Thursday, June 10, 2010

`Wednesday June 23rd 2010

Today i will begin my post with some commentary about the oil spill in the gulf of Mexico.As i am sure readers are well aware this has been going on for 63 days and that it seems it will continue for some time to come.One thing i have noticed in the coverage of the spill is a lack of reporting on the ship traffic coming up the Mississippi River with imports.This is a huge over site on the part of the reporting on this disaster,because if these imports are forced to stop there is going to be a large disparate impact on the economy.There is a very large amount of imports that travel up the river that will not be coming anymore.This will be very bad for all the businesses that rely on these imports,not to mention the effects of oily ships fouling the waters of the river.I personally don't believe they will allow ships fouled with oil into the river but with the way things are going who can say.The Government has allowed so many things to happen i would have not believed,so i must assume this is possible.
The press has not covered this issue at all,so i don't know if the ship traffic has continued up to this point.Because of the horrible effects the oil is having on the environment of the coast and also in the gulf itself it seems to me this is one subject that is being completely ignored.Because approximately 70% of the seafood consumed in the US comes from the Gulf,business related to seafood will be dismal at best.I am afraid with BP being allowed to drag out the claims process for lost profits and wages,many thousands of Gulf Coast seafood related industry mainstays will be lost.This will include wholesalers,retailers and restaurants as well as fisherman who rely on the gulf for an income.The trickle down effect of this loss will mean the families of folks detrimentally effected will not have money to shop for groceries,clothing,and anything else for that matter.This will put many more folks into State and Federal sponsored emergency help like welfare and food stamps,overwhelming an already overburdened system.Food pantries already having trouble keeping up with the current needs related to the Great Recession will be completely and totally shut down.Religious institutions that also help care for the less fortunate will also be forced to turn away people because of the large amount of families in need.
As i write this the effects of the oil spill are just beginning to be felt along the coast,but it will spread faster than a California wildfire.The way our Federal officials are downplaying this is worse than criminal.They have always sided with big industry in order to fund the next campaign,and this will be no different.I hope that enough attention can be brought to bear that they will not allow this horrible catastrophe to move into the fresh waters of the Mississippi River,but i will not hold my breath.To stop the ship traffic coming up the river will be catastrophic in and of itself due to the volume of imports that are brought through the gulf waters into the Fragile Environment of the Mississippi,multiplying the horrible impact on all of different levels of wildlife.Taking the results of the oil spill into this place is going to put many more species in danger.Fresh water fish and fowl,animals that rely on them will cause a cascade of death through the food chain all through the whole length of the river.
Putting this economic and environmental disaster into the proper perspective entails knowing more about the MMS and other governmental over site of deep water drilling rigs and where when and how they are allowed to operate.There are many of these rigs deep in the waters of the Gulf,and now Senators and congressional representatives are screaming to allow them to continue to operate.How this economic and environmental catastrophe doesn't give people pause to reflect is beyond me.The horrible damage to the environment will continue for years and years but the folks on the coast are more concerned with allowing these irresponsible companies to continue to operate without any pause to take a look at the whole system.The way these leases are given out,the over site of the companies involved,the SAFETY of the rigs and the workers on them,ect.I don't believe for a second there are no concerns to the folks who are going to suffer the repercussions of the damage this is going to cause the coast.The wildlife is going to be damaged beyond any ones wildest imagination,and they want to just go on as usual with the rigs operating like nothing has happened.The MMS is a broken corrupt agency just like most levels of the Government itself.The agency has been staffed with Oil industry insiders since long before G.W.Bush was president.This is very common in our country for whatever the industry is,you can bet the regulation and over site body of the Government is going to be staffed with industry insiders.This is on top of the Lobbyists for whatever industry being staffed by former congressional staffers and actual retired members of the government.This particular agency,the MMS,is supposed to be being cleaned up by The Secretary of the Interior,Mr.Salazar,but i would bet my last dollar that it will be just as broken and corrupt after he reorganizes it.
Yesterday a Judge ruled against the current Administrations 6 month moratorium on deep water drilling,saying they acted arbitrarily and overstepped their authority.The Obama Administration has vowed to file an appeal to this ruling and will continue to push for more safety and over site of this dangerous and stupid practice that itself is admittedly unsafe due to the lack of any ability to stop catastrophic blowouts and no ability to contain such disasters from occurring.I for one hope that they finally realise that the only way to get Americans to wean off of fossil fuel is to FORCE us to take measures to do so.As long as we the people continue to demand fossil fuel for everything we do from driving to heating our homes this mess is going to just be the beginning.I am surprised it took this long to have such a major disaster when i look at the public records regarding the safety standards of this company BP.This company was on the verge of a discretionary disbarment from all Government fuel contracts when it reached a tentative compliance agreement with the EPA,which has since been taken off the table by the current administration.Being the largest producer of oil in the Gulf as well as in Canada and also being the owner of half of the Alaska pipeline from Prudhoe,any major disruption in this companies day to day operations could cost an already weak American economy to fall off the cliff.Around 30,000 of BPs 80,000 employees are Americans,and the company is also the largest supplier of liquid fuel to the American Military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
To quote the famous line from the economist John Maynard Keynes,the one behind Keynesian economics politicians always talk about"Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men,for the nastiest of reasons,will somehow work for the benefit of us all",to me lays the truth right on the table.The current system of Politics in our country which is supposed to be the envy of the world,a Constitutional Democracy,is a failed and broken model that no longer represents we the people.It is more oriented toward business and corporate America,and the almighty dollar is at the center,not the citizenry.As long as things continue to go the way they are,the Country will continue to spiral downward out of control until something happens at the grassroots level to change it.We are not going to survive as we are,in my opinion,unless we reign in the out of control Politicians who have for too long allowed Corporate money to control our system.This is the reason we have this oil fouling our coastline in the Gulf,and it is also the reason we are no longer United as a people.We are arguing constantly about which side is right about issues no one can seem to agree on as the Politicians continue to allow us to be pilfered out of our children's future.I think it is very much like the old story of a man fiddling while Rome burned.
I will end here for now,until next time thank you for reading. Spacewalker