Posted By RichC on April 23, 2010
Few of us remembering the first Earth Day back in 1970 will argue that mankind was not damaging the environment or that seeking to pollute less wasn’t worthwhile goal. Now looking back 40 years, we can’t deny the significant improvements in both personal and industrial practices — at least in the United States. Still, there continues to be a debate as to just how much is too much (both ways) and how damaging we are to the ecosystem. The question of how do we regulate society when in comes to using resources and impacting the environment continues. There is little disagreement when it comes to obvious blunders and purposeful abuse, but there is also a healthy dose of skepticism toward those building a bureaucracy around debated global warming theories and CO2 contributed by humans. (button photo credit to friend Clyde Witt who writes the blog My Witt’s End.)
For this year’s April 22nd’s 40th anniversary, I found it ironic that an offshore oil rig would be burning, leaking crude oil and sinking into the Gulf of Mexico. Who isn’t bothered by an obvious environmental disaster like this … with an immediate human toll as well: 11 missing workers. It’s not an accurate comparison to Cleveland Ohio’s Cuyahoga River burning in the late 1960’s, but seeing the image above and remembering that a “river caught fire” was the wake up call to many Americans that something needed to be done. For me hearing about oil spilling and watching the black smoke billow is a sickening reminder to me that careful stewardship of the planet is something in our best interest.
The good news was that we have made strides to address our abuse in the 20th century and in the case of this weeks “oil drilling platform” … the oil spill may not be as bad as feared.
The Deepwater Horizon had burned violently for nearly two days until it sank Thursday morning. The fire’s out, and officials had initially feared as much as 336,000 gallons of crude oil a day could be rising from the sea floor 5,000 feet below.
Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said Friday morning that no oil appeared to be leaking from the well head at the ocean floor, nor was any leaking at the water’s surface. However, Landry said crews were closely monitoring the rig for any more crude that might spill out.