Home > Political > How about a “Told you so”?

How about a “Told you so”?

There is a lot to get discouraged about when it comes to the oil spill, but America’s pathetic response is probably the most discouraging thing of all. Peter Daou wrote an excellent piece last week on the Huffington Post about how the oil spill is the biggest opportunity we’ve had in a generation to push back against the green-bashers who enabled the oil companies to wreak their environmental havoc upon us but that nobody is going after them. If there was ever a time for the adherents of an ideology—environmentalism—to launch of a big fat fucking “We told you so” at the adherents of another ideology—green-bashing—now is the time. And since my blog is mostly a bunch of substance-free ranting anyway, I suppose this is as good a platform as any to do it.

Seriously you guys—we told you so. You said that offshore drilling was safe, that we needed to extract every drop of oil from the earth’s crust and that the potential environment damage was negligible. Look at the news. Who was right and who was wrong? Go ahead and defend your position now.

What can you say except that we need oil to fuel our cars and jet-planes and that renewable energy sources won’t do the job so oil drilling is necessary? Well, is it necessary? Or is it just that oil companies have so much influence over the government that we don’t spend what’s required to switch to alternative fuel sources and instead keep paying for fossil fuels? Sure, maybe we can’t currently supply enough energy to power our country on clean energy sources alone, but with enough research we might be able to, especially if we’re also willing to make some sacrifices regarding our energy use. If we devoted as much money and resources to developing new energy technologies and strategies for sustainability, I think we could pull it off. We put men on the moon, didn’t we? Whatever happened to Obama’s proposal for an “Apollo-style” program to switch America to clean energy?

Now I spend a lot of time bashing Obama—and I will again in just a moment—but I have to give credit when credit is due and he did come out this week and used the oil spill to justify the push for clean energy. I usually do like what the president says. It’s what he does that pisses me off. In front of the cameras he admits that there’s no safe way to drill for oil in extremely deep water, but behind closed doors he still lets oil companies start new drilling projects.

If this spill won’t be a wake-up call for America in terms of our feelings regarding energy and the environment, then I don’t think we ever will wake up. Clearly, while we had the technology to drill at those depths, we never had the technology to prevent a catastrophe if something went wrong. So we let them drill, and what did we get out of it? BP certainly got their fair share of profits, and when all is said and done they might very well still be standing just like Exxon after the Valdez spill. But what did the American people get? Obtaining some of our oil from domestic sources reduced the price of gasoline by a few cents at most. The average family probably saved a few bucks a year. So for a few bucks a year we’ve allowed entire ecosystems to be destroyed, livelihoods to be ruined, tourism-based economies to be crushed, and cities to be placed in jeopardy due to the loss of hurricane surge-protecting marshlands. I won’t even mention the horrific deaths of countless animals—as we already know the opposition can’t be moved by that.

We should be rubbing this in their faces, but instead we continue to let Rush Limbaugh dictate the terms of the debate. “It’s the environmentalists’ fault!” he cries. What’s it going to take to get these people to acknowledge that they’re wrong? Global warming could accelerate, the ice-caps could melt and the sea-levels could rise and flood New York City and the likes of Limbaugh and Beck would still be railing against Al Gore from their new studios further inland.

Every single republican who ever took the microphone and initiated a chant of “Drill, baby, drill” should have to shut up and hide away in shame right now. They should be too embarrassed to show their faces in public, let alone go on national TV and continue to defend offshore drilling. And yet Sarah Palin, the worst of the worst of the Drill-baby-drillers, goes on Facebook to say what she really meant was “Drill, baby, drill in safe onshore locations” in spite of all the clips of her explicitly saying offshore. She actually has the nerve to say to the “greenies”: “Now, do you get it?”

Well, fuck me. If only we’d listened to Sarah Palin. She warned us about drilling in the right locations, but we tree-hugging sissy-pants liberals just wouldn’t listen. BP wanted to drill safely on shore but we just wouldn’t have it and we forced them to drill so far from the coast that a catastrophe like this was bound to happen.

No, goddammit! Sarah Palin does not get to be the one saying “I told you so” here! This is one instance in which one side is clearly right and the other clearly wrong. They said offshore drilling was safe and that the reward would be well worth the relatively negligible risk. Well the risk was not negligible and the reward was hardly worth it. How about some kind of consensus in the media regarding what’s right before our eyes?

Luckily, what’s right before our eyes is so hard to ignore that offshore drilling supporters actually do feel like they have to walk back from it and insist “I never said drill, baby, drill.” But the media is still so obsessed with the appearance of objectivity that they continue to invite people on to talk about how important and necessary offshore drilling is for America.

And the president goes along with it. Now is the best opportunity we’ve ever had to simply say “Enough is enough” and make a clean break with oil. But even in spite of this tragedy, in spite of all the warnings of environmentalists having come to fruition, they are still regarded as some kind of nutty fringe that just doesn’t get it. And we keep on drilling.

They are the ones who don’t get it. There’s only so much damage we can do to the earth before it starts to purge us like a disease. We’re sucking sludge from the ground and spewing it all over the sea and into the sky. We don’t treat it like a catastrophe because it’s happening so slowly, but just look at the images of the oil gushing from that well and consider that it’s now guaranteed to keep gushing until August at the earliest. This crisis is just one small part of a much larger crisis, and the people who are out there shouting warnings from the rooftops continue to be derided as naïve and childish fools. If we do keep sucking and spewing until the planet is pushed past its tipping point and billions of us start to die off, the fact that they can then say “We told you so” will be no consolation.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.