Month 5, Day 8: You Can’t Use Murdoch Papers for Fishwrap, Now That All The Fish Are Dead

This one went off to the Boston Herald, which ran a McClatchy piece about (mostly Republican) attempts to politicize the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The attempt by Republican political operatives and their media to blame the Obama administration for a slow response to the Deepwater Horizon spill is absurd. The oil rig explosion and all that followed it is a direct consequence of a culture of corruption in the Minerals Management Service (the government agency charged with overseeing the oil industry) — corruption fostered by the Bush Administration. Members of the Executive Branch (including Vice President Cheney) encouraged MMS staff to weaken safeguards and regulations, directly contributing to the gulf catastrophe.

After secret talks with oil corporations, the Bush/Cheney administration dropped a requirement that offshore platforms be equipped with an acoustic switch, a remotely triggered mechanism that could have closed off the gushing pipe at the wellhead if the manual switch failed. Why? The switches, at $500,000 each, were “too expensive.” It’s safe to say that the damage done by the Deepwater Horizon spill is going to cost a lot more than a half-million dollars — a costly lesson for British Petroleum, and for us all.

Warren Senders

Day 24: To The Local Murdoch

After reading Wade Norris’ excellent piece on insurance companies’ response to climate change, I thought I’d write to Boston’s own Murdoch-owned newspaper, the Herald. My challenge is to use short words and short sentences.

It’s easy to deny global warming. Just look out the window and point to the snow, right? Well, If that’s how to do it, then I can deny my baldness by pointing to my nose hairs. The facts about global climate change are pretty scary, and lots of people don’t want to believe it’s happening at all, while some don’t want to believe humans are causing it. But covering our eyes and saying “Does not!” is the response of a child, not a grown-up. Perhaps we should look instead at the response of companies like State Farm Insurance, which announced this week that it won’t issue or renew policies for buildings and structures on North Carolina’s barrier islands — because global heating is raising ocean levels and increasing the risk of catastrophic storms. It’s going to be harder to deny the climate crisis when it’s costing us hundreds of billions of dollars. State Farm gets it. When will the majority of Americans?

Warren Senders

Maybe they’ll print it because I made a funny joke ha ha he mentioned nose hairs ha ha!