The Collateral Damage of an Unsustainable Lifestyle

There is so much to say about the the oil that is being spewed all over the Gulf of Mexico.  Calling it a spill is a misnomer, that is what you say when a child accidentally tips over a glass of milk.  This is an act of national and corporate terrorism.  But still, Americans will buy gas for their cars at BP and I don’t hear Obama saying there will be a freeze on Halliburton contracts.

‘Experts’ are saying the the disaster ‘may’ cost upwards of $14 billion.  No may about it, it will. Not only is there the environmental damage, we need to realize that the economy of the gulf shore is clearly shot to hell for the foreseeable future, energy prices will no doubt rise, and we already have a vulnerable economy.  You add that up. And BP’s promises to pay for it, yeah, right.

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, the folly of our lack of attention to infrastructure is once more bearing fruit,

A major pipe bringing water to the Boston area has sprung a “catastrophic” leak and is dumping eight million gallons of water per hour into the Charles River. Governor Deval Patrick declared a state of emergency and issued a “boil-water” order for Boston and dozens of other communities.

The oil, the water pipe–these are disasters for which we have only ourselves to blame.  But even if we suddenly became  exemplary planetary citizens, the volcanic eruption in Iceland a few weeks ago that brought the European continent to a standstill reminds us that our future would still not be ours to control.

Perhaps Margaret Atwood has already described what may happen in The Year of the Flood, –the silent flood, a disaster of epic proportions, human-made or not (it doesn’t matter in the end) that we don’t see coming and is beyond all of our fancy science and technology.

Only time will tell, but I don’t think it will take too long.


“But love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had eyes to see.” —Edward Abbey

Collateral damage from oil spill washes ashore

Collateral damage from oil 'spill' washes ashore

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