As oil begins to wash up along the Gulf coast, with no end to the leak in sight, the full scope of the disaster is just beginning to sink in. If earthquakes and hurricanes spawn conspiracy theories, then surely a man-made catastrophe like this one, seemingly tailor-made to humble the “drill baby drillers,” will provide fodder for conspiracists as well. I’ve been sampling the commentary on the Internet this morning, looking to see what’s in the wind. Here’s what someone posted below a Christian Science Monitor story that was picked up by the Truthout website (click here for full story):
Isn’t this amazingly well timed. There hasn’t been a significant oil spill in the gulf for years, then as soon as the president announces a change in the off-shore drilling policy, BAM! The biggest oil spill in 20 years! I’m a conspiracy theory skeptic but this is too damn convenient and with the record of eco-terrorist spiking trees and causing death and other harm in the name of their beliefs proving they maintain the end justifies the means, makes it plausible for this to be orchestrated.
On a Yahoo forum this morning (“How do you feel about offshore drilling now?) some posters were obstinately insouciant: “The same way I felt last week…..don’t care. I do find humor that the spill happened after Earth Day week though” and “Sounds like you tree huggers have got your panties in a wad about nothing much. It is no more than a natural disaster.” Some were conflicted: “Its a necessity given our demand for oil but needs to be more carefully controlled” and only a few were explicitly conspiratorial: “i think it was a terrorist attack – either by recognized terrorist groups OR unrecognized as terrorists Liberals.”
At Godlike Productions, the tone was mostly sorrowful, though at least one poster floated an anti-government, anti-Obama angle: “Since Barry is anti-business and only Gov’t control oriented, the Gov’t will not allow those with the know-how to help. In the meantime, Barry is more than willing to let everyone and the environment suffer while he continues to campaign. Sit back and watch how Barry handles this, as your health care will now be handled by politicians, as well.” That one really baffles me. It wasn’t a government oil rig, it was BP’s. And BP spent the last week assuring everyone that they had things under control.
Yes, Al Gore leaves just as big a carbon footprint as Rush Limbaugh does when he drives somewhere in his limousine, and no, I don’t like it that the American way of life is fueled by countries who hate us. Yes, nuclear power (and for that matter wind farms) pose ecological problems of their own. But denial and name-calling and shallow sloganeering aren’t going to get us out of this mess. And we’re not going to find a roomful of billionaires to blame it on either.