Using a Crisis

Deborah Venable



There is no doubt that the blowout and resulting leakage of oil from the well in the Gulf this spring triggered a crisis alert.  Not only did the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, the loss of eleven human souls, and the immediate oil contamination signal legitimate concerns, these things set the stage for some of the biggest political blunders we’ve ever seen.  Unlike the Hurricane Katrina event, with which it was politically compared, this one was man-made from the get-go. 


I analyzed the situation back in May with this article and presumed that the crisis would be well used for a while.  I also knew that Mother Nature’s resiliency would far outpace any human actions to handle it, with God’s usual efficiency.  We see now that this is all true.  We also see that the politicians do not want to give up the crisis.      


This article cites the partial headline as the disaster that never was and goes on to marvel at the total mishandling of the oil spill story itself.


We certainly can’t give the press and media a pass on the part they played to make the crisis worse.  It is still going on.  As the all clear is given for the people most affected, those in the fishing and tourism industries, now we hear the cautionary tales of “possible” contamination of the shrimp and fishes and beautiful beaches riding herd on the natural recovery of these industries.  This will compel those most damaged to continue to expect intervening hand-outs from government via BP coffers to make them whole instead of buckling down to the task at hand – taking back their own lives. 


Destroying the economic engine is still the goal of those faithless politicians that do not want to let go of this crisis.  A lot of damage has already been done – but more needn’t be.  The oil is still there in the reservoir and the people who know how to get it out still need work.  Are the media and the politicians going to allow another well to be drilled there?  We are in the wait and see mode now.


Meanwhile, where is all the press on this real ecological disaster story?  While the United States suffers in the usual and only sometimes unusual summer heat, (we’re pounded with heat advisories day in and day out) July and August winter south of the equator is where the real crisis is.  Indeed, this report notes that Argentina has a colder winter than Antarctica, leading to concerns about power shortage there. 




It all comes down to power, doesn’t it?  Just one big power crisis – the power fueled by oil and the political power that seeks to control that and everything else – is used to define us more and more as a people.  In the natural extremes of weather, we use more power for our comfort and well-being.  But in the climate of political in fighting, we need less, not more, political power exerted over us to maintain our economic health.  Using any crisis to seek opposites to these two realities is unconscionable, but we are not likely to see an end to it.  Not unless we take a page from nature’s playbook and find the resiliency to heal ourselves.   



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