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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/24/10

Burning Down the House

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Message Debbie Scally
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OK. Here's what I don't get. Well " there are many things I don't get, but, while I'm on the subject of oil (as I seem to be in so many conversations lately), I have to mention this. I'm not seeing much about it in the media. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places. If so, I'm open to some suggestions for sources.

Anyway, what I'm not seeing or hearing much about in the media is the coming together of the great scientific minds of the world to brainstorm what the hell we are going to do with all the damn oil that's already in the Gulf of Mexico. It's pretty clear that nobody knows how to stop the underwater gusher at this point. It's pretty clear that BP and the other oil companies are really trying to dance their way out of accountability and paybacks. It's pretty clear that our government is complicit with the oil industry (thanks ever so, Mr. Barton). It's also pretty clear, that they don't seem to be in any hurry to actually take effective action against the ever-growing miasma that is changing life as we know it in these United States and is likely to affect more than just us before it has run its destructive course.

But what isn't clear, just like the ocean it is consuming, is what we are going to do with all the oil coming out of the well. Hey, we're resourceful. We're smart. We're (at least some of us who could do some good are) rich. So, why hasn't anyone come up with a genius idea about how to make use of all the crude floating around out in the Gulf? Trapping it with booms isn't working out too well, and what are they going to do with what they've got trapped anyway? It's got to be good for something, right? There's got to be a way to scoop it up and put it to work, right? We use oil, more so than any country on this endangered planet, right? We ought not to want to waste it. Scientists invent things, right? Ergo". a solution ought to be on the horizon, if not already in the works, for a way we can reclaim the oil and gain something positive from this disaster.

So, I must be wrong in my assumptions, because none of what I've been asking about seems to be a priority, at least from what I've been reading and watching. I am aware of all kinds of talk about how to stop the well from gushing and the lack of success thereof. To me, dealing with the oil already in the ocean should be as big a priority as stopping the flow. Apparently, there are already reports of oily rain, and the Gulf is overdue for a hurricane. But it still sits there, except for what they are now setting fire to and burning up. Burning? What?? Is that the only alternative? And why is that the only alternative, if indeed it is?

The very scary fact (well, one of many) is, the entire fiasco hasn't even slowed the oil companies down. They are out there hustling to drill more, drill faster, drill deeper, drill sideways, and all the good little Republican toadies are nodding their heads in time to the BP beat. But if all the water is contaminated, even they won't have anything to drink or any seafood, so what gives? Do they know something we "little people" don't or are they just stupid?

The part of me that doesn't trust huge corporations (well, that would be 99.99%) doesn't want to think that maybe they are waiting until they can find a way to turn a gargantuan profit out of this mess before they fix it. God forbid people should get anything "free," especially oil ( like those families who expect to be compensated for loss of lives and livelihoods) except for them.

We, whom they so condescendingly call the "little people," ought to be the ones to pay them for the privilege of fixing what they've so irrevocably broken and be grateful that they care so much about us having oil to use. And as far as the environment goes" as long as it has no effect on them and theirs (and they have the money to insure that it won't), they could care less. Even our President seems to be taking this situation with an alarming lack of concern. Who among us believes that the wetlands and the rest of the Gulf Coast are going to now be able end up better than ever? How can he expect us to buy that after we've watched the situation get worse for two months and counting? How can he expect to spew platitudes as messy as what's coming out of the bottom of the ocean and have us nod and smile, then change the channel to watch the latest episode of whatever houswives du jour?

I'm a person of words, not a scientist. I wish very much that I knew enough to figure out how to address the terrible situation we are experiencing. But I don't. Nor can I pack up and head down to the Gulf to wash critters or stand in the sand and protest, as much as I want to do just that. All I can do is add my words to the ongoing dialogue and my fervent prayers to the collective that somebody, really soon, has a brilliant idea before it is too late.

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I'm a college English teacher working on my dissertation. I am an anime junkie and a Shakespeare scholar, a voracious reader and a political rebel.
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