Today my Facebook feed featured an interesting conversation about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The conversations addressed the fact that (1) this was a freak accident; and (2) asked what I thought we should be using for fuel other than oil. Let me address both of these points in turn:
1. Yes, this is a freak accident. Oil platforms aren't exploding all over the place. But freak accidents don't mean we shouldn't still reduce offshore oil drilling. An accident like this could cost billions of dollars to clean up, destroy industries (i.e. fishing), and obliterate an ecosystem. The problem with the assertion that this is a freak occurrence and should not discourage continued offshore drilling efforts is that there is still something wrong with the drilling process. As drilling expands, the probability of accidents happening increases.
2. Oil is of course the main source of energy we currently use, but that does not mean its primacy should continue. A concentrated effort on using and developing alternative energy (solar, wind, and hydro) would reduce our dependence on oil. And in addition, if we enhance public transportation systems, we can easily reduce the use of oil.
It is easy for us Midwesterners to feel far away from this problem, but for a moment, imagine what an oil spill would do to Lake Michigan, and see if your perspective changes.
edited by John O'Connor