by John Hocevar
September 9, 2005
First, I hope your friends and family are ok.
I just got back from a meeting in Europe, where news coverage toggled between horror at the human suffering caused by Katrina and fingers pointed at President Bush and other architects of the policies that left the residents of the region – human and otherwise – unnecessarily vulnerable. Now that I’m back home in Texas, where we are hosting 250,000 displaced people, it is hard to save much energy for outrage when we are surrounded by so many people with immediate, basic needs. If you can, contribute to relief efforts.
Greenpeace is helping raise money and recruit volunteers. We are also compiling information for the media on the emerging problems associated with oil, gas, and chemical spills.
Meanwhile, industry is taking the opportunity to point out lessons we should learn from this disaster. What lessons, you may ask? Reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, which feed global warming and brew extreme weather events? Decrease use of toxic chemicals? Improve safety and security around high-risk plants? Abandon dangerous off-shore oil and gas platforms?
No. Industry’s answer is that we need to scrap the moratorium on offshore drilling. Yesterday, about 100 corporations and front groups sent a joint letter urging Congress to “reduce the nation’s vulnerability to sudden energy shocks by expanding our sources and supplies of energy — especially in our coastal waters.”
Are they really saying that what we need to do is to take the unacceptable risks that were forced on the people of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama and extend them to the rest of the country?
Be safe –