Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world by Naomi Klein

by Naomi Klein
The Guardian
19 June, 2010

Everyone gathered for the town hall meeting had been repeatedly instructed to show civility to the gentlemen from BP and the federal government. These fine folks had made time in their busy schedules to come to a high school gymnasium on a Tuesday night in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, one of many coastal communities where brown poison was slithering through the marshes, part of what has come to be described as the largest environmental disaster in US history.

“Speak to others the way you would want to be spoken to,” the chair of the meeting pleaded one last time before opening the floor for questions.

And for a while the crowd, mostly made up of fishing families, showed remarkable restraint. They listened patiently to Larry Thomas, a genial BP public relations flack, as he told them that he was committed to “doing better” to process their claims for lost revenue – then passed all the details off to a markedly less friendly subcontractor. They heard out the suit from the Environmental Protection Agency as he informed them that, contrary to what they have read about the lack of testing and the product being banned in Britain, the chemical dispersant being sprayed on the oil in massive quantities was really perfectly safe.


Earlier that day, I travelled through nearby marshes in a shallow water boat. Fish were jumping in waters encircled by white boom, the strips of thick cotton and mesh BP is using to soak up the oil. The circle of fouled material seemed to be tightening around the fish like a noose. Nearby, a red-winged blackbird perched atop a 2 metre (7ft) blade of oil-contaminated marsh grass. Death was creeping up the cane; the small bird may as well have been standing on a lit stick of dynamite.


via Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world | From the Guardian | The Guardian

from the archives:

The Bush-Cheney Gulf Coast Oil Spill of 2010 by Rodrigue Tremblay

In Deep Water: A Way of Life in Peril

Will the BP Oil Spill Set Off A Supersonic Tsunami? by David DeGraw

What if the BP Gusher in the Gulf is Unstoppable? by Dennis Kucinich

17 thoughts on “Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world by Naomi Klein

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  12. Bottom line is it could have been/can be plugged.

    I myself submitted CAD drawings of a tubular braided ‘stent’ with end-end compression mechanism and titanium grippers with inner inflatable bladder, cheap, fast, use as many as you need, I sent it to everyone, and then found out thousands of far smarter people than I have submitted some serious ideas, and BP is ignoring them.

    There is a sinister component here, and it’s not just reliance on oil.

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  14. From top to bottom – BP and Washington – they are but a bunch of lying gangsters. All a big show! Come mid-election time in November, the blood bath is going to be of giant proportions. BOYCOTT BP!!!

  15. Naomi,
    Thank you for your excellent, extremely well-written article. I agree with every point you make. And maybe people knew more in the past about our connection to the earth. They say that the indigeneous people have been the keepers of the wisdom. Perhaps all of us need to pay more attention to their prophecies and warnings.

    • Thank you, Ariel, for bringing in Wisdom as a source for thought. Long before the eruption and corruption spewed forth in the Gulf I happened onto this
      prophecy: “2010 is the year the bottom dropped out of the world.” Since I read far and wide, and since wisdom by its very nature doesn’t always show one-face-speaking, I can’t cite a specific source of the comment. How “prophetic” that the wake-up message is coming from a hole in the ocean floor–the seabed. (Sea bed: we have disturbed Nature’s repose!)

      Before the suggestion launched in the media, I had already envisioned the possibility that an oil gusher will be a constant in the Gulf. I think nobody involved has ever encountered the challenge of this “spill.” How many other wells are left leaking under the surface of the water when the oil collectors leave?!?!?

      Nature is not a “contestant” in “human gains played.”

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