I have to say I’m loving that B.P. oil-spill!
It apparently may not be fully capped now until August!
Something I’ve particularly enjoyed about it is the way the optimistic assessments keep getting revised downward, you’ll remember this from the early tremors in the financial crisis, and the grim, daily comedy of the soothing messages being progressively downgraded. Sub-Prime was a small-scale American issue which wouldn’t affect Britain in any way, no need to worry, we’re going to be fine. Then it shifted slightly, well, we will be affected but not much, we won’t go into recession as employment is still high, then, we won’t go into recession as, well, yes unemployment is up but inflation is still low, and on into the collapse of various banks etc and the deepest recession since etc.
The B.P. situation is another assault upon optimism, but of a somewhat more intransigent kind. There is a nightmare whisking away of the mind’s well-thumbed comfort blanket, a little inkling of what it must be like to find you have an incurable disease. The necessary state of mind that somehow it will all be all right, all get sorted out somehow founders. There is something about the leak that’s properly traumatic, violating the cosy belief that nothing will ever get too bad, that technology will save us. The leak is a kind of nightmarish, insistent surplus of the real decimating the fantasy that someone, somewhere will always be able to take charge of the situation and resolve it.
What if it simply can’t be capped, or if the capacity to cap it is years in the future? Here come some hurricanes, spreading the oil and doubtless hampering further attempts at cleaning up/ stopping the flow. What if a similar disaster occurs in the same area tomorrow? Statistically unlikely no doubt, but still…. Government can do nothing but reaffirm its angry impotence, B.P. can only use the methods at its disposal, and if they don’t have adequate means, who does?
Meanwhile, completely oblivious to human hopes and fears the oil keeps flowing...