Around this time last year, I was still reeling from a major incident at work. A diluted blend of crude oil had hit the river, and I was part of the scramble to keep it from making too much of a mess.
Of course, it did make a whole lot of mess.
And it’s still going on. A whole new generation of fish have come to spawn in that river, fish who would never know that there was a time when burrowing into this or that sand bar could cause them to become slimed by residual crude oil.
I have had the (mis?)fortune to attend many spill response events. A driver falls asleep at the wheel after too many hours on the road, and your entire weekend is fucked because there are 30,000 L of goopy oil flooding a farmer’s field.
At the very least, sometimes, there is pizza.
But there is rarely a chance that things go smoothly, or efficiently, or effectively. Politicians represent a populace that want corporations to pay for their liability, but that same populace is financially sustained on the notion that corporations must maximize profits and dolla-dolla-bill-y’all or else perish. So oil spill responses, for all their hoopla & huge (insurance-covered) spends, are somewhat of a performance, an exercise in optics and reputational management instead of addressing the real problem.
When the fox is asked to look after the hens, I suppose you can’t blame the fox when you’re left with an empty coop.
Anyway, I wrote about pizza & oil spills for Defenestration, which I promise isn’t as dire as I am above. You can check out right now!