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Boycott Babies


I am surprised that the BP Deepwater blowout has had so much staying power in the headlines, given the dearth of truly ugly images. It’s almost like it is more a fashion/fad to hate BP than to actually care about documented harm.

I see so much hatred, and it strikes me as evidence of the infantile mindset of the U.S. public. People seem to think that if they throw a big-enough tantrum, the oil well will be capped. There’s an underlying assumption that BP isn’t already trying all they can with the knowledge and resources available.

There may be some techniques that sound promising—like sucking up the oil/water mix into tankers for later separation—which are not being pursued. The armchair experts split into two camps in trying to explain why BP isn’t aggressively pursuing the suction strategy. The leftoids say it is because BP is cheap. The righties say it is because there are legal and procedural hurdles. As far as I have come across, only one credible oil expert has said suction is technically viable.

I reject the BP-is-cheap hypothesis. They may well have been cutting costs before the blowout, thus increasing the risk of accident. But now everybody knows there will be suits and years of investigation. If BP is found not to have followed the best course, the damage to the company—and to the corporate decision-makers personally—will be magnified. If they execs are truly blind to everything but profit, they have to be doing all they can to, “plug the hole.”

Legal and procedural hurdles certainly exist. The current President is failing to work with the Governor of Louisiana on mitigation efforts. But as much as I mistrust government, I can’t put the bulk of blame on bureaucrats. If it was only a matter of filing the correct form to stop the spill, the paperwork would get filed.

And therein is a difference between my view and the mass of tantrum-throwers. I’m not looking for targets to blame. I see capping the well and protecting natural resources as the most urgent task. I presume that everyone on the scene is trying to do just that. Sometimes there is nobody to blame. Life is hard; get a helmet.

Further, I see no evidence of the raging public to do anything that actually inconveniences them in order to address the problem. It’s easy to boycott BP when there are competing gas stations on the next block. Not to mention, that gas station owner didn’t do anything to make Deepwater explode. The boycotters punish innocent business operators. And, do they ever think that perhaps it was BP crude that was refined into the fuel they pump from the non-BP gas station? Or is any BP gas fueling the power plant that energizes their computer?

If the tantrum throwers want to make a difference, they have to use less energy. Stop driving. Unplug appliances. And if they really wanted to make a difference, they could go to the beaches and help scoop tarballs. It’s a skill every cat owner possesses.

But babies don’t recognize the concept of sacrifice. And they don’t reason. They just whine.

Here’s a photo from today’s front page of the investing website

Photo of beach litter with oil on it

The oil is bad, sure. But we’re supposed to look past the fact that the oil is stuck to litter. Seems to undercut the righteousness about the environment to use trash—a petroleum-based plastic bottle, no less—as a prop.

It’s easy and fun to rage at a corporate target. But how about giving up plastic? Or, at least picking up after yourself?

And many of the same people who rail about BP, and oil’s danger to Mother Earth, are also fuming about Arizona’s attempt to enforce Federal immigration law. Here’s what illegal criminal immigration does the environmentally precious Arizona desert:

Piles of trash at illegal camp spot

This is what happens when people enter the United States outside a legal crossing.

The whiners and ragers are not interested in a consistent viewpoint. Sometimes the environment matters. But nothing is above feel-good politics.

How about everybody grow up a little?