To the Editor:
My older brother, a geologist, asked for my thoughts on BP and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, from an oceanographer’s perspective:
If BP would stop using oil dispersants — they are horrible biologically.
If the state of Louisiana would stay out of it — building barrier islands is ineffective oceanographically, and destructive biologically.
If the engineers would stay out of it — we have to realize there are some things we cannot engineer our way out of.
If we hold BP liable for the longterm — realize that they were unprepared for this, but currently doing the best that industry has to offer.
If the public would continue its dialogue, but quit demanding of our government that it be fixed immediately — it cannot be done.
If people would accept responsibility for the spill (where it really lies) and shoulder blame for the destruction of ecosystems and an economy — inour hyper-consumerism and our insatiable desire for cheap fuel.
Then, and only then, perhaps we will all come to understand that ultimately, in 50 or so years, the earth will cleanse itself, but only if we find a way to: Emphasize and seek other means and sources of energy, and get over and end our desperate thirst for fossil energy — bike more, carpool, take the bus or train, live more frugally (4-wheel drive SUVs were meant for off-road work, not for picking up children from school) — and respect the only home we have.
Stephen Cofer-Shabica, PhD