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Fear and Oil

June 17, 2010

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in April. The initial blast killed 11 men.

It has now been almost two full months since the explosion that began the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred, killing 11 workers and injuring several others. The spill has, as of this moment, gushed 146,478,778 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and that number is only rising.

President Obama has begun to take some semblance of action against BP, demanding money to help the Gulf region’s recovery efforts and having them sit in front of Congress. At the same time, though, he is being lambasted for not taking enough action from both the right and the left, with commentators seizing on this opportunity to talk about how this ecological tragedy shows Obama is, in some way, not suited for the job of President. And they’re probably right, but that is absolutely not the point.

If this post is right, the Deepwater Horizon spill is bigger than politics. In fact, it might just be bigger than anything we’ve ever seen. We’re talking about a disaster of epic, colossal proportions. If the worst-case scenario plays out (and if I’m interpreting the article correctly), then an entire portion of the ocean floor could blow out and gushing would no longer be a strong enough word to describe what would happen. The entire Gulf of Mexico could, essentially, become a gigantic, muck-filled oil swamp.

BP and the government have hidden things from us, yes, and, honestly, between them they have come nowhere close to solving this horrific situation.

It’s time for the government to open this up to the world because, honestly, this is no longer limited to the United States of America. This should be viewed, right now, as a worldwide disaster. The United States needs to drops its pride because, clearly, BP and our own government don’t have the expertise to solve this problem. It also needs to call in every other company that does deep-sea drilling worldwide because, clearly, BP does not know what it’s doing.

President Obama and the rest of the nation — politicians, industry, academia and whoever else could possibly contribute to calming this disaster down the slightest bit — should drop everything they are doing and go to the Gulf. This absolutely needs to be our nation’s number one priority right now. Not midterm elections, not pundits lambasting each other, not some half-hearted war in a hellhole on the other side of the world. No, the giant stream of muck shooting out of the murky depths of the ocean floor in our own backyard that is threatening to make America the first country to, effectively, ruin an entire body of water.

How ironic that the United States should reverse Icarus’ legacy, not crashing down to earth after attempting to fly too high, but by greedily poking holes in places where holes shouldn’t go and bringing an entirely different kind of hell to the surface.

Imagine looking at a map in 50 years and, instead of seeing blue where the Gulf of Mexico is, seeing a murky brown area. That is what we’re up against. And that’s why we need to win this fight.

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