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Sunday, May 23

A $64.00 question.

It used to be we thought war was the means to the end of civilization, of us humans. We thought the “bomb” was the device to deliver us to oblivion. That was in the 50s and early 60s.

Rachel Carson posed the pesticide end in the early 60s.

We worried about using the bomb again in Vietnam, namely from early Republican fear-mongers like Goldwater.

During and after Vietnam, we decided that MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) would never happen so we turned our attention to nuclear energy and the safe-guards the industry told us about. Not to worry, Westinghouse said nuclear energy is “safe, clean and practical.”

Then Three-Mile-Island and the spin was on to assure us that it was a fluke and, yes, while it happened, we were really in no danger.

In India, a gas leak at Bhopal showed what could happen if toxic gas was released into the air. But would that kill all of us? Doubtful.

Chernobyl changed nuclear safety for much of a generation. But the nukers weren’t gone, they just moved to the back of the bus.

In the 90s, we learned about germ and bacterial warfare. This had the best potential for global eradication not only of humans but animals and plant life as well.

In the 2000s, it is climate change that’s going to do us in. Unless you believe the deniers.

But all of that may take a back seat to the legacy BP has given the United States and the World. Oil. The stuff of our life! The stuff responsible for our freedom, our way of life, our future. Well, some of our futures.
If a well goes bad on dry land, there are tried and true ways to correct the problem. When a well goes bad a mile under the sea, all bets are off.
There has been a lot of concern about the BP’s oil spill reaching land, moving up the East Coast and polluting the rich fish and lobster areas we so desperately need. And we need to refer to it as BP’s Oil Spill as much as we can.
The fixes and inept attempts at fixes uncaring BP offer haven’t worked. Now they’re talking about using those same nuclear weapons we so feared in the 50s and 60s to stop the flow of oil. Do we trade one catastrophe for a radioactive other? Will the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have that soft green glow for thousands of years?

There’s one question I’ve tried to get answered but calls to involved people have resulted in “I dunno” answers. That’s not to say an answer doesn’t exist, it’s just that I feel they won’t answer me. Maybe if someone prominent asks, we could find out.
Oil that comes from beneath the sea is usually under a lot of pressure. Hence the spewing even after the pipe broke. And it’s going to come out until we stop it or…until it runs out.

My question is this: Just how much of that environment threatening, life ending, investor enriching, pollutant is left that can come out if we can’t stop it?

The good news is that it WILL eventually slow and stop when it nearly empties and the tremendous pressure equalizes if we can’t stop it.

The bad news is there are many more of BP and other Big Oil Wells waiting for the next human carelessness or corporate greed.

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