We remarked the other day at lunch how little news the Gulf spill has received in comparison to Hurricane Katrina. It is a disaster: ecologically, financially and politically. This oil gusher doesn’t strike the media as potently as the chaos and annihilation of the Katrina hurricane. Or, is there a lame duck president’s administration to ridicule their nonchalant response? No, this disaster doesn’t translate well to television because who wants to see sludge coming on the coast of shore line homes or gather around marinas of nicely painted boats. This disaster doesn’t fuel the fires of anger or injustice because Katrina exposed the already despicable poverty and confusion from a seemingly apathetic government. No, this disaster is more damaging because it is our fault, everyone in America, and this time no amount of federal action can save us or relieve our guilt.
BP is at fault. They are more at fault for the explosion that killed the eleven workers. They are at fault for their lack of insight to predict the worst possible variable. They are at fault for wanting to make a profit using a natural resource that they do not have to pay for. They opened shop to drill in the relative safety of the American boarders within short truck rides to the most demanding markets. Businesses by their very nature are optimistic. They live off the profit when things go well. It is the public, journalists and government that must think disaster and be ready for it. BP was allowed to perform their deemed necessary function within our boarders and waters because the American people by their government pushed for it.