The last time you took a car for an out of town trip, when you could have taken the train; the last time you drove to a destination in town, when you could have taken a bus or bicycle or (!) walked; the last time you did each of these things was the last time you again made a decision to be complicit in this kind of disaster, to place your personal comfort and convenience above the values that you may now claim to hold sacrosanct. Cursing and shaking your fist at the bad guys now doesn’t absolve you of responsibility, it just makes you feel a little better without any valid reason to.

  10. Anonymous says:

    its heartbreaking to follow this story, but american oil companys have been poisoning south america, africa and other countries for decades now…. hope this disaster will wake americans up to how people lives elsewhere because of their thirst for oil and greed for cash

    • Cicada says:

      Giving a damn about what happens to you makes you give a damn about what happens to other people? Hello, and welcome to our planet– I see that you are new here and unfamiliar with our customs…

  11. Anonymous says:

    this is easily the worst part of the oil spill, my heart ackes when i look at these.

  12. pyster says:

    Cant I say that what I really find offensive is the “F*ck you”. This is a clearly a time when polite language is uncalled for.

  13. 1MacGeek says:

    How many of you have taken the time from your rush to judgment to ask why that particular rig was parked where it was?

    Anyone? Buhler? Buhler?

    The Deepwater Horizon was stationed about 41 miles off shore in about a mile of water because environmentalists objected to it being placed 10 – 20 miles off shore in about 500 feet of water. The main reasoning was to avoid the precise environmental catastrophe which happened. The problem was and is that we didn’t have, and still do not have, the technology to repair a damaged well in 5,000 + feet of water. Repairing a well in 500 feet of water is an afterthought. So the evidence shows this spill would have been a minor one lasting no more than 48 hours except for the actions of overzealous environmentalists.

    So do the environmentalists not bear at least some of the burden right along with BP?

    Does Congress not bear some of the burden right along with BP and the Environmentalists for not asking if we had the tech to fix a problem in a mile of water instead of rubber-stamping what the enviros wanted? Do they not also belong in jail for being asleep at the switch?

    Do the regulators who let the BP safety equipment fall into disrepair not deserve to be in jail right beside everyone from BP you have already convicted?

    I think this should be the moment to confront the environmentalist movement and get them to commit to tapping energy resources in a sane, scientifically-sound method where the damage to the environment is minimized should something go wrong. In short, we should get them to sit down and shut up about every single move we make. And we should take a second look at what they have to say since they were so wrong on this call.

    As it stands, environmentalists have shut down numerous land-based oil-drilling operations and we should take another look at them in the light of this tragedy. We have proven we don’t have the tech or the ability to stop a disaster one mile down in the ocean, so perhaps it is time we revisit sea level and above.

    • proletariat says:

      environmentalists . . . overzealous environmentalists . . . environmentalists . . . Environmentalists . . . enviros . . . environmentalist movement . . . environmentalists

      Did the environmentalist touch you in your swimsuit area? Show me on the oil-soaked pelican where the environmentalist touched you. It’s okay. We’re all friends here. The environmentalist can’t hurt you anymore.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think this should be the moment to confront the environmentalist movement and get them to commit to tapping energy resources in a sane, scientifically-sound method where the damage to the environment is minimized should something go wrong.

      There were already measures that BP could have taken to prevent this incident, and they didn’t because it would have cut into their profits, and the government wasn’t going to make them. They were actually lobbying the Canadian government not to make them take those measures when they drill in the Arctic.

      And you want to blame the environmentalists for making this hard to fix? Hey, anything is better than faulting industry, right?

    • ill lich says:

      Hogwash. If we drill in all those “safer” places you want, we will eventually tap out all the oil there, and so we will be in the deep Gulf of Mexico eventually anyway. If Exxon finds oil in your backyard would you be willing to let them lease (but not buy) your yard to drill? National parks are every American citizen’s backyard, it’s land held in the public interest, and shouldn’t be sold out for some mega-corporation to make a buck.

      You know what environmentalists really want? Clean energy. They have pushed for wind and solar for decades, they have wanted electric cars for years and Detroit won’t give them to us (it took the Japanese to finally start producing them.) Environmentalists have even started to come around on nuclear energy, realizing it’s the lesser of two evils when compared to global warming.

      Yes, environmentalists wanted to avoid this type of disaster, so the rig was put farther out to sea, and BP assured us they could do it safely, then they cut corners to save money. BP has a long history of safety violations, hundreds of times greater than any other big oil company, and you want to blame environmentalists?!

    • pmocek says:

      1MacGeek wrote, “The Deepwater Horizon was stationed about 41 miles off shore in about a mile of water because environmentalists objected to it being placed 10 – 20 miles off shore in about 500 feet of water.”

      That only makes sense if the offshore drilling had to happen one way or another, which is not the case.

      “The reason your kid burned your shed down was that you objected to him lighting fires inside your house.”

      “The reason the dog was eating your shoe was that your wife objected to him chewing on the table leg.”

  14. Mister N says:

    BP’s and the MMS’s executives should clean this birds themselves, with their hands. Will they be prosecuted for all this ?. In theory, if you destroy property you’re liable..and this is just the beginning of the destruction caused by their stupidity, negligence and lack of empathy.

    hmm..it seems they match the sociopath profile.

    • Trent Hawkins says:

      I think the plan is to make them pay compensation for businesses and people directly affected by the spill and then cover the cost of the cleanup.

      • Sagodjur says:

        What do you put in the “Pay to the order of” field when you’re writing a check to entirety of the population that will ever visit the Gulf of Mexico?

  15. Stefan Jones says:

    Don’t think of it as birds dying in toxic, suffocating oil. Look on it happy wildlife frolicking in delicious chocolate syrup!

    There, doesn’t that make you feel better?

  16. LongFlight says:

    “F*ck you, BP”? F*ck us! How many of us have curbed our thirst for oil since this story broke weeks ago? Anyone start taking their bike to work? Anyone cut back on their summer road trip plans? This is OUR responsibility.

    No demand = no supply.

    • hijukal says:

      Isn’t oil used to make many of the components in your bike? If you’re wearing any polyester or acrylic today that’s made of plastic… which uses oil. And let’s not get started on the oil in the computers we’re using to air our outrage at BP.

    • calvert4096 says:

      @LongFlight
      Yes, and didn’t have any. How about you?

    • soongtype says:

      It’s near impossible to live in this country without using oil. I don’t own a car, I depend on my bike for transportation. Where did the steel used to make my bike come from? How was it turned into a bike? How did the food that I power my body with reach my kitchen table?

      Considering my bike is from 1971 and that it has served many owners during it’s life while still remaining in working order, I know it’s a fairly green mode of transportation, but there is still an environmental cost.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      Anyone start taking their bike to work? Anyone cut back on their summer road trip plans?

      Actually, yeah. I began riding a bike heavily a couple months ago, partly because of the realization that my choices are connected to this. In June, I pledged to use my bike as my primary transport mode every day of this month, to see how far I could go with that. And I’m making other lifestyle changes, too. Plan to document some of that here.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        I drive less than 1,000 miles per year. Of course, I work about 18 inches from my bed.

      • thefil says:

        I don’t think Longflight is accusing anyone specifically, but rather everyone collectively. The point is that all of us have some degree of responsibility (and kudos to those who are trying to reduce their personal share), and that the blame cannot be put solely on BP here – there was a reason they were drilling in dangerous conditions, and as time went on and consumer demand stayed constant a disaster was an inevitability.

        All we can hope for is that this mistake does not resolve by a scapegoat being made of BP, but rather with high-level governmental reforms to energy policy in conjunction with personal changes in lifestyle.

    • danma says:

      Because of the realization that our automobile usage is the reason this well existed in the first place, I began riding part of the way to work and hopefully will work up to the whole distance. I also started a vegetable garden in my back yard.

      I realize that these steps aren’t going to make me oil free but every step taken is a step forward.

    • Anonymous says:

      And of course, the idea of drilling with actually safety measures in place is inconceivable. The BP apologists on Fox News are right about one thing: either we accept such incidents, or we give up on oil entirely.

      No. The desire for cheap energy may be part of this; but the break-down of regulations, the desire of oil companies to maximize profits and externalize costs, are too. Nobody forced them to be prepared.

      I am sick of people so anxious to blame our dysfunctional society that they will give the criminal negligence of this disaster a pass. Yes we should curb our consumption, but BP did this by ignoring what should be common precautions, and they and everyone who does likewise should be ground into dust.

  17. Brainspore says:

    Even if they get cleaned off most of those birds are among the walking (flopping?) dead. Which probably makes the efforts of the people who try to rescue them even more depressing.

  18. benher says:

    What free market apologist can say with a straight face that writing some checks could fix this.

    Also, for what it’s worth, fuck what Sarah Palin thinks about offshore drilling… Or about anything for that matter. In fact, does it even matter what anyone including myself thinks about BP, sea birds, or energy consumption anymore?

    We’ve all gone too far this time – it’s irreversible and there is no going back. We will never invent ourselves out of the energy crisis and even with a massive die-off we will not invent ourselves out of this global environmental disaster.

  19. Anonymous says:

    At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot…
    Why don’t animals avoid the spill? Can they? I’m not understanding how it’s affecting the birds and fish. I get the ocean floor part, but (again at the risk of sounding stupid) can’t the birds see it and not dive in it? Can’t the fish swim around it? Please be gentle with me. I’m not trying to blame the animals here, I just honestly don’t know.

  20. SHIFT_Ctrl says:

    I’ve heard BP are going into the fried food market maybe they could use their latest product to deep fry all the fauna they are killing off. BP Sunflower Oil

  21. JGB says:

    Making them pay is a JOKE.

    That gets passed onto the consumer.

    Hard jail time for crimes against society.

  22. ill lich says:

    I wonder if Rand Paul thinks it was un-American for the Globe to publish these photos.

    I wonder if Limbaugh sticks by his assertion that “oil is as natural as the ocean” and nature will take care of it.

    I wonder if Sarah Palin knows that the oil from the Exxon Valdez is still polluting the shores of her home state, more than 10 years later.

    I wonder if congress and the President will actually do anything to prevent this kind of disaster once it has passed from the public consciousness.

    I wonder if there will ever be an electric car I can afford, and the infrastructure to support the common use of electric vehicles.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if Rand Paul thinks it was un-American for the Globe to publish these photos.

      – F ‘em

      I wonder if Limbaugh sticks by his assertion that “oil is as natural as the ocean” and nature will take care of it.

      – Oil is natural just like tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc.

      I wonder if Sarah Palin knows that the oil from the Exxon Valdez is still polluting the shores of her home state, more than 10 years later.

      – I wonder if she knows anything

      I wonder if congress and the President will actually do anything to prevent this kind of disaster once it has passed from the public consciousness.

      – I wonder if the public will let it pass from it’s consciousness

      I wonder if there will ever be an electric car I can afford, and the infrastructure to support the common use of electric vehicles.

      – All cars made after 1980′s, and especially electric cars have more long life toxic components in them then any oil spill has to date. Sad but true. Electric cars aren’t numerous enough to be threatening now, but replace every gas car with one and you’ve just doubled your long term environmental pollution.

  23. agraham999 says:

    You can point the finger at us all you want, but the reality isn’t just our own consumption but the fact that we’ve not had a real energy policy for over 30 years. I do seem to recall a peanut farmer from Georgia who tried to get this country on a path to renewable energy and less oil consumption.

    Seems I recall after he lost the election the next guy ripped the solar panels off the White House and from then on it was all oil all the time.

    This can’t be done only by not driving…there has to be a serious government policy that pushes alternative energies…capitalism alone will not change us while there is still some of that crude in the ground.

    The fact that Drill Baby Drill Palin (ahem) is actually blaming environmentalist for this disaster just goes to show you we’re no where near people getting real about this shit…and until they do…

    we’re doomed.

  24. VagabondAstronomer says:

    This is a huge problem, and there is no easy solution.
    Here in Florida, too many communities have been built around the notion of cheap oil. Many cities and towns here (and in other states) have neighborhoods many kilometers/miles from centers of business and retail. For a long time local zoning laws actually enforced this model; businesses and retail were located here while residential areas there, and often times the distance between them is many kilometers/miles. Public transportation in most of Florida (and here, I’m mainly referring to that state within a state, North Florida) is horrid, with routes that make the most economic sense… for the local governments. Cutting back on oil for many of us here in the northern part of the state is an art. It can be done, mind you, but it takes a lot of planning. Urban planning here in north Florida was built around the automobile (not as much South Florida; we’re the only state in the Union where the further south you go the further north you get, and many of the residents in that portion of the state come from backgrounds where mixed use was the norm).
    If, as it has been suggested many times, we simply tack an additional $.10 per gallon onto gasoline, we would begin to effect the oil consumption habits of the average American. As previously mentioned, we get less than 10% of our oil from offshore drilling. However, overall the US still consumes five times more oil than any other country per capita. Our problem is very deep, intrinsic. Carter tried, but that was a whole generation ago.
    We need to change. F*ck us indeed.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I tried warning people about BP last year and they all buried their heads in the sand. You can follow the links to “I told you so” and see the emails that were sent. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bpbitesagain/

  26. Cicada says:

    Okay, I’ll be the odd man out here on the other side of this– I know full well that I enjoy the oil-heavy lifestyle. I enjoy it more than I enjoy pelicans, or shrimp, or beaches or fishermen. So if it’s a choice between cheap oil and a healthy environment, I’ll take the oil.
    I know that has a hell of a lot of negative consequences…but I prefer them to the available alternatives. Give me a battery that works as well as a tank of gas and I’ll take it…but until then, I’ll take the gas.

  27. Manooshi says:

    Wow. These pics make me break down and cry.

    BP is probably not going to be able to cap the leak. The oil is shooting out at over 6,000 PSI. I think that’s equivalent to a few hundred thousands of atmospheric pressure units. I was talking to my dad about it who has a PhD in engineering, and he said that most likely the oil is just going to keep going until it all runs out. If so, it will probably be a few hundred years before the eco-system recovers – with some species of life – whether land, air, or sea – maybe lost to extinction. Major bummer.

    FUCK YOU, BP!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Please can someone answer #7′s questions. I’m with him, I think the whole situation is fucked up, but I want to understand the science of why the pelicans don’t just leave… Anyone have any ideas?

    • Anonymous says:

      The pelicans, like all sea birds, are homing brirds. The fly from A to B every year and hunt at C, D and E. They will continue to keep coming back there, becuase that is where they were born, and that it where they have always gone too. If our house burns down, you dont just go to another house, you go back there first, see what the damage is, then go somewhere else. They didnt know the oil was there, and so they landed. And the ones that are soaked in it will probably die, and there for not be able to go live somewhere else. It takes the parent bird to teach the baby, and if no parents survive, then the babies wont learn. This will wipe out all of the animals that call that area home. Here is hoping that BP will be paying for this massive loss in life.

    • uricacid says:

      re: #7 and #17, why don’t the birds avoid the spill

      I would assume that it’s that they don’t have the cognitive ability to see that the water looks funny and then reason it out that maybe they shouldn’t hang around? i.e. how the hell would a pelican know that it shouldn’t dive through that?

      also the fact that it’s miles and miles and miles and miles of oil everywhere can’t help.

  29. Anonymous says:

    hey, wait, I don’t love consuming oil, I just need transportation, and a car was the only feasible option for me, in a modern society that is being manipulated by oil companies. I would buy an electric car.

  30. agraham999 says:

    My wife and I both work at home. We have one car. Two years ago I made a conscious decision to limit how much plastic I consume. Garbage bags are made of corn. Compost almost all food. No plastic shopping bags for years. Only have one trash bag every two weeks. Grow food, Have Chickens. Conserve energy. Buying a classic Porsche to convert to electric for our daily car.

    But again…no real leadership from Washington…then no real change. Government has to back this to make it a reality. Simple tax credits don’t cut it when it costs $40k in solar panels to get off grid and even with tax incentives I can’t see a ROI on them over their lifetime. Hard for me to make that investment when it also won’t increase the value of my home that much.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @agraham, that is both righteous and fascinating. Have you blogged about it at all, or otherwise publicly shared documentation of your lifestyle change?

      • agraham999 says:

        I work for Discovery’s Planet Green and TreeHugger properties. I also created Discovery’s music site, Instrumental (facilitate change through music) http://planetgreen.discovery.com/feature/instrumental/.

        While I was already starting to curb my appetites and change behaviors about 4 years ago, it was laser focused after the past 2.5 years at D…you read it and work with people every day who are walking the walk…so you find ways to change your own lifestyle. Plus I grew up on a farm and I have really been missing the simplicity of that lifestyle.

        I’m not perfect and our lifestyle of far from living in a cave, but a far as I’ve gone (including spending hundreds of dollars on LED lights, a $400 smart thermostat, and cutting vampire devices), I realize that even I have limits that I’m hitting because I simply can’t afford to go further.

        I’d love to go all eco-off-the-grid, and we’ll be converting an old Porsche to electric (if it is going to last forever you might as well drive a classic)…but without real change from the top up…I don’t see how we’ll get past where we are.

        America needs to wake the fuck up and get real.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Right on Long Flight #4!

    We all have a share in the blame for this mess, not just BP. So f*ck ourselves too, for buying and using petroleum products from any producer.

  32. Trotsky says:

    I’ve been bike-only for five years. You just have to walk away and decide to not be an apologist and collaborator in the destruction of our biosphere.

    Many raise the zero sum false dilemma that unless one COMPLETELY eschews petroleum, their actions are useless, or hypocritical. That’s absurd. One does not have to choose between living in a cave or consuming an ocean of petroleum in wild excess.

    We can be smarter, reduce our consumption dramatically, still use petroleum, and improve living conditions for all organisms.

    I blame BP, but it’s more accurate to say that the blame originates with each of us. BP may be in the business of selling crack, but they wouldn’t have a business without base heads like us trying to exchange food stamps for just one more hit.

  33. Trotsky says:

    Those birds are soaked because each of us consumes two gallons of petroleum each time we take a trip to Starbuck’s to buy a cookie and a delicious frappuccino.

    Most people drive because they’re bored. Or lazy. We invent insignificant make-busy chores or errands just to feel like we are doing SOMETHING.

    “Gotta go buy thumbtacks at Staples.” “Gotta get butter for my toast.” “Gotta drive down to the gas station to put air in my bike tires.” “Need to buy a book.” “Need to get $20 out of the ATM.”

    It’s all so important, isn’t it?

    Most of the things we do each day serve no practical purpose whatsoever.

  34. Andre' says:

    Most people want to do the right thing. It is the greedy few, like BP CEO Tony Hayward for one, that care only about money and “the bottom line”, and profit from keeping things the way are – our dependence on oil.

    If you really care, start emailing our congressmen about moving away from our dependence on oil. We need an aggressive campaign for alternative fuels and research.

    Nothing is going to change unless you, we, all demand change!

    If this Gulf of Mexico disaster isn’t enough impetus, nothing is.

    It is the greedy few that truly profit by keeping things as they are, not the many.

  35. pinehead says:

    The only thing that’s worse than those creatures’ painful deaths is knowing that those responsible won’t be punished. They may sacrifice a couple of low-level regional managers, but the ones really responsible won’t suffer at all. They’ll wipe their brows, laugh it off and take another vacation.

    If it was up to me, every single person who had a hand in this disaster would be put to death. Don’t forget, too, that we’ve lost human lives in all this, as well. Those poor guys working on the platform when it blew were the first to go. Now we get to watch the fruits of corporate negligence grow, blighting hundreds of miles of sea and coastal ecosystems. For all that death and misery they made for the world, they will receive no punishment whatsoever. Nothing. It’s enough to make a person sick to their stomach, half out of disgust and half out of anger.

  36. Anonymous says:

    The pelicans are not leaving because they do not want to abandon their nests.

  37. bkad says:

    All we can hope for is that this mistake does not resolve by a scapegoat being made of BP, but rather with high-level governmental reforms to energy policy in conjunction with personal changes in lifestyle.

    High level and low level reforms, and then we’re closer to my position. I don’t think hating on BP is productive. It’s not like they’re some evil company from the “Captain Planet” cartoons. They made some mistakes and took some shortcuts, but nothing outrageous — it’s the outcome that was outrageous. To say in other words, innocent in intent, guilty in result. Therefore preventing these mistakes and shortcuts in the future (perhaps by new laws, or more frequent inspections, who knows) is much more useful than trying to punish BP.

    I don’t hate BP. I feel sorry for them. I hope they can come out of this, and that as a result of this tragedy all of us (industry, government, citizens) can work together to prevent these things in the future.

    • Manooshi says:

      I DO hate BP. British Petroleum fucked over the country of Iran bigtime via their pressure on the U.S. to have Iran’s first and only democratically elected civil leader (Mohammed Mosaddeq) be assassinated by the American CIA. (No, I’m not from Iran.) Why did BP want the CIA to forcibly remove from power Iran’s first chance at civil democracy? Because the FIRST thing Mosaddeq did upon being elected as Prime Minister was kick BP the fuck out of Iran and nationalize Iranian oil to be owned and controlled by Iranians themselves, instead of BP and BP’s imposed king (“Shah” in Farsi).

      About 100 years ago, the first British-created king/Shah of Iran had been an illiterate low-level army officer who was happy to suddenly be made “king” for a mere 15% cut of Iranian oil profits, while letting BP enjoy the remainder 85% of the profits. A few decades later or so, after many Iranian protests at the BP oil refineries in Iran (which were the largest in the world at the time, sound familiar?) the people of Iran democratically VOTED IN the PM, Mohammed Mosaddeq, and unseated the British created Shah. In 1953, two years after being in office, and kicking BP out of Iran, and nationalizing Iranian oil– due to British pressure, the CIA forcibly re-instated a ruthless king/Shah again (this time the previous Shah’s son) after assassinating Mosaddeq, to keep Iranian oil under Anglo-American control.

      Um, after decades of this greedy colonial belligerence and ruthless tyranny of the Shah, of course, there were massive anti-Western sentiments in Iran and a joint communist/Islamist revolution after that! Too bad the Islamists were liars and assassinated all of the communists/leftists post what was LATER dubbed, “The Islamic Revolution”. But, that explains why ALL Iranian revolutionary posters have communist imagery. Poor Iran: they’ve never had a break. They went from being a tyrannical monarchy to a tyrannical theocracy– all due to the Anglo-American colonial “interventions” in Iran.

      I guess it really sickens me that I had to do graduate studies in Middle East Studies at NYU in order to learn more about the true fucked up colonial history of my American government re: the politics of oil and the petrol dollar.

      It’s frustrating that it’s not common knowledge how much innocent blood of Middle Easterners BP has on it’s hands.

      FUCK BP!! They have ALWAYS been ruthless, selfish, greedy bastards… since the early 1900′s in the Middle East and now in the Mexican Gulf. They are fucking criminals and deserve to be prosecuted as so.

      Peace.

  38. uricacid says:

    also, is it really fair — to a certain extent — to say that we’re all at fault here? sure, we create the demand for oil, and a corporation swoops in to fill that demand — but do we also create the demand for them to willingly ignore safety measures?

    (wasn’t that the issue here, that BP/TransOcean/Halliburton — ah, halliburton — failed to have certain safety features in place that are common in oil rigs in other countries, countries with stronger regulations?)

  39. Anonymous says:

    “Show me on the oil-soaked pelican where the environmentalist touched you.”

    Right THERE! On the gas tank!!! That filthy enviroperv touched me on the GAAASSSS TAAANNKK!!!1!

  40. Stefan Jones says:

    Blaming this monstrous calamity on environmentalists hardly deserves comment. It is a cynical media strategy straight out of a American Enterprise Institute spin control brainstorming session.

    I can understand an idiot like Sarah Palin regurgitating that nonsense for the cameras. Spewing talking points like an Oceania True Service newsreader is her job.

    Anyone else . . . well, I hope they’re at least getting paid to spread that drivel.

    • radixe says:

      I just looked up palin’s exact quote:

      “‘If “extreme environmentalists” were not successful in prohibiting land based oil drilling in the United States, then companies like BP would not have to resort to looking for oil in the deep oceans.”

      In fact, by the same logic and you go a little further, it is god’s fault for creating oil in the first place.

  41. nutate says:

    This happened not due to demand, which… Isn’t going to stop unless everyone stops driving, using imported goods, flying, using flown in goods, electricity, trucked in goods, etc. etc. Our support system is too intermingled. I ride my bike a lot, but don’t kid yourself that you are making a difference beyond your own health and well-being. And bless the off-grid people, but in general they use a lot of petroleum product accessories out in the wild (plastics, electronics, etc).

    This accident happened because of poor engineering on what is an amazing technological feat… TransOcean operates 23 ultradeepwater rigs * There is no real rulebook, except to double, triple, quadruple check things and overengineer everything.

    Now one accident has killed 11 people, put a coast in ecological / economic ruin and permanently cocked up the biodiversity of the Gulf of Mexico.

    Also, to the people wondering why these birds get mucked up, they fly down to grab a fish or what looks like a fish… get gunky… then … well it seems obvious to me.

    * http://www.deepwater.com/fw/main/Our-Rigs-14.html

  42. MollyMaguire says:

    Offshore oil production accounts for only 6% of the global supply ( http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/25/national/main6517061.shtml ). Seems like we could cut out that much demand in order to avoid all offshore exploration and production. Of course, most oil spills are from wrecked tankers so that only gets you so far.

  43. apoxia says:

    It as only a matter of time before the increasing desperate ways to acquire oil ended in catastrophe, and it won’t be the last. Two years ago buoyed on by peak oil, I realised that my life in 50 years time is probably going to be very different from the lives my parents currently live. I sold my car (we still have one in the household) and then I began cycling to work. A year later I persuaded my partner to begin cycling to work. Not only do we save around $50 a week on petrol, we get exercise and vitamin D from the sun (something people where I live are pretty low on), and we reduce our dependence on oil (by a little) and are more prepared for a world where transportation options are limited.

    Looking at those oiled birds in heart-breaking. While humans can (hopefully) learn the price they pay for their oil, those birds won’t learn anything and get no second chance.

  44. Stefan Jones says:

    I think we are, to a greater or lesser extent, culpable.

    I think I’m more culpable by driving a Civic from my modern, efficient apart to my office rather than using a bicycle . . . but much less culpable than the guy who commutes alone from a far-distant suburb in a giant stretch-cab pickup.

    And then there are political choices. For example, if you vote for a political party that aims to eliminate the EPA and whose energy policy is “Drill, Baby, Drill,” you are making a moral decision that sets your financial comfort over environmental concerns, and that down the road could result in policy choices and staffing decisions.

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