“How can a device that has 260 failure modes be considered fail-safe?”
- Rep. Bart Stupak on the catastrophic failure of spill prevention equipment
The oil industry, Republican Party and other radical right-wingers openly express their hatred for environmentalists, calling us “wackos”, “treehuggers”, and most inaccurate and reckless, “terrorists.” Terrorists are normally considered bad people so why someone who wants to save the planet and its inhabitants, including members of the Tea Party, is bad I don’t quite understand.
It turns out Rush and the radical right were wrong- SURPRISE!- about the BP oil rig being sabotaged by eco-terrorists. It was massive equipment and policy failure by the companies involved- the “drill, baby, drill” team. But with ten per cent of America still believing environmentalists are responsible and environmentalism still being “bad”, this delusion needs to be analyzed for its self-destructive origins and utter uselessness as a “policy”, and the outrage directed more accurately and constructively.
First of all, environmentalists are not going to hurt the planet or people to PREVENT hurting the planet or people. No one can compete with right-wingers for violence against the planet and killing people. Which brings us back to 9/11 and BP. The 9/11 terrorists were bad people. But al-Qaeda’s and Saudi Arabia’s attack on America is less perplexing and outrageous than why we didn’t stop it when we had a previous attack, advance intelligence, and information indicating not only what was going to happen but when, how, by whom.
Now like 9/11, the question in the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is not so much what went wrong and how but why the systems we had in place to prevent it failed so cataclysmically. Sadly, the answers are different but quite simple: in 9/11, the Bush Administration was stupid or complicit. But it’s obvious they cared because they spent the next eight years struggling to make up for their mistakes on 9/11. However, with the BP oil disaster, the oil industry showed again they just don’t care. Their leaders’ peformance at the current congressional hearings indicates no interest in changing that position.
If they did care, the blowout preventer’s battery wouldn’t have been dead. Nor would there have been leaks, outages and a shutdown of a crucial “fail-safe” system as was revealed at today’s hearing. Ironically, BP had just spent millions repairing the rig to pump more oil, but just couldn’t find a few thousand bucks to maintain their blowout preventer. So who are the real “environmental wackos” here?
America’s security industry claims to have learned much from 9/11. Certainly, the advances in security changed life in America. And if no 9/11s since then was the objective, we have succeeded. Maybe the oil industry will learn something too and spend the right amount to make sure this never happens again. But all that knowledge and money spent protecting the planet will be wasted if they don’t first learn to care about it.