Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Gulf Spill: A Study in American Double Standards?

Quick question: given all the current American ranting opprobrium over the Gulf spill, can I please ask where that same venom was when we consider that US oil companies have been (and still are) pissing oil into the homes and eco-system of the Niger Delta for the last 20+ years? 

Oh, and let's not forget the 1984 Bhopal disaster in India, where a US company, Union Carbide, managed to kill 15,000 people in one fell swoop - the single largest civil disaster in recorded history? 

And whilst the US appears perfectly happy to judge and hang BP in the media, prior to any court case or enquiry,  both of which will surely come, Union Carbide high-tailed it out of India without making any attempt at recompense, or cleaning up the poison it left behind, and offered zero assistance to the survivors. Indeed, whilst no one would debate that what has happened in the Gulf is a disaster, the signal attribute, which has been noticeable in the US media and in US opinion on the internet since the Gulf spill, and then only by its complete absence, is perspective - to a tragicomical degree.

Further reading - click on the article titles below:

BP's behaviour in the Gulf is appalling. But our thirst for oil is the real issue

Science will solve this crisis, but the real cause is America's demands and our refusal to pay oil's true price

Nigeria's agony dwarfs the Gulf oil spill. The US and Europe ignore it

The Deepwater Horizon disaster caused headlines around the world, yet the people who live in the Niger delta have had to live with environmental catastrophes for decades



  1. Thanks for the links, Bren! We here in the states need to be reminded of a few harsh realities. At least British Petro hasn't "hightailed it" out of town. Something to bear in mind.


    Tom Degan

  2. Cosmic Navel Lint13 June 2010 at 11:31

    It's perhaps also worth noting that it was an American company who built the wellhead, and were operating the rig when it blew - something which has been conveniently forgotten by the US mainstream meadia and others commenting on your side of the Pond, Tom. It's also worth remembering that 39% of BP's wealth (stock and investment) is owned by ordinary Americans and their pension schemes - so the more it's trashed in the media over there, the more damage is done to those very same retirement plans of your own countrymen - who've done nothing whatsoever to deserve such treatment.

  3. Elizabeth Nesbitt16 June 2010 at 19:20

    What about what they aren't even telling us?  How far down does that oil go, how many feet underwater that is.  They show us pictures of the surface, but imagine if they showed us pictures from surface to water, how much would be oil?  Than what about as it slowly makes it was all around the US until it is on the south coast, east cost and than the north cost?

  4. Interesting entry & some interesting comments too.
    Hope you're well.

  5. Cosmic Navel Lint14 July 2010 at 02:02

    Hey <span>Adila, thanks for the comments - I'm fine thanks - and you? :) </span>

  6. Cosmic Navel Lint14 July 2010 at 02:04

    Hi Elizabeth,

    thanks for your input, and fair points all; although with today's monitoring technology, I doubt BP is in any position to 'hide' the scale of the spill, even if it wanted to.


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