Sunday, May 16, 2010
THE FIFTH HORSEMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
--St. Matthew, Chapter 10, verses 28-29
When British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew sky high, and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, we all became implicated in a disaster that continues to gush out oil, some 5,000 feet underwater.
We are, most of us, conscious of the augeries, that is to say, the omens and shadows that are crossing our path. We go on working even as work slips away or has less effect in sustaining us. If we are writers; we keep writing even when we are tired. If we are parents worried about our children; we send them to school, and remain worried about their future.
...we defy augery: there's a specialThe Deepgulf Gusher exceeds being a metaphor for self-destruction, or a sign of the Gilded Age, a corporate heyday of looting and plunder. Right before our eyes, our own government is presenting a hands-off attitude to it; and every four days becomes a tick-tock, tick-tock of the Doomsday Clock, as another load of pollution is disgorged into the Gulf, a size that matches the Exxon Valdez dump every four days.
providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now,
'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The
readiness is all. Since no man of aught he leaves knows
what is't to leave betimes, let be.
--Hamlet, Act 5, scene 2
And BP is thinking of injecting golf balls and other debris into the rupture to jam it up. What a joke. The company's liability is being capped; and that is the chief priority of our so-called civilization. How should we expect recovery of damages once a precious ecological resource is destroyed?--once the food resource, the livelihood of fishermen is destroyed in that entire region?
We look in vain to our public institutions, our president, for accountability. Civic values have been twisted in recent years into the shape of a monstrosity. We can blame ourselves, I guess, for our sins of omission, and our failure to persuade. But there is also the intellectual laziness of this society to consider, and for what Matt Taibbi has called "...middle Americans' moronic fantasies about themselves" and their willingness to have their egos massaged by the likes of rogue politician, Sarah Palin; for these reasons, we have come to this absurd fork in the road.
The nation has been so propagandized by the well-heeled experts in that art; and over time the people themselves have become comfortable or trapped in a militarized society. It's true that millions of Americans--people we recognize every day-- have embraced "the cult of the warrior"; and they measure themselves against the cult status of the rich--those who must never on any occasion--be taxed.
The political reach of corporate power is out of control, a menace that has yet to be curbed under our present system. Big Oil and the financial sector are all that represents freedom in the halls of Congress--they are citizens of a government now. And we are out in the cruel wasteland of what was once a republic.
FROM RAW STORY: OTHER NEWS OF HUMAN FOLLY
An upcoming UN report says that providing safe zones for fish stocks to recover, and cutting back drastically on commercial fishing fleets, is the only hope to avoid a worldwide disaster.
Oceans’ fish could disappear in 40 years: UN
(Source: Agence France-Presse)
The Green Economy report estimates there are 35 million people fishing around the world on 20 million boats. About 170 million jobs depend directly or indirectly on the sector, bringing the total web of people financially linked to 520 million.
According to the UN, 30 percent of fish stocks have already collapsed, meaning they yield less than 10 percent of their former potential, while virtually all fisheries risk running out of commercially viable catches by 2050.
The main scourge, the UNEP report says, are government subsidies encouraging ever bigger fishing fleets chasing ever fewer fish -- with little attempt to allow the fish populations to recover.