Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Exxon Valdez 20 years later

Greg Palast, one of the top muckraking journalists of our time has a great, short peice on the exxon spill off the coast of Alaska, 20 years later.


Some major points:

  • The cause of the spill was not the captain being drunk, the true reason was the captain was asleep, and the third mate was navigating without radar becaue exxon never fixed the broken sysem.
  • Protocal was not followed that would have allowed the spill to be much less catastrophic.
  • Just in case of a spill all vessels are required by law to have on a board a tool that goes in the water and circles the spill to contain it. This tool was not on the boat at the time of the spill.
  • Greg palast built a very large case of fraud against exxon, with the help of native population. The natives backed off when exxon threatened to hold back the money it planned on giving the natives to help cleanup. And guess what? Exxon still refused to pay.
  • The natives lost their source of food, the ocean. When land animals began to eat the poisened vegitaion around beach areas, they also died out. So exxon flew in canned seal to eat, even though the can's were labeled not fit for human concumption. Thats because they were food for zoo animals.

And when the ceo of the company retired, his retirement package was 400 million dollars.

Thanks exxon, thanks corporate world, thanks congress, thanks supreme court. How do i belong to the same species as these people. Do they love money that much. Without the earth supllying humans with air, food, shelter and water we would not be alive. Yet somehow people deem it ok to poison what gives them life.

Could it be the same thinking of smokers who choose to poison their own bodies? But most times the smoker does not hurt anyone else. In this case Exxon ruined the lives of entire communites. Communities that fished for their food for who knows how many hundreds of years, in the same body of water. People committed suicide in these communites. Many have become alcohalics in these communites.

Am I the weird one becaue this cuts through me? Am I the wierd one becuase i get exited when republicans talk about more oil drilling in the few remaining prestine national parks?

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