Why do we rehabilitate oiled wildlife?

Why do we rehabilitate oiled wildlife?

A very easy question, actually. For the same reason that we rehabilitate any orphaned or injured wild animals.

And what is that reason?  If you find someone in jeopardy you try to help.

If your best effort doesn’t help you try to discover why. You change your approach. You learn your lessons. You improve your result.

It is very simple really. What more needs to be said?

The cost of treating injured wild animals doesn’t come from some general fund set aside for issues related to wildlife, pre-established and limited.

No. It comes from the fund that is generated by those who agree that such treatment be available, and those people are few, and funds are scarce.

If it were not for all of those animals that will never be found, the thousands and thousands of dead, it would seem to be a rare moment of justice in a nation as built on wholesale destruction as is the United States, that the party who injures is the party who pays, as the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 demands.

 Now,  should the party who injures be in any way construed to be the party who cares? Absolutely not.

Dear BP, the only thing you have to give is money. Otherwise, butt out, shut up, and wait for your trial.


How the media is missing the real drama of the Oil Spill – by Bill McKibben of 350.org

How the media is missing the real drama of the Oil Spill — Please Share (We can be our own media!)

When a well started spewing oil off Santa Barbara in 1969, it spurred the first Earth Day, which in turn launched the environmental movement and a fundamental questioning of the balance between humans and the rest of nature. It turned out, in other words, to be a real Moment.

It makes one wonder if there really shouldn’t be a little more depth to the endless coverage of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf. (Which, just to be semantic for a moment, isn’t really a “spill,” or a “leak,” unless you’d also call a knife wound a “bloodspill,” or a gunshot to the carotid a “bloodleak.” BP has punched a hole in the bottom of the sea.)

Yes, the obvious story is important: There’s oil spewing out, BP has demonstrated infuriating nonchalance, shrimpers are watching the sheen wash up on the coastal marshes, etc. This all needs to be covered, and is being covered with the incredible agonizing boredom that only 24-hour cable channels can bring to any issue.

And there’s a “political angle,” which as usual has been about atmospherics. Is Obama angry enough? Is he connecting with “real people”? This sort of thing is conventional good fun for political reporters (especially when Obama plays along, announcing he’s consulting with various academics in order to see “whose ass needs kicking.”). But isn’t there something more? Isn’t this potentially a Moment too?

Let’s think about the stories that are suggested by this trouble.

One has something to do with peak oil. BP has gone to all this trouble for a well that taps into what they now think may be 100 million barrels of oil. And that’s… five days supply for the U.S? Does that give you any sense of the precariousness of the arrangements under-girding our economy right at the moment?

Another — even more important — has to do with global warming. Let’s assume that the oil from the Deepwater Horizon made it safely onshore and was refined and then burned in the gas tank of your car. What then? Well, the CO2 in the atmosphere would be doing at least as much damage as the oil spreading across the Gulf. Consider the following things that have happened since the Deepwater exploded:

* Asia and Southeast Asia have each recorded their hottest temperatures ever — 129 degrees in Pakistan, and 117 in Burma. India is having the worst heatwave since the British started keeping records — people are dying by the hundreds.

* We’ve seen the biggest rainstorms ever recorded in lots of places, from Nashville to Guatemala — the clear result of an atmosphere made 5% wetter because warm air holds more water vapor than cold.

* Satellite data has shown that Arctic ice is now melting even faster than in the record year of 2007.

* NASA has released new statistics showing that the past 12 months were the warmest on record and that 2010 is almost certain to set the title for the warmest calendar year yet.

All of these, it seems to me, could be considered parts of the Deepwater Horizon story because they demonstrate that fossil fuel is everywhere dirty. They change the political question from “is Obama angry enough” to “can Obama lead a credible fight for real energy and climate legislation?” More to the point, they connect with the mood of existential despair and anger that the oil spill has set off across the country. People are sad and bitter only in part because they see those pelicans oiled; mostly, they sense correctly that our leaders have yet to deal with what is clearly the biggest problem we face: the transition off of fossil fuels.

The questions that the Gulf spill raises, in other words, go well beyond: How big an idiot is Tony Hayward? What will happen to the tourist economy of the Gulf? How cool is James Cameron’s minisub? The questions are more like: How out of balance with the natural world are we? And what would it require to get back in balance?

You’d need to interview not just oil execs and colorful shrimpers, but nature writers, solar pioneers and psychologists.

There’s nothing pat about what’s going on in the Gulf. It’s the most vivid sign we’ve yet had that we are running into the kind of limits that people started talking about way back at that first Earth Day. But its meaning risks disappearing beneath the endless stories about Top Hat and Junk Shot. BP’s great victory will come if it need merely confess to technical overreach and pay a few billion in fines — if that happens, it can get back to making serious money, and the planet can get back to burning.

— Bill McKibben, Cross-posted on Neiman Watchdog.

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Many thanks for shaping the story of our time, through action (both online & off) — and for your compassionate, motivating comments…


Terrible photos from East Grande Terre Island, Louisiana

While BP struggles to protect itself from justice, and BP CEO Tony Hayward continues to make a public ass of himself, – as Janet Rubchenko leads NOAA into irrelavancy, the Oil that this industry and the State have loosed upon the world continues to poison and kill.


“If this is true, all our troubles are over.” – William D’Arcy 1908

As coincidence would have it, 26 May could become a pair of bookend dates for BP (formerly British Petroleum, formerly the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), formerly the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC), formerly the dream of William Knox D’Arcy, extraordinarily wealthy gold mine owner in England who managed to obtain exclusive oil exploration rights to most of Persia)

Tomorrow, 26 May 2010, BP engineers and technicians and laborers and shareholders will try to stop the oil that has been flowing for more than month from a blown out a well a mile beneath the sea.

The plan is to shoot a cementing mud down into the well (- a maneuver that BP is calling Top Kill. There doesn’t appear to be any reason for anyone else to call it that, although many do.) If BP’s CEO Tony Hayward, receives a phone call saying they’ve managed to stop the million or perhaps millions of gallons that currently gush daily, he might well say, “If this is true, all our troubles are over.”

Which would be ironic. For those were the words the above mentioned founder of APOC, Mr D’Arcy, said upon receiving a telegram from Persia, announcing that “oil spewed into the dawn sky,” on this date in 1908.

the information in this post is taken from the History of BP available at BP.com.

more BP history to come – highlights from between the bookends