Sunday, June 13, 2010

1:1 USA/England

Offensive Material Alert!!! This is NOT about World Cup Soccer. And it's not really about the Brits either. But yeah.....people seem to be a bit touchy nowadays. If you don't want to hear about oil spills, BP and what I think of stock dividends and pension plans in light of the greatest environmental disaster to hit the U.S.....well, feel more than free to wait for the next blog. Get yourself a nice cup of coffee instead. Or tea. I swear, this is not an anti Brit/or USA/or even big, bad oil company rant. I don't think. (But if you own stock in BP - and are waiting for your dividends - be prepared to be offended.)

Those of you who know me personally must be wondering why I've been keeping silent on the whole oil spill thing. Environment. Wildlife. Government. Big companies. I should be going crazy, right?

It's like Liz and the German education system. I'm so furious that I'm speechless.

I read my first news articles and saw my first pictures yesterday.

Denial was so much prettier.

And then Ryan and I went out to see the 3-D Whales and Dolphins movie at the Corso today. (It was last minute or I would have invited Babette, Lori, Cindy, Karen, Syrie and sent out a general email to the English Group. The Corso is an amazing English resource here in Stuttgart; we gotta remember to use it!)

It was nothing new really, nothing that we don't already know. Most whales and dolphins are threatened, if not endangered species. A number will be extinct within our generation.

But it was weird to be watching this in wake of the oil spill. No sorry, in wake of the huge hemorrhaging artery we opened into Mother Earth. (As if you didn't know that's how I've been feeling all along.)

And then it hit me. 3,000 West Indian Manatees. The last of their kind. (I believe there are some dugongs living in the Ganges River; I also believe the Ganges River is so polluted you wouldn't want to be a dugong living in it.)

That species is gone. We killed that species. April, 2010. I know we've killed, and will continue to kill, thousands of insects and plants yearly. Pollution. Climate change. Loss of habitat. Slash and burn agriculture. Overhunting and fishing. (Did you think I'd forgotten all that just because I was silent?)

But we signed THIS species' death warrant with one, specific environment disaster. (Note I didn't say careless business transaction - I don't know enough to place blame. And I do drive a car.)

One bad pipe careless mistake.....hey, accidents, by definition, happen. But this one will kill the Manatee as a species. Then there are the birds, the fish, the crabs, the turtles, the dolphins, the sharks, the plant life, the shrimp......dying slowly. This may not be news to you, anymore......but I'm only ready to accept it now.

Ready to accept this horrible accident as change. Ready to try to make comparisons to the rising age of Aquarius. (Couldn't do much with it, although I did learn a lot about astrology trying!) I'm willing to TRY to accept this, prepared to believe that change is part of the natural cycle of things, even man-made change, and move forward.

Then again I'm not a shrimp boat owner in Louisiana or a resort manager in Florida. Then again, I'm not going to watch the ooze spread down the coast of Mexico, throughout the Gulf and into the Bahamas, Cuba and beyond. (C'mon - do you REALLY believe a disaster of this magnitude isn't going to somehow manage to affect Haiti?!)

This is going to move up the Gulf Stream into New England.

This is going to change the world.

What I will not accept - and here comes the offensive part - is the acrimony of British citizens moaning about falling stock prices and pension plans. Life's a bitch, guys. Welcome to it.

BP's actions - be they negligent, or criminal (and I am NOT saying they are, because my guess is they are no more criminal or negligent than any other oil company)- or just plain bad luck - well, BPs actions have changed the face of the planet. We're all going to have to live with that, in one way or another. Fishermen and homeowners in the affected areas. Stock holders and employees world-wide. Wetlands, sea mammals, fish, birds and plant life.

My God, this is HUGE! I am sorry you are hurting, am sorry about your pension plan. (Really, that has GOT to suck.) Not so funny now that it's not the Americans any more is it?

But BP has got to accept responsibility. Not because they are British, but because it's the right thing to do. (I know I am giving a major oil company a lot of credit here but I'm trying to stay positive!)

Can you IMAGINE how the world would react if a U.S company damaged the environment and economy of another country this way?!

You cannot honestly expect BP to pay out stock dividends before they've cleaned up the mess they've made. It's called an investment. I think that implies risk. Guess what, you lost. You cannot be outraged at the excesses on Wall Street and then turn around and ask for the same thing. My money please, to hell with the rest of it.

I can't believe we are witnessing the destruction of an entire ecosystem, and way of life along the Gulf Coast, and talking about stock dividends in the same sentence. For shame.

But it's not because BP is British. It's because we are all human. We opened up that artery in Mother Earth together.

The USA and Britain have been buddies since that little spat they had a couple hundred years ago.

The U.S. is hurting now and we need your help and support, not your bill of services rendered. (I would be feeling REALLY REALLY shitty and apologizing my ass off to everyone in sight if it were an American or a German company, by the way. I do that a lot as it is, though.)

We're in it together. For better or worse, guys, for better or worse. (The rest of the world would be laughing its collective ass off at BOTH countries....ever believe in karma?......except that the tragedy is too horrid to laugh at.)

Together, we've managed to killed the manatee. That's gotta count for something, right?

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