By this point, everyone is familiar with the Deepwater Horizon Crisis continuing as we speak in the Gulf of Mexico, so I will not rehash all the details. However, there are a few points that this Unbiased Observer would like to make:
1.) The Deepwater Horizon Crisis is not President Obama’s Hurricane Katrina.
People were starving in the streets, children were going for weeks in dirty pampers, elderly people were cut off from life-saving treatments, the NOPD turned into vigilantes and wreaked havoc on an already tumultuous situation. With all the aforementioned things occurring, then President George Bush simply flew in a helicopter overhead, and paused long enough for the “poignant” image of him surveying the damage to be captured as people fought for their lives on the rooftops of the 9th Ward.
Not that President Obama has earned a fan in me by the way he has been handling the situation. This is when we need to see some fire, some passion, some anger. This is when that populist rhetoric he used to rally the masses should be on full display. The people of the Gulf need to see that he feels them on a visceral level, not an academic one, and saying “so I know whose ass to kick” does not have me convinced that he’s as angry as he would like us to believe. Obviously, he is aware that anger is the right emotion to display, but his comes off a bit contrived. Nevertheless, whether he feels the citizens of the Gulf Coast pain, or not, his actions have spoken 100% louder than the Bush Administration’s response to Katrina, and that needs to be acknowledged.
2.) Republican, Democrat, or whatever your party affiliation may be, as citizens, we need to also acknowledge the hypocrisy of our own anger. We are the ones who buy these gas guzzling vehicles that endanger the environment. We are the ones who refuse to walk more than a few feet, and usually it’s only to the refrigerator, to get the remote control, or to the car. We are the ones who place our public officials in the tenuous position of placating our excessive oil dependency, and subsequently keeping the citizens who are employed by these behemoth corporations, well, employed. Let us not be so quick to speak on pure emotion, and realize that we are as much a part of the problem as BP.
We need to focus on creating and utilizing diverse means of energy, and push our administration to do the same. Note, I said “do” the same, not “speak” the same. Supply and Demand is Business 101. If there were no demand, there would be no need for the supply, and BP would not have been able to allow their greed and ignorance to cause the worst natural ecological disaster to ever originate in this country. We have all been part of a problem that exploded in our faces in the Gulf of Mexico…now is the time for us all to be part of the solution.
3.) Energy dependency clearly shapes our foreign policy and that should frighten more citizens than it does.
Hypothetical situation: You borrow money from an online payday loan source. You’re frantic with no where else to turn. Though they charge you an arm and a leg, you’re nice to them, and you don’t rock the boat. You do whatever is necessary because they have something you need…money.
Real situation: We buy oil to keep this country running from such countries as Saudi Arabia and Iraq. And while Saudi Arabia is an ambivalent ally at best to the US- 15 of the 19 alleged 9-11 hijackers were from there- Iraq has clearly been an enemy. Yet, we are as dependent on them to help maintain our oil dependency, as a drug addict is to their supplier. Simply put: How can we honestly put all our efforts into thwarting our foreign adversaries if we need them?
If we are dependent on their oil, we are dependent on them, and that leads to an unfair advantage that the Middle East will continue to have over us as long as we are too lazy as a country to get it together and find alternative means of fuel and use it on a mass scale.
We must not allow this situation to continue to focus on the political. This is an issue that is affecting people’s livelihoods on various levels, and altering the citizens of the Gulf very way of being. We need to stay cognizant of that fact and direct our energy and resources towards not only handling this crisis, but ensuring that this can never, ever happen again.
We saw the real estate bubble burst, we witnessed the banks collapse, now we are virtually trapped as we watch poison leak into our waters with no end in sight.
At a pivotal point in our history, we as US citizens can, and should, minimize our oil dependency. We can shape the country that our children and grandchildren will inhabit. And we can do that not by pointing fingers, playing political chess, and pondering how it will affect future elections; but by realizing that to change the world, we must first change ourselves.