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Bad Monkey See – Bad Monkey Do

Why BP Is Stunned By Our Reaction To Their Planet Assault

ecuador_01It’s not only BP terrorizing the planet and they are by no means the first, nor probably the last. Big oil has gotten off scot-free treating Earth like a toxic, septic waste dump for about 100 years. What can be done? Well, a world wide mind-set change from the Ferengi Golden Rule of “The man with gold rules”, change laws and regulations that reward big oil violations with a civil slap on the wrist and a paltry capped fine. It needs to be a criminal offense with ramifications such as:

Mandatory prison time in line with the severity of the event and the degree of malice aforethought for company decision making management.
Pay for cleanup/damages in it’s entirety, controlled by a unbiased third party entity – With time limits on payments – No drawn out legal delays.
No filing for bankruptcy – No caps on fines and fines should be automatically doubled to fund true clean energy/transportation start-ups.

Bob Herbert’s article titled ‘Disaster in the Amazon’, for the New York Times is about Texaco’s (now Chevron) total disregard for Ecuador’s rain forest and inhabitants. It is too enlightening and heartbreaking not to pass on in it’s entirety.

The New York Times
By BOB HERBERT
Op-Ed Columnist
Published: June 4, 2010

BP’s calamitous behavior in the Gulf of Mexico is the big oil story of the moment. But for many years, indigenous people from a formerly pristine region of the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador have been trying to get relief from an American company, Texaco (which later merged with Chevron), for what has been described as the largest oil-related environmental catastrophe ever.

“As horrible as the gulf spill has been, what happened in the Amazon was worse,” said Jonathan Abady, a New York lawyer who is part of the legal team that is suing Chevron on behalf of the rainforest inhabitants.

It has been a long and ugly legal fight and the outcome is uncertain. But what has happened in the rainforest is heartbreaking, although it has not gotten nearly the coverage that the BP spill has.

What’s not in dispute is that Texaco operated more than 300 oil wells for the better part of three decades in a vast swath of Ecuador’s northern Amazon region, just south of the border with Colombia. Much of that area has been horribly polluted. The lives and culture of the local inhabitants, who fished in the intricate waterways and cultivated the land as their ancestors had done for generations, have been upended in ways that have led to widespread misery.

Texaco came barreling into this delicate ancient landscape in the early 1960s with all the subtlety and grace of an invading army. And when it left in 1992, it left behind, according to the lawsuit, widespread toxic contamination that devastated the livelihoods and traditions of the local people, and took a severe toll on their physical well-being.

oilpollutionA brief filed by the plaintiffs said: “It deliberately dumped many billions of gallons of waste byproduct from oil drilling directly into the rivers and streams of the rainforest covering an area the size of Rhode Island. It gouged more than 900 unlined waste pits out of the jungle floor — pits which to this day leach toxic waste into soils and groundwater. It burned hundreds of millions of cubic feet of gas and waste oil into the atmosphere, poisoning the air and creating ‘black rain’ which inundated the area during tropical thunderstorms.”

The quest for oil is, by its nature, colossally destructive. And the giant oil companies, when left to their own devices, will treat even the most magnificent of nature’s wonders like a sewer. But the riches to be made are so vastly corrupting that governments refuse to impose the kinds of rigid oversight and safeguards that would mitigate the damage to the environment and its human and animal inhabitants.

Pick your venue. The families whose lives and culture are dependent upon the intricate web of waterways along the Gulf Coast of the United States are in a fix similar to that of the indigenous people zapped by nonstop oil spills and the oil-related pollution in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Each group is fearful about its future. Both have been treated contemptuously.

The oil companies don’t care. Shell can’t wait to begin drilling in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska, an area that would pose monumental problems for anyone trying to deal with a catastrophic spill. The companies pretend that the spills won’t happen. They always say that their drilling operations are safe. They said that before drilling off Santa Barbara, and in the rainforest in Ecuador, and in the Gulf of Mexico, and everywhere else they drill.

Their assurances mean nothing.

President Obama has suspended Shell’s Arctic drilling permits and has temporarily halted the so-called Arctic oil rush. What we’ve learned from the BP debacle in the gulf, and from the rainforest, and so many other places, is just how reckless and inept the oil companies can be when it comes to safeguarding life, limb and the environment.

map_operationsThey’re dangerous. They need the most stringent kind of oversight, and swift and severe sanctions for serious wrongdoing. At the same time, we need to be searching with a much, much greater sense of urgency for viable energy alternatives. Treating the Amazon and the gulf and the Arctic as if they were nothing more than toxic waste sites is an affront to the planet and all life-forms that inhabit it.

Chevron doesn’t believe it should be called to account for any of the sins Texaco may have committed in the Amazon. A spokesman told me that the allegations of environmental damage were wildly overstated and that even if Texaco had caused some pollution, it had cleaned it up and reached an agreement with the Ecuadorian government that precluded further liability.

The indigenous residents may be suffering (they’re in much worse shape than the people on the gulf coast) but the Chevron-Texaco crowd feels real good about itself. The big money was made, and the trash was left behind.

…. as the green future unfolds.

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13 Responses to “Bad Monkey See – Bad Monkey Do”

  1. Michael Says:

    Yes, you are right. Big money was made, and the trash was usually left behind.

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Michael … Yep! such a disaster that has gone on far too long.

  3. Clenergen Says:

    @Michael, You’re absolutely right!

  4. Lissof Says:

    Thanks for sharing Linda,

    The more the word of this type of tragedy spreads through the internet community,,, the greater the chance for a grass roots movement to establish the momentum required to make a real difference.

    Is it possible to make the needed difference,,,, YES, look back at the first Earth Day. We were successful in pushing through legislation that led to a much better environment than existed at that time. The job is not done. We still have work to do here at home (USA), as well as internationally.

    Become familiar with your politicians. Ensure that they realize that you will hold them accountable for their actions. Be sure they understand the power of the VOTE…..

    Could we develop a network of high speed electric rail powered by Clean and Green sourced power, interconnecting the entire country for both passenger and commerce??? Yes we can.!!! Can our personal transport be powered by Green sourced power??? Yes it can. Can our commercial and personnel over the road commodities relocation be accomplished with Green Sourced Power???Yes it can.!!!

    There will be stepping stones necessary to cross over from Fossil Fuel dependence to Renewable sourced Green energy. Let’s get started with that objective in mind TODAY.!!!

    Pass along the knowledge of the TRUE COST of a Fossil Fuel sourced energy policy to your friends, family and politicians. We have only a finite amount of readily available oil, It will only get more difficult and environmentally hazardous to continue pulling oil from the earth as has been done.

    As China, India and other nations develop a middle class society,,, the demands placed on the Earth’s energy resources will only grow… Now is the time to start working towards a Renewable Energy Policy…

  5. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof …. I believe we have the attention of a lot of folks to get a renewable energy policy. This is especially true since BPs blunder.

  6. Boris Says:

    Linda,
    Thanks for this post. I think that every person should be doing something about the Horizon Deepwater Oil Spill. We all are allowing BP to do what they want.
    All the best,
    Boris
    .-= Boris´s last blog ..Toronto- G20 and the weapons =-.

  7. RE - RecycledFrockery Says:

    Linda – Great Post as always. tonite I made a huge mistake and pulled into a bp station. not only did they overcharge me by 9 cents a gallon, the guy had the nerve to say that no one else bothered to complain about being over charged. he was rude, nasty and completely wrong. I decided that arguing was pointless. I could make my point a whole different way.

    so you know old bladder weak but resourceful me. I asked to use his toilet which actually had an out of order sign on the door- but was perfectly fine. nasty bastard. I went into the toilet, and instead of putting the paper into the trash can for disposal, I left the toilet unflushed with pee, and threw the paper that I wiped with into the toilet and it wasn’t toilet paper; because there was none. yes so when he flushed it, he added to his own sewage back up. BP Assholes should walk in shit permanently.

    I know that was so nasty, but after he was rude to me and over charged me, and then I realized it was a bp station, I swear I wished I had diarrhea. they are the 100% shittyist company in the news today.

  8. Linda Says:

    Hi Boris … I agree! Thanks for coming by and come back again!

  9. Linda Says:

    Hi RE … Well, we protest in our own way! LOL! Good LUck!

  10. Tracy Says:

    Finally, someone who is pointing the finger at more than just BP. They are spill oil, they all do whatever they can to get to the oil, they all are to blame. I peronally have reduced my consumption of gas to 30 gallons a month, I hope others can get to this point as well.
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..It’s Funky- Freaky Friday- Fashion’s Oddest Finds- Right Here- =-.

  11. Linda Says:

    Hi Tracy … Yep! the big Oil boys are getting the highlight everywhere. The more exposure, the better for the environment.

  12. rankpay promo code Says:

    We need a comment from the Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry. Landry’s done this before—she oversaw the 2003 spill in Buzzards Bay, Massachussets . Then, as now, her initial reports of the spill total were way off. Landry, a Coast Guard rear admiral, has gone from taking reporters’ questions at the White House to giving reporters tours of the damage, but there are also reports that the Coast Guard is keeping reporters and photographers from getting a full picture – and doing so at the behest of BP. (The Coast Guard says they are accommodating as many media requests as they can; Landry hasn’t commented). We have got to ask how the response to the Gulf of Mexico spill compares to the 2003 Bouchard B 120 oil spill in Buzzards Bay,Massaacusetts? Two things come to mind. First the U.S.Court of appeals never allowed the state of Massachusetts to enforce the Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention Act of 2004. The Coast Guard appealed the rules because of an intercoastal turf war leaving the state with no new laws to protect the bay. Second the residential property claims of thousands of residents have been tied up in the Massachusetts court system for the past eight years. How will residential property owners around the gulf have to wait? On April 27, 2003, eight years ago the Bouchard Barge B-120 hit an obstacle in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts creating a 12-foot rupture in its hull and discharging an estimated 100,000 gallons of No. 6 oil.

  13. Linda Says:

    Hi rankpay ….. How awful !!! The coast guard is supposed to protect our shores and not being given the opportunity to do so, is just a shame. I really believe that there is something very rotten about this!

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