This morning I saw a headline on the local newspaper that showed the damage that the BP oil spill is doing to beach towns in Florida and could not help but wonder how badly this will affect all the communities that depend on tourism, fishing and other industries that rely on the sea for their survival… not to mention all the sea life that is being lost as a consequence of America’s thirst for oil.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I visited Myrtle Beach, SC and enjoyed four wonderful sunny days when we did nothing more than take long walks on the sand and basically soak up the local atmosphere. We liked it so much there that we actually bought into a time-share so we could go back and not need to stay in hotels and eat in restaurants all the time. But now, I wonder how the good people of that township – which depends heavily in the income of visiting tourists – will fare with this horrible tragedy.
During the 2008 US presidential campaign, we all laughed when we heard Sarah Palin say ‘drill baby drill.’ She got her wish as President Obama authorized offshore drilling in US waters, but now we are faced with this uncontrollable situation that will cost billions of dollars to repair (if that ever comes). Bluntly speaking, Big Oil doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the welfare of the people, and they have done everything in their power to block alternatives to oil. Pres. Bush and his cronies got us into an unnecessary war so Americans could keep their gas-guzzling SUVs on the roads, but he did almost nothing to encourage less pollution.
With this situation in the Gulf, it’s easy to blame Washington (the worst irony being that the same people who are asking Pres. Obama for help are the same idiots who months ago complained about government interference during their Tea Parties). However, we are all to blame when we refuse expanding public transportation. In Myrtle Beach, I had a conversation with a local who explained that their City Council went against creating good transportation (they do have public buses but they only run every hour… which makes it worse than using buses in Miami) in fears of bringing ‘undesirables’ to the community. But what they missed was the fact that having a good bus system would take cars off the road and economize fuel.
I think now is the time to consider weaning all of us from our dependency in fossil fuels. Or we will have drastic consequences that might even be worse than the situation we are now facing. And if that means more regulation, so be it. Corporations are not to be trusted.