[Beyond] More on the Oil Spill

John L. Clark jlc6 at po.cwru.edu
Fri May 21 08:58:59 PDT 2010

On Fri, May 21, 2010 at 10:53 AM, Emily Burgess <ebritt at gmail.com> wrote:
> Okay, I know that you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. But do we
> really need such a big omelet?

Further, is the omelet worth making?  What do we get from the omelet,
and do we really need that?  Who benefits from the omelet?

I ask us to consider not only the justice of the means, and not only
that of surface ends, but also that of deep ends.  (Heh.)  When
McQuaid acknowledges that "the outlines of serious systemic problems
have already emerged", we have to ask how deeply these systemic
problems lurk.  For example, "[e]nergy companies have aggressively
lobbied to avoid formally analyzing worst-case scenarios", but what
about our culture leads them to do that?

> I believe in risk-taking, when the ends are
> worth it. But I'm starting to think that the ends - eating all the oil in
> the world - do not justify the means - ignoring the safety not only of the
> more abstract (but vital) things like the ocean and animal species but also
> the concrete, tougher-to-argue-away things like human lives.

Was it just to start consuming oil in the first place?  Now that we've
almost consumed half (or perhaps have already consumed more than half)
of the total world supply of oil[0], is it just to keep consuming oil?

[0] http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/in-deep-water/#comment-21156

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