Thursday, June 24, 2010


The most important thing that is currently happening, out of sight, and hence well out of mind, is the oil volcano we have created.

The agency was cupidity, complicit in this was the US government which did not care to vet the question of the damage to be done by such drilling because, in truth, even safe, even successful wells, ones that do not explode and continue to explode for months, and for months to come, as this one is likely to do, all wells cause damage to the environment. And the damage in this case is both chronic and acute.

There are no experts here simply because there cannot be. All this is new, and therefore and by definition, no one could have predicted this and no one can say, not with accuracy, what will happen. The plan to drill two wells is not for relief of this well but the "relief" of the oil company's interests.

And the oil company might well go about its business, as its CEO gets back to getting his 'life' back. After all, there is nothing any of us can do about it, the damage is done, sorry, but there's a company to run. And we? We go about our lives, thinking about other things, as if what is happening and happening in the gulf entails anything less than the alteration of life as we have known it.

The point in drilling wells, deep or shallow, is to get oil; the details be damned. And the details, as the surroundings of any productive or devastated oil site in the world can show, are the details of death: the land dies: the plants die, the animals die, the air is sickened.

Industrial areas are always polluted, always toxic. The fantasy of minimizing environmental damage, of checking off on environmental safety, achieving the lesser of what one imagines to be a necessary evil, corresponds to the most common fantasy of all, the idea that one can have one's cake and eat it too.

But at the moment, nothing is being done to control the damage in the gulf because there is nothing that can be done: we cannot stop this volcano. Even the nuclear option (good god) is an option suggested in nescience.

The oil company's plan hopes to take us back to the ordinary level of environmental devastation: the one that takes longer and is consequently harder to see. And if that can't be done, and it is likely that it cannot, then the plan, always plan A, reverts to getting the oil out. The devil take the oil in the water, soon to be in the air, as the devil will take every living thing there is, even things we have never seen.