Editorial - Environmental Disaster in Gulf -Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Editorial - Environmental Disaster in Gulf

You may ask, what can be said about this disaster that hasn’t already said?  But this disaster affects me as a person and an ecologist.  The possibility of the extinction of sea turtles, pelicans, and other endangered species really bothers me. 

Funny thing is, I feel personally responsible for the spill.  While there are moments when I would like to stuff BP executives into the mile deep pipeline, I think the blame for the disaster is more widespread.  All Americans are responsible; our life styles, the way our communities are designed and our commerce are all reliant on the internal combustion engine.  We are addicted to oil.

We, as a country, push our legislators to allow oil exploration in ecologically fragile areas.  Places where, if something goes wrong, the consequences are huge. 

And who is making sure the oil companies are doing their jobs safely?  Well, clearly not enough people.  We here at Carnegie Mellon have to have elaborate plans for the minimal amounts of oil we have, but do  offshore rigs have similar contingency plans that work?  … No. 

If we are not sickened emotionally by this event, we may be sickened physically by the time the long term effects of this disaster become known. 

Let us all think about conservation, not just oil but also the environment.  Let us live and let live.   So we have some bugs in the house.  Escort them outside and put the pesticide away.  Feed the birds; Lord knows many birds are having a very hard time. 

By: Madelyn Miller