I’ve been frustrated lately- angry at the tremendous oil slick, and angry that I’m not hearing tremendous outrage. I hear news about the oil slick, but I don’t hear the outrage, and maybe that’s the part of the country where I live, maybe that’s because people don’t really understand the impact that it will and is having, and maybe it’s because it’s not “real” until it affects people’s vacation plans on the beaches of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama.
I’m also frustrated because friends of mine in the oil industry tell me that the technology to kill a well is well-known, and that there were lots of things that could have/should have already been done and that weren’t/aren’t being done. As long as oil wells have been around, we have been trying to stop them when they blow out. Red Adair was a folk hero in Texas and in the oil industry for being able to cap the wells that looked “unstoppable”. He’s the person responsible for shutting down the wells during the Iraq wars in the early 90’s. He “killed” wells, rather than trying to save them, and my friends are telling me that BP has done little to “kill” it, but is focused on “salvaging” it. By salvaging, BP still gets the oil…
Red Adair’s best quote: It scares you: all the noise, the rattling, the shaking. But the look on everybody’s face when you’re finished and packing, it’s the best smile in the world; and there’s nobody hurt, and the well’s under control.
So, British Petroleum also owns Arco gas stations, Castrol oil, and Wild Bean Cafe. I personally plan on boycotting every single one of these brands. Money’s the only thing that a large company pays attention to… Fish have no power, but happy stockholders do. There have already been quotes from the CEO who has said he only “wants his life back”. Well, so do the 11 families who lost a loved one in the explosion, so do the fisherman going bankrupt, so do the marshes.
I have taught my children the difference between a true “accident” and one that you can predict. It’s the difference between breaking a plate on the table and breaking a plate you’re using for third base. British Petroleum had received 760 citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Exxon has received 1. This “accident” could have been predicted.
There is a very personal reason for my outrage. There is some evidence that the skyrocketing rates of autism might be caused by environmental poisoning. While there is some mercury in immunizations, there are tremendously skyrocketing rates of mercury in the soil, in the air and in the water. We are regularly told to restrict our eating of tuna, our use of plastics, our drinking of water from freshwater sources. Parents withhold immunizations, but the reality is that mercury is impacting the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the food we put in our mouths- even our tooth fillings until recently! There are also possible connections between autism and plastics, and autism and coal-burning plants.
I’ve heard children with autism described as the “canary in the mines”. In the old days of mining, the first shift would send down a canary in the bucket. If the canary came back singing, the air in the mine was fine. If the canary was dead, the “bad air” of carbon monoxide had built up and was poisonous. The canaries were the “early warning system” that something was wrong. The skyrocketing rates of autism, even if you account for different criteria, are an early warning system that something in our environment is wrong. Out in the Gulf of Mexico, fish and plankton and sperm whales and pelicans are fighting for their lives in a home that has suddenly gone dark and oily. And their deaths will impact the oxygen in the air, the quality of our water, and my children’s lives.
I refuse to sit back and let a single company poison the earth even more- an earth that may have already caused autism in our family and in so many others. I don’t blame BP for my child’s autism. But I will blame them for so many other problems. And I want others to stop them, too.
This time… this time I can fight back. Please join me in boycotting BP, Castrol, Arco and Wild Bean. Let’s get this under control.