Thursday, April 29, 2010


The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which is five times larger than originally estimated, and is visible from space, has created a state of emergency in Louisiana.  Those who continue to advocate more offshore drilling as a solution to our energy problems need to recognize that this "solution" comes at a very heavy price.  

(click on photos for sources)


  1. When an airliner tragically crashes and kills everyone aboard, does anyone suggest that society should revert back to ocean liners to get from, let’s say, Boston to London? No. When there is a pile up of cars where passengers are killed, does anyone suggest that society revert to the alternative of horse and buggy? No. Accidents happen even in a perfect world and no reasonable person is going to revert to a lower standard of living because of the threat of the odd incident. So why is oil held to a different standard than other technologies?

    Oil is utilized in some form in every stage of production for a constellation of goods. How are you going to make medical devices, medicine, fertilizer, parts for vehicles, etc. without petroleum? Our economy would come to a standstill without it.

    There are almost 4,000 oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico that have been operating for years without an accident of this magnitude. This event is a clear outlier in an industry that has done a remarkable job with safety.

    The next time an 18 wheeler pulls up with the food and goods that you need that makes your life comfortable and possible--thank oil.

  2. I get your point VH that we are dependent on oil and must accept a certain amount of pollution along with the benefits of oil. But we probably could find ways to extract oil a little more carefully, just as we try to design planes and air traffic control systems and cars and roads to make transportation as safe as we reasonably can. In the case of oil what we really need to do is conserve more and develop alternative sources of energy so that we are not so dependent on a declining resource with so many ill effects. So all I'm saying is that people who advocate more drilling should think about how we can do that responsibly. It should be obvious after this disaster that offshore drilling is neither as cheap or as simple a solution as many people contend.