Being a resident of Alabama, I have been following the BP oil spill in the gulf since the beginning.   It is an awful tragedy which is still unfolding.  But, as predicted, people have been reacting instead of acting.  Instead of thinking things through, and doing something useful and helpful, they are acting on their emotions.  It’s not their fault really, it’s the culture we have been raised in.  Governments have always and will always try to control their people in whatever way works for them, and they will say anything to justify it.  Is that wrong?  After all, the government’s job is to keep people in line.  Is it possible to control such a large and vastly different population without even a smidge of injustice or wrong-doing?

In the US, they have chosen to control us with fear.  This has been happening since at least 2001, with the 9/11 attacks.  Our government has continued this by adding WMD’s in Iraq to our list of fears, and then creating a terror alert system, and continuing a war “on terror”.  You can win a war with a country.  You might be able to win a war with a group.  But terror is an idea, one that can breed in many circles, and is bound to resurface.  The beauty of an idea is that, once shared with others, it can never truly die.  It will always be there for people to learn from or build on.  And so, by creating an unwinnable war, they have successfully created an environment of constant fear.  This is how we have been raised for the past 9 years.

By living in a constant state of fear, we are taught to react on instinct and emotion, without evaluating the facts.  The BP spill is no exception.  When we heard about it, we were outraged, and not without merit.  These people were killing our environment, and our livelihood.  And they were in no hurry to do anything about it.  So, if they aren’t going to do anything about it, what are we going to do?  Well, many people did think of what they could do to stop it–trying alternative methods for stopping it, donating hair and other things.  But the most popular idea was to boycott BP.  Now, that is the natural standby when a company won’t do what you want them to do, so it was the natural reaction when people are reacting immediately, on instinct and emotion.  It’s their fault and they better fix it, and quick.  But after taking the time to think, you may see the problems with this.

  1. Is it possible to stop the oil flow quickly?
  2. What needs to be done to stop the oil spill, quickly or not?
  3. How much does it cost to stop the spill?
  4. Where will the money come from?
  5. If BP is paying, where are they getting the money from?

Ay, there’s the rub.  We can reasonably assume that if BP is responsible for the spill, that they are also responsible for stopping it, cleaning it up, and more importantly, paying for it.  Those rotten bastards are going to pay, and we’re going to make sure they pay good, just like we did to Germany after the World War.  What’s that you say?  There were actually two World Wars?  And the second was started because Germany was too broke to pay up?  And they were broke because we got mad and kept them from doing pretty much anything that could reasonably help them make money to pay off their war debts?  And so, by trying to stop them from making a big mess of the world again, we actually contributed to a sense of fear and injustice in Germany which led their people to be desperate for a solution.  Now, I doubt that BP will go waging war to get funds to pay back all the reparations we expect from them.  They’ll probably just declare bankruptcy.  Oh, and just so y’all know, those CEOs from BP won’t be hurting for money if BP has to file bankruptcy.  They don’t own the company, and even if they did, BP is a large enough company that they are probably set up so that they can’t have their personal assets seized if the company has to file bankruptcy.  If they have to file bankruptcy, it will hurt alot of people, but it won’t change a thing in regards to the oil spill, and it won’t prevent future spills.

“But BP is the bad guy!”  A fallacy.  There is no good guy or bad guy.  There are only the guys in control, and the sheep that follow them.  We are taught to believe in good and evil, right and wrong, but most people never learn that these are social constructs, created by some of the people to control the other people.  BP is just the guy who screwed up.  How can BP make this right?  They have finally stopped the oil flow.  They have started clean up, but efforts are ongoing, and I’ve heard they’ve stopped cleanup in some areas that still need it.  I don’t know why that is, but maybe I’ll do some digging later to find out.  I can say that it’s possible that they just don’t care and have moved on.  But it’s also possible that they don’t have either the funds or the manpower to clean all the areas that need to be cleaned, and so they are prioritizing the worst areas, while leaving the other areas for a later time or for volunteers.  And then there’s this whole “claims czar” business.  Why did they choose the term “czar” instead of “manager” or something?  But that’s beside the point.  The point is, people have been hurt by the spill, and they expect to be paid for it.  They expect BP to pay for it.  BP has agreed to pay for it, or at least part of it.  Where is BP getting the money from?  Their sales and profits.  If BP’s sales decrease, then they can’t afford to pay as much.  Or, they have to cut employees.  Maybe both.  Either way, somebody’s getting screwed.

So, the CEOs still get their share of the money, while others further down the line lose their jobs.  Station owners are losing money because people don’t want to buy BP’s gas.  Never mind the fact that stations are usually independently owned, and that the owners have no control over BP’s decisions.  So now the station owners are thinking of switching to other fuel companies, to keep themselves in business.
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We’re forgetting something…. BP is not the only company with oil rigs in the gulf.  Besides, BP will probably sell their rigs either before or during bankruptcy.  So even if the BP rigs are actually different than other rigs (which I doubt), some other company is bound to acquire the BP rigs anyway.  Who said they could put all those rigs out there anyway?  We did.  We voted to have these, or we voted for a politician who voted for these.  Or we didn’t vote at all, allowing someone else’s opinions to be forced on us.  Only a few spoke out–not enough to keep it from happening.  We let it happen, or maybe we welcomed it with open arms.  We just can’t envision a world that doesn’t run on oil.  But that’s okay… we don’t have to figure out how a world without oil works, we just have to ask for one.  It’s up to our politicians to decide who will create our new world.  We are the tyrant whose demands must be met.  “But I thought the politicians were in control??”  No, they aren’t.  The politicians want one thing–your vote.  You can give it to them mindlessly, or you can make them work for it.  BP isn’t the only company hurting our environment.  They aren’t the first to have a major disaster, and they won’t be the last.  It’s time for a change–now.