Wednesday, March 18, 2015

BP is just the tip of the iceberg

However for some reason they seem to be exaggerating this disaster and ignoring the vast majority of other disasters. There is no effort to explain why this leak is going on so long and they seem to be claiming that it is the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez every four days which makes no sense at all. If this well requires a pump to extract the oil they should just turn it off. If not what is causing all this oil to leak at such a rapid rate? Normal hydraulics wouldn’t do that and anyone who understands the basics of this should know this.

By exaggerating it and ignoring the other disasters they run the risk of manipulating the public when and only when it suits their purposes or losing the trust of the public even when there is a sincere threat and creating apathy.
They are doing a lot of reporting and virtually no rational investigating. They claimed they found oil off the east coast of Florida but it turned out to be from a shrimp boat that crashed so they dismissed it as irrelevant; what they rarely if ever point out is the fact that there are many more disasters that receive very little attention all over the world especially in the developing world. The disasters in the developing world get little or no attention here but they destroy millions of lives and leave them desperate and receptive to those with a grudge against the USA including terrorist organizations. The cumulative damage being done by the disasters being ignored is actually much worse than the exaggerations being reported by BP. This isn’t limited to BP it also includes other oil companies and other polluters of other sorts including the timber industry which is destroying the forests all over the world at a pace that is close to the destruction being done by the oil companies if not match it and it is also being ignored.

Another problem is the fact that they try to address the problem more like a public relations disaster than an environmental disaster. the Money they spend on ads telling the public they are addressing the problem hardly seems credible since it could be spent much more effectively if it went to the clean up process. They seem more concerned with convincing the public they’re solving the problem than actually doing it.

We need to rethink the way we do things or the planet will be destroyed. We need rapid development of conservation methods as well as much more reliability on wind solar and other safe forms of energy. This is a direct challenge to the capitalist ideology. The current power structure is putting society on a suicide track. There are people who know what the problem is and how to solve it but they don’t have the political power; there are people with the political power to solve the problems but the motivational structure set up for them in the short term is designed to prevent solutions. If this system isn’t changed there will be much worse environmental damage.

Update July 11 2011: The oil spills and other disasters that have been happening continue to happen without much if any positive action from Congress and the majority of the Mass Media continues to give it minimal amounts of attention even when they’re fairly big. The latest is from the original Transocean oil rig that was removed prior to the Gulf disaster over a year ago and is now off the coast of the Mariana Islands where it is in danger of sinking. for additional information Google “Transocean Marianas Oil Rig In Danger Of Sinking.” There has also been a major oil spill in the Yellowstone River in Montana. According to MSNBC This spill may grow significantly; and judging by the way it was reported on the Rachel Maddow show Exxon-Mobil isn’t willing to admit that it is that bad or to spend much money on cleaning it up or taking any more responsibility than they have to despite the record amounts of profits they’ve been making.

On several occasions I have seen reports of smaller oil disasters in the local papers which weren’t reported in the Mass Media. This clearly implies a pattern of behavior which indicates that for everyone that makes the national news there are almost certainly many more that don’t around the world that are only reported locally.

As long as the current political system is dependent on the corporations including the oil companies in order to collect the money they need to win elections there is little or no reason to believe that this negligence will change anytime soon. Under the current system with both the viable political candidates and the Mass Media collecting an enormous amount of money from the oil companies there is no one that is willing to do as good a job reporting on this and implementing laws that may stand a chance of holing the oil companies accountable for their criminal activities; that is how it should be referred to since they are destroying hundreds if not millions of lives for the sake of short term profit for a small percentage of the corporate world. If the public hopes to change this we need to implement Election reform that enables the public to control the application and interview process for political candidates or applicants.

Edit 10/06/2017: It has been over seven years since the disaster and this article; since then news articles have reported that some of the damage to the Gulf was exaggerated, as a I suspected, although it is still hard to imagine why they couldn't have stopped this leak much quicker. Also a quick search of the events that followed shows that although over a hundred people were jailed for committing fraud against BP only three people from BP were charged those charges were dropped against two and the third got off with probation.

Is there any doubt that executives of large corporations are virtually if not entirely unaccountable while the rest of us are held fully responsible according to the rule of law?

BP Gulf of Mexico oil leak not as bad as US government claimed 01/16/2015 US judge rules that 3.19m barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, well below the government's 4.09m estimate

More than 100 jailed for fake BP oil spill claims 01/15/2017

3 BP executives indicted over Gulf oil spill 11/15/2012

Manslaughter charges dropped against two BP employees in Deepwater spill 12/03/2015

No prison terms for Gulf spill as final defendant gets probation 04/06/2015

The following are additional links cited before to the update.

After typing in just a few words like oil spill, tanker explosion many more disasters turned up from the Google search engine and it is certainly still only a fraction of the damage being done. see the following:

In Democratic republic of Congo July 2010:
In Nigeria July 2010:
In Singapore May 2010:
In Perth Australia 1991:
On Great Barrier Reef off coast of China April 2010;
In Corona California May 2010:
In Oakland California April 2007:,2933,269118,00.html
In Los Angeles California 1947:
In Los Angeles California 1976:
In Foxboro Mass June 2010:
In San Antonio Texas May 2010:
In Galveston Texas 1990:
In Texas City 1947:
In Deer park Texas 1979:
Texas oil refinery May 2010:
In rural Texas June 2010:
At Port Arthur Texas Jan 2010:
In Houston Texas Oct 2009:
In Indianapolis Indiana Oct 2009:
In Nashville Tennessee march 2010:

(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

Excellent Post! I've read about a lot of the same things. Thanks for the links

scanner July 21, 2010 06:15 PM

Zackery, forgive the threesome. I think OS is having a problem with the comment section. I don't think it was me, I hope!

scanner July 23, 2010 03:03 PM

That happened to me at least once too with a double post. No triples YET

Just after posting this I found an article in the paper about another spill in China that might be even bigger than the one in the gulf; however it is hard to tell based on the unreliable coverage but there should be no doubt that it is worse than they are letting on overall especially when they don’t talk about it.

zacherydtaylor July 24, 2010 12:17 PM

War isn't as high as the three you indicated I'm sure but it does distract from the issues you addressed.

You might be interested in reading "Blood and Oil" by Michael Klare. He describes the root of our problem in the Middle East quite well in it.

zacherydtaylor September 22, 2010 01:02 PM

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