Exploring the Stories of the Islands and the Freedoms of Third Age

I’m Angry About What’s Happening in the Gulf of Mexico.


One of my friends pointed out on her Facebook page that this isn’t an “American” problem, it’s an international problem, and although, in Europe (though, literally, geographically, personally I’m aware that I am not!) we are not in the direct line of fire, this, let’s face it, may be the first .  The first huge environmental tragedy of these dimensons, that is. There are reports and estimates pouring out daily, and yet, it seems as if only in the US is this a really big news story.  The media are very much to blame, always refering to it as “the worst environmental disaster in US history”.

Don’t we care about the thousands of animals and fish caught up innocently in this horror, or is it because reliable estimates are so hard to verify, and the scale so huge that we are simply turning off to it?  Even before this tragedy there were five different types of turtle either endangered or threatened, as well as fish and coral:

We have all seen friendly dolphins interacting with humans  theme parks, and some of us have been lucky enough to see them in the wild.  There is no thrill like the first time you’re out on the ocean in a slow moving boat with a school of dolphin escorting you through the blue, racing along side, diving under the boat and reappearing on the other side, as if they are playing hide and seek.  Hundreds and hundreds of people leave the harbors of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Americas in the Tenerife every year on boats and catamarans just for a glimpse of these engaging creatures.  They fascinate us, why would we wish them harm, or not care if they are harmed?

BP are beyond evil and greedy, but not even only that – they are incompetant as well!

Even if we aren’t great animal lovers, even if we are hiding our heads in the sand regarding the state of the planet environmentally, don’t we care about our fellow humans who, in the midst of the worst depression ever, are now faced with the loss of their livelihoods if they work in the fishing industry, or in related industries like restaurants and retailers?   Isn’t life hard enough right now without big business f***ing up peoples’ lives?  How about, instead of BP as a company having to make compensations to these people, how about it comes directly out of the pockets of the people runnning the company?  Why, come to think of it, should innocent shareholders suffer?  I suppose there are people who invested in BP stock to provide a nestegg for their retirement, why should they suffer (ok, yes, buying stocks and shares is always a gamble, but hey).  Why doesn’t the despicible Tony Hayward pay for it out of his personal fortune, along with every board member and employee, and previous employee who contributed to this horror?

Oh, and btw, my UK friends the latest news does not bode well for the country:

Thousands of us, Europeans,  have visited those stunning, white beaches of Florida, don’t we care that they are now polluted by thick, sticky crude oil?  which is not to underrate what is happening in Louisiana or Alabama, it’s just that a lot of us know Florida.    Even if we are so heartless as to not care about what is happening on the U.S. coasts, don’t we see this as a warning?  If it can happen there, why can’t it happen in our back yards?  It’s already happened in Africa, but we already know that things that happen in Africa don’t move us that much, don’t we.  This might five you an idea of how it would look if it happened near you.


Really I shouldn’t be writing this.  I’m very, very angry, and my fingers are flying without much attention to accuracy or content, and one shouldn’t even be online in this kind of mood.  However, I’ve said my piece, it might help to dispel my own anger a bit, but it won’t directly help what’s happening over there in the Gulf.  It will be a long time before I buy BP again, even though I understand the logic of not targetting gas station owners etc etc I couldn’t being myself to do it anyway, and the cheapest gas station within easy reach of my house is BP.  So, I’ll be going that extra mile for a while.


Author: IslandMomma

Exploring island life and the freedoms of Third Age: Challenging myself every day: writing, traveling, snapping pix, running & teaching ESL

5 thoughts on “I’m Angry About What’s Happening in the Gulf of Mexico.

  1. Ho dear! I am maybe going to upset you and work you up even more! Yes everything you say is true HOWEVER there is a collective guilt for all of us who have become bigger consumers of oil than we ever used to be. USA is one of the biggest ‘oil consumer’ countries in the world. A friend of mine has been boycotting Shell petrol stations for years and always uses BP (I must ask her who she uses now). If we boycott BP stations does this mean they will run out of money which they need to compensate all the poor people affected by the disaster? Just a thought.
    I find the pollution of our planet a dreadful thing and the amount of rubbish in the seas already is soo bad.

  2. Oh, you couldn’t make me any angrier, don’t worry! Hence my very inarticulate rant!

    I agree absolutely, we most definitely have collective guilt, those of us who have been aware of various problems of this sort more than most, because I do believe most people are ignorant of the consequences of our transportation habits. I can only assume that people bury their heads in the sand, because there is, most certainly, plenty of information out there. (It’s the same with obesity – how many obese people do you see waddling around, when magazines and newspapers are full of warnings about the dangers? And why should we subsidize a health service so that people can indulge their greed, and then turn to medicine when they become ill? And don’t even mention smoking!) We are afraid of writing laws to control such stuff because it infringes on personal freedom, but what’s the alternative? For me, anything which needs changing in this world has to start with the schools. We can’t afford for another generation to grow up being so casual about life.

    Shell are probably as bad –
    Shell it is who are exploiting Nigeria, for instance, but all we hear in the western press is about pirates in the Niger delta…..could be that they are fighting for a reason?

    I know this argument for not boycotting any oil company – the best rebellion, of course, would be to use our cars less and thus buy less gas anyway, but if we have collective guilt, then don’t we also have collective responsibility? So, how do we demonstrate that? I don’t see any other way open to me as an average citizen of the planet. In any event the suggestion is to boycott BP, in this case, until the current spill is cleaned up. So the implication is that if they get their act together, and act with responsibility they will be “forgiven” and this will be demonstrated when we begin to buy again. There is a video on YouTube which airs a news item from the 70s, which, if no-one told you, you would think was about this crisis, so similar is it – in other words no lessons were learned from that disaster. One of the things which exacerbates all of this for me is the incompetance and arrogance with which it has been handled. How can a company of this size and world importance have a PR department which is so out of touch with life? Only because they think they are above recrimination, responsibility and criticism?

    I suppose my anger is fuelled not only by this current situation, but by a growing awareness and disgust of these giant conglomerates. I abhor the violence demonstrated in Toronto last week, but I can totally understand where these frustrated people are coming from. Before the current recession Spanish banks were displaying a similar attitude to their clients, so does the main telecommunications company in Spain, Telefónica. This, simply, from my personal experience.

    The motor car has more to answer for then current environmental problems too, from Congo to the Amazon to Indo-China local populations were exploited and abused horrifically just to supply rubber for our tyres as cars became more available the average, western citizen.

    And, yes, I do drive a car. I try, as much as I can, to limit my use, to combine chores, and schedule appointments so that there is one journey instead of two or three. I use the bus and tram when I can. Happily, this is quite easy here, where these services really are quite good. It would be nice if there were more buses on some routes, but there we go back on the roundabout again.

    I also try to recycle everything I can. I do believe that our lack of respect for others and for the planet is linked to the attitudes which have resulted in this tragedy in the Gulf. Again, we are quite well-served here by recycling facilities, but, of course, recycling isn’t the answer, it’s only a patch. Oil isn’t used only to fuel cars, it’s used in the making of plastics too……and so it goes on. A complete rethink of the consequences of life needs to be undertaken by the UN, with all members in agreement to implementing the conclusions. Is this going to happen? What do you think?

    • Nope!
      Whilst I am being so careful eating it makes me feel doubly glad I am, when I see some of the dreadful cases, who here on holiday are stuffing in so many calories etc. and wearing tight, skimpy clothing just to leave you in no doubt as to their size! On holiday so who cares? We the residents care.
      I recylce everything I can, and love finding new uses for things instead of throwing them, plus, in Winter we have an open fire and can burn certain things instead of landfill. Amazing how much less we throw away after composting, recycling, re-using etc. BUT I watch a neighbour who obviously doesn’t recycle and on ‘normal’ refuse day his bin overflows and he looks into other people’s bins for space for all his extra 7 bags of rubbish, which must contain loads of recyclable items!
      I have to look into who supplies my supermarket with petrol, have been lazy about that. I am not sure what exact proportion of the cost of fuel goes in tax but it play a large part in the economy. It now costs me £40 to fill up and when I got my car a few years ago it was £30.
      Now with my famous bus pass I can travel free and of course walk and cycle.

      • it is possible that BP supplies Tesco – but very hard to find out where the supermarket petrols come from. and 72% of what we pay is tax! and they still want more – feel the squeeze!

  3. I tried looking too. It’s almost as if all the information out there is intended to confuse you! I am thinking they have a cartel of some sort?

    If they dress like that in Blackpool, just imagine what it’s like here! I hasten to add that I am well aware of being overweight myself…..I tend to criticize people more for having the same faults I do, when I slim maybe I’ll be more tolerant, but then I am still paying for their health care, aren’t I!

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