Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Year On...

You no doubt remember, it was a year ago today that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 and sending tens to hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

I remember writing this song adaptation a week or so later (so, yeah, some of you have seen it before); at the time, estimates were hazy, and no one knew how much oil we were looking at. I find it a fairly weak laugh, to think that I obsessed for a bit over the line "millions of gallons...". I didn't want to exaggerate; I didn't want to be guilty of hyperbole. Silly me. There are still unknowns, but I needn't have worried about overstating the damage. Here, from PBS, a handy calculator you can use to compare the different estimates:


They built a platform, and they start to drill
They didn't worry 'bout an oil spill
And if disaster comes, where does the oil go?
Millions of gallons in the Gulf of Mexico

We see the slick on top, but we don’t see beneath
See what it’s done to the fish,
what it’s done to the coral reef
The damage done may take us years to know
Millions of gallons in the Gulf of Mexico

Louisiana…. Louisiana….
You have had more than your share
You have had more than your share
Louisiana…. Louisiana….
You have had more than your share
You have had more than your share

The more we look around, the more it’s looking harsh
We’ll prob’ly lose the reef; prob’ly lose the marsh
We’ll see the shrimp die out; we’ll see the turtles go
Millions of gallons in the Gulf of Mexico

Give it a day or two, and it’ll hit the Keys
We’ll watch a wonderland,
we'll see it brought to its knees
Disaster up on top, disaster down below
Millions of gallons in the Gulf of Mexico

Louisiana…. Louisiana….
You have had more than your share
You have had more than your share
Louisiana…. Louisiana….
You have had more than your share
You have had more than your share

People everywhere, are asking who to blame
Think we ought to look in the mirror; that will give us one name
A boundless appetite, makes the oil flow
Millions of gallons in the Gulf of Mexico

Louisiana…. Louisiana….
You have had more than your share
You have had more than your share
Louisiana…. Louisiana….
You have had more than your share
You have had more than your share



2 comments:

Margie said...

"They built a platform, and they start to drill
They didn't worry 'bout an oil spill"

I don't think you understand any part of the oil industry, nor the people who work in it, if you think they don't worry about an oil spill.

Cuttlefish said...

Indeed, Margie, the Deepwater Horizon's safety record prior to the accident was termed "strong". After the fact, of course, both within BP and outside, there were acknowledgments that more could have been done (and of course, the finger-pointing was of the blame variety, not accolades).

Clearly, though, a strong record was not sufficient to stop millions of barrels of oil from gushing into the Gulf. The inability to predict the scale of the release is completely understandable, but understanding it does not diminish it. They did not plan for this contingency, while planning for many other more foreseeable ones.

If you can put that into one rhyming line, be my guest. I think mine comes close.