had enough of this Gulf of Mexico oil fiasco.
let’s make something clear right from the start… I’m not linking
you to the stories. Go ahead and do that work yourself. Instead,
I’m here to simply be ticked off by the entire picture.
weeks removed from the start of this comic nightmare. Five weeks
to be specific. The tragic beginnings have faded into the background,
and for many people simply hearing the letters “BP” uttered together
is enough to make them reach for the remote. Many news sites have
moved the issue deep into the national news sections. In other
words… an amazing event, and we’ve become numb to it. Can’t feel
it any more… don’t want to know about it any more… and it’s been
shuffled along to the inner pages of our attention. We know it’s
there, but… for you and for me, so to speak… the dogs need to
eat, there’s e-mail to answer, I haven’t called my sisters recently
and I really should, the Red Sox are playing the Rays and there
are more important things on the plate right now. Every day events
have regained their stature.
remained out the picture on this one so far. And I’ll tell you
why… because I can’t even begin to imagine what is going on along
the Gulf coast right now. It’s one thing to develop an opinion
on something… it’s another to share it and be willing to deal
with the consequences.
sure if I went over seven years of In My Backpack material…
both currently posted and hidden in the archives… I’d find lots
of stuff where I ended up being wrong, and plenty of material
concerning issues that I currently feel differently about then
I did when I wrote them originally. I’ve even put things here
on the web site that may not have been as thoroughly researched
as they could have been. And yet I’ll stand behind those moments,
and take criticism when it comes, because they are my opinion.
example… I’ve often heard Curt Schilling talk about people that
criticize professional athletes from the comfort of their living
room and how those views can be uninformed and misguided. He’s
right. I don’t know who Theo Epstein might be on the phone with…
I don’t know the tensions of the clubhouse… I don’t know what
it’s like to try and deliver on the field with thousands of people
watching and a world-class talent opposing you. Still, I do believe
that I have a decent amount of knowledge when it comes to sports.
And I have my opinions on certain subjects. And I’m willing to
take my lumps for saying dumb things… provided you understand
when I’m smiling because I got something right.
is… most of the issues when I talk like that are not life and
death issues. And I often don’t try to dive into the depths of
an issue when I don’t have the knowledge, skills or resources
to do so.
the pelicans and fishermen are dealing with an oil spill beyond
massive proportions? That’s a bit hard for me to do. Serious situation…
not a baseball season… little room for comedy… and up here in
New England the impact hasn’t quite been felt yet.
morning though, I heard news that pushed me over the edge.
there actually has been plenty of comedy in this thing… there
is now plenty of room for uneducated opinion. And it’s finally
time to comment on it.
and cement? That’s what we’ve reached on the list of plans?
watched an interview on NBC this morning (Today show,
with one of the Louisiana parish presidents as I recall.) And
the guy was asked if people were more mad at the US government
or BP. And he said people were mad at both. Then he pointed out
how instead of doing anything, the government and BP seemed more
interested in blaming each other.
let me offer a fun review and see if we can all agree on the following
three concepts being discussed or acted upon as options in this
one ~ The dome. The first thing attempted was to build a cap…
a dome… an upside-down bowl… a cover to put over the leak.
two ~ The rubber hose. As suggestion lines were filled and the
blame-game continued, the next item on the list making its way
toward being tried was to stick a pipe of some sort into the broken,
leaking pipe and use that to suck the oil up.
three ~ Bury the sucker. This was the suggestion I heard today,
with them talking about we had now arrived at firing mud and cement
at the leak.
we all agree that those are, with some other ideas and activities
and finger-pointing taking place along the way, three solutions
we’ve seen discussed and/or attempted for working on the leak?
so we’re in agreement. An idea more reflective of The Simpsons
Movie and Steven King’s The Dome than an oil spill…
a stick-a-straw-in-it approach a kid might try in a restaurant
with some applesauce… and a solution of plugging the pipe and
then just piling crap on top while hoping the leak doesn’t eventually
force its way free.
that about it?
it is than I have to tell you… I am amazingly disappointed. Because
those ideas are just… well…
stick a pipe into the pipe and suck up the oil? Christ, there
are more steps to follow when cleaning up a broken CFL bulb so
you properly handle the disposal of mercury.
I’m being funny? Ok…
Wikipedia page for an Oil Platform. Sure…
Wikipedia is the example site to use for all things pretty well
described but not entirely accurate. Got it. But it is a decent
place to get a really good feeling about a subject. And when it
comes to drilling for oil out at sea, this is fine.
you notice that some of these things drill 4,000… 5,000… 7,000
or more feet?
about that these things are essentially cities on their own… providing
food, housing, and electricity for those working on it?
you believe the volume capacity some of these units have for storing
oil until it can be transferred?
I’m getting at is that this is incredibly dirty, amazingly dangerous
work on pretty intricate structures.
a solution for fixing a problem when using such a structure is
to stick a straw into the hole.
do you see where I’m headed in my questioning?
fact remains… and here’s here we go back to that parish president
on Today this morning… nobody in charge seems to be prioritizing
any actions about the damn oil! There’s no sense of urgency about
the government is discussing sanctions. You know… fines and loss
of future contracts and all sorts of stuff to punish BP.
BP is working on its public relations machine, while trying to
cap fiscal responsibility they’ll have in this mess.
every so often the news bulletin comes across that we’ve moved
along to “Plan J” for fixing the leak, but it’s still a few days
away from actually being tried.
it’s tried at all.
we shouldn’t hold our breath, because this leak is down at the
bottom of the sea… and that’s really, really deep… and this is
we reach the point where I have to step aside.
I can only point out the absurdity in all of this. I can’t tell
you about implementing clean up efforts and responsibility and
action plans and any of the stuff that should have been done,
can be done or will be done.
day I see members of the American government, or politically motivated
speakers and talk show hosts, talking about who is responsible,
who will be held accountable, or why we should or shouldn’t continue
day I see BP looking, for lack of a better description, like they’re
stalling for more time…
place out in Any Town, there is a little boy. We’ll say his name
is playing in his sandbox with some toy cars and a few things
he took from the kitchen that his mom doesn’t know are missing.
Timmy is preparing for some excitement to end the adventure. He
goes over to get the hose, and places it at the edge of a dam
he made. He turns on the water and floods the town.
he gets wet and muddy, while the water races around the canals
and rivers and paths he’s made in the sand box, he starts covering
sections with mixing bowls… or diverting streams through funnels…
or maybe he just starts mixing the mud around and throwing it
into the puddles.
absurdity of all this is that a five-year old boy in a sandbox
is absent-mindedly playing with versions of the solutions being
implemented. Considering the repercussions… remember, five weeks
worth of flowing oil are still heading to the shores… it shouldn’t
be a child’s play solution. While I may not be able to connect
all the dots here, I can tell you that there is something very
wrong with this picture.