Monday, May 24, 2010

A Bit Of A Rant (Language Alert)

I guess being a self-declared genius doesn't mean what it used to mean:
It was an accident. It couldn't have been foreseen. The possibility that an oil rig might explode isn't one of the concerns voiced by environMENTALists. At least, it wasn't until now.

Accidents, including catastrophic accidents, are foreseen all the time. That is why regulations regarding workplace safety and health exist. By mandating certain things, and limiting other things, the chances this or that accident may happen in any particular instance is reduced significantly.

If the point I was trying to drive home in my immediately prior post wasn't clear enough, I shall endeavor to make it so.

We have heard for far too long that industrial regulation is a hindrance. Workplace safety regulations are unnecessary because of course businesses care about their workers, of course industry cares about the environment because the people who run businesses live in the environment, too. Financial regulation hinders employment and economic growth and opportunity, and bubbles like the housing bubble happen, like shit, so what can you do about it?

As far as I'm concerned, this on-going disaster should be laid at the feet of every politician, right-wing intellectual, libertarian nincompoop, and average agnotological right-winger who has insisted for years that we need to drill baby drill, that the environmental damage of any particular potential accident is outweighed by the economic benefits, and besides that who cares about brown pelicans, anyway?

If these people had the courage of their convictions they would look at what is happening in the Gulf, shrug their shoulders, and say, "Oh, well. Shit happens. What you gonna do?"

Like Rand Paul, though, they have no balls. Called out for outrageous statements that, at the very least, have intellectual integrity in their favor, they carry on as if this problem is someone else's. They demand to know why more wasn't done to prevent this accident, to minimize the damage, to protect the workers. On and on and on, without ever once realizing this incident is a direct result of the way they ran this country.

As far as I'm concerned, this is their fucking fault. Let them clean it up, or be consistent enough to not give a fart in a windstorm about it.

You either live with the results of policies that you favor whether they are good or bad, or you don't. In the first instance, you own up when the shit hits the fan. If you refuse to accede any responsibility for cataclysmic fuck-ups like what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico, then you might at least be adult enough to admit your error, and do something about it. Hiding behind weasel words like "it was an accident!" is meaningless. More than that, it is intellectual and moral cowardice.

If Gov. Jindal is correct that more than enough booms and other tools to help clean up the oil exist, and he is just sitting around and waiting for someone else to give the go-ahead to protect the coast line of his own damn state, he is admitting, quite publicly, that he is a failure. If former Gov. Palin really thinks that we need more drilling in the Gulf, then she needs to get herself down there and poo-poo the tar-balls on the beach, that surround the corpses of dolphins and birds as the inevitable cost of energy independence. If all those who claim that Pres. Obama is a Marxist dictator really had any idea what they meant, then why isn't he just drafting all of us to haul ass down to the Gulf and get the situation under control?

This disaster is a direct result of policies we have been told, over and over again, are better than the alternatives, that the costs are low compared to the benefits, that we shouldn't worry about endangered species under threat from an industry that exists to draw a hazardous chemical from within the earth. We have been led by the nose to this point by people who really couldn't care less about the economic and environmental damage their policies might bring until they actually do bring them. Then, of course, the fault lies elsewhere.

Bullshit. Grow a pair. Admit that, yes, indeed, this situation is due directly to the regulatory regime being minimal. Admit you don't really care about environmental damage, that we need to drill, baby, drill, despite what is happening because a few soiled ecosystems and dead birds and sea mammals and reptiles are a small price to pay for a little more oil.

If you can't do that, don't be surprised that I am not interested in hearing what you have to say.

Virtual Tin Cup

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