The U.S. addiction to oil has resulted in a gloomy milestone this week — the 1,000th U.S. combat death in Afghanistan.
And it is resulting in the continuing threat (or reality) of major ecological disaster due to the accidental underwater oil leak by British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico — black sludge has finally reached the sensitive marshlands of Louisiana and it is said to now be in the Loop Current that threatens to send the crude around Florida and up along the East Coast.
When I last blogged about the Gulf oil disaster I called it a slow moving disaster — but it is picking up pace or at least it is taking in much more area now and the dimensions of the disaster or its ultimate ecological effect can only be guessed at this point.
Some of the disbelievers or deniers insist that things are not so bad yet and there does seem to be some disagreement as to the detrimental effects of it all yet — but with millions of gallons of toxic crude spilling into the ocean and washing up onto shore, it can’t be good. It’s threatening sea turtles, I understand, and I’m sure it is threatening or has already killed much sea life, to include the fishery. Even the chemicals used to disperse the oil are toxic.
But anyway, I connect the one thousandth U.S. combat death in Afghanistan and the oil disaster in the Gulf because to me they are symptoms of the same problem.
The U.S. depends upon oil to such a degree that it sends soldiers to fight and die in a place where it has no business — last I heard Osama Bin Laden was in Pakistan and why do we have to send an Army to get one man in what more and more seems to be a hopeless cause?
(While Afghanistan is not a major oil exporter, its neighbors are and that is why we are there — make no mistake about that.)
The only way we could ruin the sanctuary for the Taliban and Al Qaeda there is to send in a huge force (thousands more than are there now) we don’t have, occupy the country and run it ourselves for a long time and that might not work either.
Meanwhile, we risk ruining our planet by drilling for oil in the ocean.
While I doubt our government could have predicted the calamity in the gulf (although stricter oversight and regulations could have helped), there seems to be some question now as to whether it has a handle on things and whether it is letting BP get away with withholding information.
The U.S. government needs to be in charge here (although the oil people have us over a barrel, so to speak, what with their lock on oil technical knowledge) and criminal action should be brought against BP what with evidence coming out that it skipped safety measures to save money (penny wise and pound foolish there).
And having BP drill oil off the U.S. coast is not making the U.S. energy independent — BP is British, not American.
The nation that sent men to the moon ought to be able solve its energy problems here on earth.
While I realize that the U.S. will be dependent upon oil for some time to come, it seems to be stuck in first gear on modernizing its energy system.
Strangely, though, even with this current disaster and all the millions of gallons and/or barrels of wasted oil, it is reported that due to a glut on the market, gasoline prices are expected to continue to decline somewhat.
So there is some good news here.
However, at last report, I have not heard of much progress on plugging the leak.