For one brief buoyant moment the ever-optimistic environmentalists held out hope that the general public would finally come to their senses and realize the awful price we pay as a society to drive our RVs and Hummers. As the magnitude of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico unfolded and TV screens were filled with pictures of pelicans fatally coated in viscous oil, pristine beaches awash in messy patches of sludge and turtles burned alive in oily waters, enviros figured that, surely, the public would finally grasp what we are losing by our blind continued reliance on oil.
Once again proving how foolish it is to ever think that Americans will give up their cozy lifestyles no matter the cost to the planet. Even in the face of this monumental catastrophe, our elected officials, ever seeking the easy and expedient way out, railed against anything that might possibly cause people to sacrifice or change their way of life in even the most miniscule way. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is the poster boy for this shameless disingenuousness. I’m sorry, but quit your bitching about the horrible effects of the oil spill on your state—hell, you’ve been an apologist to and a sycophant to the oil industry for years. This is what happens when you sleep with the devil. If you’re willing to take Big Oil’s money then don’t bitch about all that comes with it—the pollution, the dead birds, the closed fisheries.
It is beyond foolish to think that more than 20,000 wells can be drilled in the Gulf and that not one—not 1 in 20,000—will have some kind of mechanical or human or Act of God failure that will result in an adverse impact on the environment and the economy. If you believe offshore drilling is that infallible I have three words for you: You’re an idiot. And God knows, when profit and greed are in play—as they most surely were in this case—expediency and corner cutting make mistakes inevitable.
So I don’t want to hear Bobby Jindal-- or Tony Kennon, the Mayor of Orange Beach, Alabama who was actually standing on the city’s soiled beaches as he declared his continued support for offshore drilling--complaining about BP, the Coast Guard and the Obama Administration when they are and continue to be cheerleaders for the oil industry. In fact, I have a hard time having sympathy for all those coastal residents who cry about the terrible impact of the spill on their lives when in the next breath they say they still support offshore drilling.
OK, that’s your prerogative but if that’s the way you feel, suck it up and take it like a man when things go awry. Don’t come looking for shoulders to cry on when you still haven’t learned your lesson. You’ve already proven that you’re willing to sell your environment and your lifestyle to the oil industry. You consciously made that choice, now you expect us to feel sorry for you? You want oil wells in your backyard? You got ‘em. And everything that comes with them. Shut up.
And that’s why environmentalists are once again destined to be sorely disappointed. A year from now this whole fiasco will be yesterday’s news. Just like Haiti is now. Six months after the earthquake, public attention has shifted back to the usual schlock---Lindsay’s drunken escapades and Mel’s latest tirade—and the people of Haiti, living in tents and suffering are forgotten.
Same with the oil spill. Nothing will change—no climate legislation, no lasting offshore drilling moratorium, no energy bill. And a few years down the road another spill will stain our shores and cause a flurry of recrimination and brief but unfulfilled hope for effective energy and environmental policies. And on and on.