Monday, May 24, 2010

The BP Eco-Nightmare

A while back, I wrote about changing the name of the Asian carp to make it sound better and therefore less threatening – and maybe even edible. (See January – What’s in a Name?) But changing the name of this invasive and destructive fish will not change its impact on the Great Lakes. What’s in a name that can change things?

However, right now I am not thinking about fish. I am continuing my thoughts about the disaster in the Gulf Coast. This morning I read two commentaries on naming this disaster. If you’ve noticed, in some places it is referred to as the Deepwater Horizon Blowout. That’s what CBS’s Sixty Minutes called it.

Joe Romm in his acclaimed blog Climate Progress wondered what we should really call this disaster. He then referred his readers to Dominique Browning who has an excellent post in her blog Personal Nature. Browning makes a connection between the floods in Nashville and the Gulf Coast disaster, which she says we cannot call either a leak or a spill. Neither do justice to the geyser that, hour after hour, day after day, is pouring out in the water. Both posts are worth reading.

Joe’s blog received several comments about the name. Everyone seems to agree that BP needs to be in the description just like Exxon Valdez was and still is following that disaster. Hear Exxon and what do you think? Oil Spill. Hear BP and what do you think? Not just the corner gas station anymore, that’s for sure.

There are several places you can go to learn what the public can do about the disaster, which I am afraid is not much. One place is the Sierra Club website. I found that the Wisconsin Chapter, named after Sierra Club founder John Muir, who was from Wisconsin, site is the easiest to use for contacting officials. Another site is the Deep Water Horizon Response site, but notice how they are not calling it what it really is. The BP Eco-Nightmare.

Addendum: In a press conference this morning, Senator Dick Durbin (D,IL), expressing frustration with the party responsible for the oil gush, said that BP should no longer stand for British Petroleum, but rather Beyond Patience. Good one, Dick.

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