Great rivers of oil are gushing into the water at an astonishing rate and BP still can’t stop the flow. They have fucked up royally and we all know it. They know we know it. They hold press conference after press conference about their greatest new idea to save the day and the tone isn’t one of shame or horror, it’s more like “Rally the troops! Let’s figure it out gang!” It’s almost as though he hopes to have us all get behind their valiant effort while attempting to administer a verbal lobotomy on us with his soothing “There’s no I in team, folks!” bullshit.
What I find interesting about this whole shit show is how people are reacting to it. Yes, everyone cried foul after Exxon when down and emptied it’s belly in the water, but then it was over and the clean up began and it slowly drifted off of the front page. Eventually people forgot. Ok, maybe not David Suzuki, but it did lose it’s shock & horror value once we stopped seeing the dead oil covered animals on the news every night. Let’s face it people, we forget. Not everyone obviously, but “Middle America” has a history of forgetting rather quickly. (I do mean us Canadians as well but “Middle Canada” doesn’t have the same ring- makes us sound like a weird tribe of hobbits from a Tolkien novel- and we all know that can’t be true since hobbits don’t live in igloos.)
So- yes, we forget. However…. I think this one might be different. As the BP spill is lacking the normal “Spill, cry, clean up, and move on” formula, we stand far less of a chance of forgetting. It’s still fucking gushing and growing and killing and destroying.
And it might take months to stop it.
We’ll be watching this for months- watching the oil take over the water- and watching BP try to blame others even though something as stupid as a $500,000.00 acoustic switch which they said was “too expensive” to install could have prevented this, and even though just last year BP lobbied hard against tighter safety regulations for the industry. (Roy has an excellent post over at Matt’s all about this greed fuckery)
Will a man made disaster of this magnitude be enough to force politicians out of bed with the oil the companies and make it easier for them to side with the environment rather than the stack of dollar bills? As we watch oil pour into the sea month after month while BP fumbles around, will it enrage us enough to really give a shit and demand change? And I mean demand it until it happens, not just demand it until it’s time to go pick the kids up from school or time to go back to work and “here- can you hold this rally sign for me, I gotta drive to starbucks for a latte.” Because make no mistake kiddies- politicians loooove waiting us out because we stamp and scream and holler until it’s time to go on that golf trip or weekend drive up to the wine country. “I know there’s a boycott, but this shit was already planned!”
We always cave and they know it.
Maybe BP fucked up so big and so bad that we won’t cave this time. Maybe we’ll just keep stamping and screaming and hollering until they cave.