At the time a terrible disaster and learning experience that we’ve never learned from. The Exxon Corporation was fined 5 billion dollars for the disaster, and proving that expensive lawyers do pay-off, where able to later get it reduced to about 500 million.
In Ecuador Texaco and Chevron spent about 3 decades contaminating one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, poisoning the water, air and land and uprooting indigenous peoples. To this day there are lakes of sludge and runoff from the drilling in the region. Some estimates actually put this environmental disaster in worse terms than the Valdez spill, yet most North Americans know nothing about it.
In the Gulf of Mexico a BP oil drilling rig exploded and has leaked about 4 million gallons into the gulf- and is still leaking. The coast of Louisiana is already feeling the effects. Animals already on the endangered species list are being hurt by the oil. Food we consume from the gulf is being contaminated. And we will be feeling the effects from the spill for years to come. And let’s not even bother discussing what minor penalty BP will have to pay for this disaster.
The United States makes up less than 5% of the world's population, yet we create roughly a quarter of the world's demand for oil. Over 60 percent of our oil is imported from other countries, many of whom are not fans of our country.
The current requirement for gas mileage in cars is 27.5 mpg, an increase of only 1 mile per gallon over the standard in 1989 of 26.5 when the Valdez happened.
The world has a limited amount of oil left. We have technology that would allow us to move away from drilling for oil in oceans, national parks, and even in down town Los Angeles. Yes, there are oil drilling rigs in the city of Los Angeles. Yet, as a people we are so dependent on our cars, that we accept all of this as a way of life. We ignore the environmental impact of our commutes to work each day, because we recycle our plastic bottles and paper, and think we are doing good.
The pro-drill conservatives and members of big business, try to play off all the oil in the Gulf of Mexico as no big deal. Or blame Obama, as if he is at fault. The liberals use this as proof of why we shouldn’t drill, yet pack the two kids on the back of their Subaru for a weekend hike in the mountains.
Stephen Hawkins recently made a statement to the effect of, “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.” Basically implying that they would do what we do, destroy everything in our paths and utilize all the natural resources. My hope is if aliens ever visit, they show up and say WTF, and just clean out the human population leaving the rest of the planet intact. Except for maybe a few of us, who they would take back to their home world and utilize us as sex slaves for their super sexy women, who for some reason all look like a young Angelina Jolie.