Last week, a BP oil rig off the Gulf of Mexico exploded and sank. Its oil is now leaking at a rate of 5,000 barrels a day into the water, where it is threatening the lives of marine and land animals, the fragile eco-system of that area, and even the health of human inhabitants.
This comes just weeks after President Obama proposed to allow off-shore drilling in previously restricted places along the Atlantic and Alaskan coastlines and the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
So, whose fault is this? BP’s? Obama’s? Yours for driving instead of taking public transportation? Not according to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who theorises that the explosion was the work of eco-terrorists. Right. It makes perfect sense that environmental advocates would cause the largest oil spill in history to prove that oil spills are wrong. Actually, that sounds a bit like the rationalisations of death penalty supporters: kill someone to prove that killing people is wrong. Hm, at least now we know where Limbaugh got the idea.
The bad news is that the oil has already spilled, and is continuing to flow into the ocean, where it will jeopardise wetlands, animals, and local businesses, and cost billions of dollars to clean up. It is projected that it will be 3 months before the leak is completely stopped.
The good news is that we can prevent something like this from ever happening again. Do you know what plastic is made from? Oil. Do you know what fuels the vehicles that transport our produce from across the world to the grocery store? Oil. And while we’re on the subject, do you know what’s at the root of most international wars and conflicts? You guessed it, oil.
So get a reusable water bottle, bring your own bags to take home your produce from the local farmer’s market, and save up your bus fare, because it looks like we all might need to make a trip to the Gulf of Mexico soon, but at least then we can rest assured that we’re cleaning up the problem at its source, and once and for all.