Sunday, June 06, 2010

Where the sea meets the sky

Deerfield Beach, FL, December 2009

When I first took this picture, I thought it was like any of the hundreds I've taken over the past few years, a quiet perspective of a place I've come to love. This was also my father's favorite beach, a place he spent countless afternoons sitting around with my mom and his friends, solving the world's problems under a time-worn Montreal Expos hat.

So as I stood beside the surf in the fading late afternoon light, I felt a certain sense of peace that I was here, and it felt right to try to remember what it felt like with a simple photo.

Now that BP has filled the Gulf of Mexico with countless millions of barrels of blown out crude oil, I see this picture, and this moment, in a very different light. It's only a matter of time before the Loop Current brings the sad trail of oily destruction around the Florida Keys and into the Atlantic Ocean. This beach and so many others now find themselves under threat from a disaster not of their own making.

I've been tweeting semi-sarcastic messages in recent days, all in an effort to stoke conversation and thought. I've deliberately stoked anti-BP sentiment because, as the central actor in this unmitigated disaster, the company makes such a convenient target. Its bumbling leadership makes it even easier to target the villain.

But I'll leave you with this: Why does BP need to drill for oil in the first place? Are we not partially to blame for pumping up demand for oil - think, carefully, of how petroleum-based products underscore virtually every waking moment of every day for essentially all of us - and is BP only responding to market demand?

I'm not proposing an answer or a position here. I simply want us to think about it before we weigh in.

My father, sitting in his customary spot in the middle of his klatsch of friends, would doubtless have found this enough to stoke a vigorous, all-day discussion.

Your turn: So, is BP the only villain here? Or are we also to blame? Do tell.

One more thing: This photo includes clouds. Because we're doing this. All week. You can, too.


SC said...

Carmi, Thanks for dropping in and commenting on my blog! Would love to hear the Winnipeg connection sometime...we still have SEVERAL reviews to post and so little time to do it, so keep checking in.

I like the though provoking premise to your blog. I am sure that more than BP are to blame for the spill. I think we as people tend to forget that we have soooo much from the earth and yet the greed gets to us and we push the envelope because we can, and have in the past. Why do we really need to drill more? I believe the answer lies within the companies who make billions from it and the people who fight over it.

Dan B. said...

I gotta agree with SC on this one.

Pushing the envelope, greed, money and risk. Mostly it is just a company that became so prideful that it didn't take the right precautions. Soon the next person who lights up a cigarette in FL is going to send up the whole coast.

Catherine said...

I'm certain that the blame doesn't rest only with BP.
For another blogger's viewpoint, go here
And for information on what Shell has been doing to the Niger delta for years, there is an article here

ardi said...

thanks for the information

ardi said...

thanks for the information

Carmi said...

And thank YOU for the comment spam, "ardi". Such a joy to know we're not immune.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Personally, I'd love to have a few solar panels, wind turbines, n fuel an electric vehicle with them, n never owe the electric Co another dime!
Never mind hydrolic power n the fact the tide goes in n out twice daily here...
Then those Cos wouldn't get all our bux tho...

As you know- That oil thing is killing me, n I'm certain dribs n drabs will end up all over the Atlantic in a decades time- After that in the Pacific too!

Jean said...

Beautiful shot, Carmi. Just can't explain what I feel when I see it. Lovely.