Robert Reich: But confusion over who’s in charge – BP or the White House – continues to reign. Questioned about whether BP can successfully shear off the well pipe in order to fit a cap over it, Allen answered “I don’t think the issue is whether or not we can make the second cut. It’s about how fine we can make it, how smooth we can make it.”
Tina Dupuy: The BP spill exposed that we’re still commuting in eight-cylinder singly occupied vehicles, hopped up on plastic goods and scoffing at high-speed rail projects. Our government is representative – we haven’t clamored to get off oil. If anything we’ve threatened to riot for having to pay too much at the pump.
Articles by Patrick Henningsen, Tom Hall, David Swanson, Randy Shaw, Irene Monroe, Paul Hogarth, Norman Solomon, Tracy Emblem, Andrea Nill, Michele Waslin, Michael Sigman, Linda Milazzo, Sharon Kyle, Walter Moss, Mike Price, K. Danielle Edwards, Brad Parker, Michele Waslin, David Love, Tina Dupuy, Michael Sigman, Joseph Palermo, Robert Reich, Carl Bloice, Anthony Asadullah Samad, Diane Lefer, and Adam Eran
Robert Reich: Respectful disagreement is virtuous in a democratic society, but so is appropriate indignation. Indignation signals to the public that social responsibilities have been breached, and thereby lends credence and authority to all those who are working toward them. Franklin D. Roosevelt had no hesitancy blaming the “economic royalists” – the rich bankers and executives who stood in the way of the New Deal.
Steve Ybarra: Let us get serious here. If BP was interested in doing the right thing, it wouldn’t take them over a month to get started fixing the damage caused by their greed. Meanwhile they have allowed the continuous destruction of the entire East Coast and Gulf Coast, including all fishing and sea-related industries. Indirectly, I am impacted, because the price of California fish just went up through the roof.
Lydia Howell: The nesting place for migrating birds and the womb for shrimp and oysters is being destroyed. No one — not British Petroleum or the Coast Guard — was there trying to prevent or clean up the silent horror. CNN’s Anderson Cooper dipped his rubber-gloved hand into the Gulf water and it came up coated with oil. Phillipe Cousteau, son of famous oceanographe Jacques Cousteau, dove into the toxic soup of oil particles and dispersant, a dead sea emptied of creatures.
Walter Moss: Having just completed research on economist and environmentalist E. F. Schumacher (1911-1977), I have been struck by how relevant many of his warnings are to today’s events. Although I don’t necessarily agree with everything he wrote, his comments are well worth considering as we struggle to deal with all our complex problems.
Walter Moss: We can grant that capitalism can have many beneficial effects and that other systems like socialism can have their defects, nevertheless the essence of capitalism is the selling of goods and services and making a profit, and it has no higher moral goal. Essentially an economic system, it provides no adequate answers for how to deal with such problems as unsafe working conditions, unfair business practices, pollution and other environmental degradation, public health, slum housing, or the abuse of child labor. This absence of any higher comprehensive social philosophy led to efforts to supplement it by providing an overall philosophy of the public good. This absence led to Progressivism.
Jerry Drucker: The U.S. Congressional Hearings were held to learn where the blame lies between British Petroleum, Halliburton or Transocean for the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The circle of lies has started going round and round, where it stops everyone knows. BP blames Halliburton, Halliburton blames Transocean and Transocean blames BP. We can see the blame lies in a circle of lies. The only real question remaining is which big oil CEO will be the first to receive a billion dollar bonus.
David Love: To be sure, the BP accident is an environmental threat that speaks to the deadly serious pitfalls of off-shore drilling. But it is also a crisis of bad political intentions, from the right-wing lobbyists such as FreedomWorks that worked with BP to push for more oil drilling, to the corporate lackeys at the 2008 GOP convention who shouted “drill baby dril.” Let’s not forget former Vice President Dick Cheney, who championed deregulation of the oil industry with his energy task force, and whose companyHalliburton figures prominently in the oil rig disaster.
Paul Loeb: I love viewing Gandhi not as the master strategist of social change that he later became, but as someone who at first was literally tongue-tied–shyer and more intimidated than almost anyone we can imagine. His story is a caution against the impulse to try and achieve perfection before we begin the journey of social change.
Georgianne Nienaber: The Institute for Southern Studies (ISS) features a compelling video on its website that documents an overflight at ground zero of the British Petroleum oil catastrophe resulting from the explosion of the Transocean/Deepwater Horizon well platform on April 20. This is the view that cannot be seen from sanitized satellite photos and composite maps depicting the direction and extent of the massive river of oil threatening entire ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. Tar balls have already been reported on pristine Dauphin Island, and the damage is escalating daily.
With articles by Robert Reich, Joseph Palermo, Charley James, Randy Shaw, Nomiki Konst, Rev. Irene Monroe, Mario Solis-Marich, Anthony Asadullah Samad, Georgianne Nienaber, Andrea Nill, Tracy Emblem, Wayne Williams, Cathy Cockrell, Tina Dupuy, Ron Wolff, Tom Degan, Shamus Cooke, Michael Sigman, David A. Love, Sharon Kyle, Bob Letcher, Robert Illes, and Ivan Eland
Joseph Palermo: So that’s what our political discourse has sunk to? Discredited figures like Brownie are on TV jockeying for partisan gain, milking a national tragedy that is probably going to change forever the ecosystem of the Gulf Coast? Brownie uses a catastrophe that threatens many of the nation’s most important waterways and will probably be a grave setback to any national economic recovery to score pitiful political points against the Democrats? Who are these people?
Georgianne Nienaber: Social networking may turn out to be the first line of defense against public relations spin by providing real time gathering of data on the massive river of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Transocean/Deepwater Horizon well explosion. Maps generated by satellite and “predictions” are only so valuable. One of the tenets of remote sensing is that “ground truthing” be a mandatory part of the equation. Truth is the operative word here as Gulf Coast residents face an unprecedented environmental disaster.
Tracy Emblem: Fortunately, President Obama showed common sense by placing a hold on newly proposed off shore-drilling plans while an investigation into the disaster is underway. Congress should reconsider the lifting the currently proposed offshore drilling ban and protect our coastal waters for our future generations.
Robert Reich: What do oil giant BP, the mining company Massey Energy, and Goldman Sachs have in common? They’re all big firms involved in massive plunder. BP’s oil spill is already one of the biggest and most damaging in American history. Massey’s mine disaster, claiming the lives of 29 miners, is one of the worst in recent history. Goldman’s alleged fraud is but a part of the largest financial meltdown in 75 years.
Tom Degan: How ever will they justify continued off-shore drilling in light of what is now happening in the Gulf of Mexico? In just a few short days we’ve gone from a tragedy to a disaster to a full blown catastrophe. It will be more than interesting to see the depths to which the right wing will now stoop in order to trivialize this hideous event. Rush Limbaugh is already floating the idea out to his half-witted “Dittoheads” that this was sabotage on the part of the “eco-nazis”; that some unnamed environmental organization plotted this disaster in order to further their evil socialist agenda.