How much of the BP oil spill comes from our addiction to oil?
The disastrous spill in the Gulf of Mexico is part of an ongoing pattern. USA Today reports that the number of spills from offshore oil rigs and pipelines in US waters has more than quadrupled this decade. And the company with the most spills? BP of course.
Philip Harris in the American Chronicle presents a startling list of all the oil spills going back to 1967 but the most striking feature of that list is that these spills have escalated in the last 20 years.
Harris says there is a reason for this. Society is to blame. "As long as we point the finger at another, we think we are free from guilt and not responsible for the solution of problems,'' Harris writes. "But let´s be clear, our insatiable appetite for oil, power, and throwaway consumer goods has allowed the rampant rape and pillage of the very home on which we live. As long as our cars run, the lights come on, the food is on the shelves and we can get the latest disposable gadget, the purveyors of black gold can do as they will. Certainly someone is watching them and, if a problem occurs, ´someone´ will deal with it."
Earlier this month, I did a blog entry suggesting we are entering an age of "tough oil". Because of depleting oil reserves, companies will be forced to drill in deeper, more remote and riskier places. And that means we can expect many more spills like the one in the Gulf of Mexico.
Is it any wonder that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is now reported to be planning a proposal to be put to the G20 that it set up a fund to deal with future environmental crises, like another oil spill?