Harvey Wasserman : The BP Dead Zone

Before the Spill: Gulf of Mexico, 2009, from Destin, Florida. Photo ©2009 Mark Meyer.

While our military rots in the wrong gulf:
BP blows an apocalyptic gusher

By Harvey Wasserman / The Rag Blog / May 12, 2010

See ‘Ripple in still water, ‘ haiku by Richard Lee, Below.

As you read this, the life of our bodies, nation, and planet is being blown out a corporate hole in the Gulf of Mexico and into a BP Dead Zone of no return.

The apocalyptic gusher of oily poison pouring into the waters that give us life can only be viewed — FELT — by each and every one of us as an on-going death by a thousand cuts with no end in sight.

Yet our government — allegedly the embodiment of our collective will to survive — has done NOTHING of significance to fight this mass murder. Not one meaningful thing.

As it did while New Orleans drowned downstream from a willfully neglected levee system, our most potentially effective counterforce dithers on the other side of the world, in the wrong Gulf.

We squander our treasure on the largest conglomeration of people and weapons the world has ever seen. It’s bloated with hardware designed specifically to destroy and kill. Hundreds of thousands of Americans sit on our dime in more than a hundred countries, rotting in the outposts of a bygone empire.

Why aren’t they in the Gulf of Mexico, fighting for our truest “national security”?

The depth and scope of this catastrophe is impossible to grasp because it is just beginning. The entire Gulf, the west coast of Florida, the Everglades, the east coast of Florida and all the way up, wherever the currents go… they are all at risk.

This is the most lethal single attack on the life of this nation since December 7, 1941. It is a time that will live only in infamy.

The moment it happened, a sane president, a functional government, a society worthy of survival, would have marshaled every mobile resource available and moved it down to the Gulf.

Except by hitting a nuclear power plant and rendering this all radioactive, no terrorist could dream of igniting the kind of havoc now destroying our most vital, precious and irreplaceable resources.

Our mass media should be filled with stirring images of a focused, determined President mobilizing all available assets to curb the damage. Instead, Barack Obama defends offshore drilling and endorses the resumption of whaling — if this underwater gusher actually leaves any alive. It is a suicidal tribute to the power of corporate ownership.

Instead of a seeing a Gulf population deputized and mobilized to fight for survival, we are subjected to a loathsome trio of corporate stooges — apparently named Larry, Curly and Moe — blaming each other for the catastrophe. They should all be clamped into orange jumpsuits and locked onto a clean-up vessel.

Thus far the only armies officially mobilized are of the corporate PR departments and ubiquitous lawyers savoring the gusher of billable hours sure to stretch through the decades.

Our collective non-response to this cataclysmic reality now includes the introduction of a pathetic “climate bill,” concocted by another woeful trio, in service to the very corporations that have brought us this lethal gusher.

This bill will do nothing to solve this particular problem. Nor will it address the root cause of our addiction to obsolete and suicidal fossil and nuclear fuels at a time when the clean, cheap renewable alternatives are readily available. It is, in short, Beyond Tragic.

Make no mistake: in our lifetime, the Gulf will not recover. Nor will our species.

There are no corners of the Earth that we can pollute without poisoning it all… and our own bodies. We cannot squander our resources on killing people on the other side of the Earth while leaving ourselves to be destroyed by the mayhem at home.

Either our species learns this lesson, and acts on it — NOW! — or we do not survive.

[Harvey Wasserman’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, is at www.harveywasserman.com . He is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and senior editor of www.freepress.org, where this was also published.]

Ripple in still water

Shrill baby shrill yells
drill baby drill but the spill
will kill babies kill

Richard Lee / The Rag Blog

The Rag Blog

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6 Responses to Harvey Wasserman : The BP Dead Zone

  1. Make no mistake: in our lifetime, the Gulf will not recover. Nor will our species. Take a pill or something already.

    The cleanup will happen. Fishing will resume. Playing at the coast will resume. In short order, our species wont even notice the spill. Someday, we wont need to drill in the Gulf for oil. Someday we wont need to mine for coal. This is not that day. Someday, you will offer an energy hungry planet something more than pipe dreams about how quickly alternative energies can be brought online. Someday, but not today. Today we need to drill and mine and tweak the atom for our energy.

  2. Steve Russell says:

    So if the American military were stationed in the Gulf of Mexico, what should they do about the oil spill? Shoot it?

  3. Penelope Rosemont says:


    Why aren’t we putting these oil executive under arrest? Why aren’t they in jail rather than poor people who cause little harm. This is a Chernoble scale disaster for the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S.. The government should seize the oil rigs and the oil fields and use the military to actually do something useful…save the environment. If there is money left over use it save social security.

  4. Sounds like Penelope has never read a short but important document called the Constitution. Perhaps she is not from America. If she understood the Constitution, she would realize just how illegal and offensive her suggestion is.

    But given SCOTUS Justices like recently nominated Kagan, whose judicial philophy seems to be, “if it feel right, it must ok”, Penelope may actually get her wish.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If it can be proved that the execs. chintz-ed on the BOP and risked lives,livelihoods, and other peoples assets they should be punished.

  6. Pollyanna says:

    So it’s 10 days later and the oil is still spurting, and BP is still whining, and there will be a big Investigation. The dead zone is growing. Is this our species’ La Brea Tar Pit?

    Richard’s haiku is brilliant; should be spray-painted on walls everywhere!!

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