by Dee Newman
We are now in the 38th day of the man-made environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Once again, we have watched politicians (both Democrats and Republicans), oil executives, the press, and private citizens display shock, dismay, and outraged that such a catastrophe could happen.
But, none of us should be surprised. It is not like it has never happened before. Why are we so stunned? Damaging our precious planet is just the cost of doing business . . . of privatizing the natural world and its resources, of deregulation, of allowing free-enterprise and capitalism to run a muck without regulatory oversight, of making federal authorities impotent.
The ultimate revelation and horror is not that it happened or that no one is able to stop it, it is that this man-made environmental tragedy will not compel us to reduce our gluttonous consumption of oil products, nor will it force us to admit the limits of technology and our ability to use it wisely.
We yell and scream “drill, baby, drill” and vote in politicians who follow through with our demands for more offshore drilling as we continue to consume without any regard for the so-called “hidden costs”.
When will the consequences of our own demand and consumption (the types of energy we use, the kinds of cars we drive, the products we buy and how they are packaged, and yes, the foods we eat) ever move us to live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way of life? When will we (all of us) take responsibility for this disaster?