NUKING THE GULF

Nuking The Gulf
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NUKING THE GULF



Written by Oliver Price
28 Monday 28th June 2010

So, Budget day has been and gone, and we might have to kiss goodbye to the odd tax credit to help tidy up Fred Goodwin’s mess but, essentially, we are all still breathing, the earth is still turning, it’s going to be Ok. So spare a thought for the poor folks over at BP because conspicuous by its absence from the Budget was a BP bailout fund. Which is a shame for them and their share-holders, because Obama has demanded BP set up a £13.5bn fund to compensate the victims, and the clean up is likely to be astronomically expensive, not to mention the loss of revenues.

What’s more, according to a group of Russian scientists, it could be about to get even worse. The Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, the only people to have actually seen the disaster site, in their deep-water submarines, have reported that the Gulf of Mexico sea floor has been fractured “beyond all repair” and we should prepare for an ecological disaster “beyond comprehension”. Apparently there are at least 18 leaks, not just one, which should definitely ensure a new age of austerity for the oil giant.
 
Matthew Simmons, George Bush’s chief energy advisor thinks the US has two options dealing with the problem, either let the well run dry, which could take 30 years and turn the Atlantic into an oil slick, or nuke it. The Russian team, too, think this drastic measure is necessary before all is lost. Given these doomsday forecasts the Obama administration’s adherence to the laissez-faire approach of American free market capitalism has been astonishingly unwavering. After all, BP’s numerous botched and distinctly un-heroic attempts to plug the leaks hardly demonstrate the private sector’s ability to take responsibility for it’s self. If this had happened in communist Russia then by now hundreds of blameless civilians would have been sent to their deaths on foolhardy missions to the bottom of the ocean in canoes. Then they would have nuked it anyway, and poured several Lutons worth of cement on top for good measure. The Chinese would have done the same, and we’d probably know nothing about it too, until babies with four heads started cropping up on nearby island archipelagoes.
 
It’s more than just an oil leak, I tell you, it is the defining moment of the decline of the American philosophy. With the markets in tatters because they let the pigs run the farm, and the Gulf of Mexico heading towards ecological catastrophe and nuclear Armageddon, this will be seen as the moment the American Dream went up in thick black, acrid smog. Sure, it’ll remind us all of our unhealthy addiction to petro-chemicals (until someone works out an affordable way to convert the engine in my old-banger to run on cold-fusion and Apple Mac start making their computers out of hemp, I’m as hooked as the rest of you) but the legacy of the Deepwater Horizon wont be to teach us all to insulate our lofts and join Green Peace. It’ll be to mark the moment the world fell out of love with the great American unbridled free-market experiment. So if BP CEO Tony Hayward was hoping for a bit of state support in dealing with this ‘very modest’ unprecedented ecological disaster, he can think again, many things he is, but he is not a banker.

 

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