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Chan Lowe: The Gulf oil spill

spill.gifEvery disaster is abstract until it happens.

It can be demagogued, exploited, twisted, disputed, trivialized and even ignored when it is still theoretical.

Now, as the tendrils of oil approach the coast of the southeastern United States⎯ with heartbreaking pictures of petroleum-soaked wildlife struggling ashore on ruined beaches sure to follow⎯ everybody from Sarah Palin to Barack Obama suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of history.

Drill, baby, drill? Whoever said that? It’s so 2008.

The reality that our insatiable energy demands require us to drill in the Gulf in the first place provides a perfect segue to something I witnessed on the way to work this morning: Here in Florida we have these gorgeous trees called tabebuias that bloom an electric yellow for a few weeks, then drop all their petals to the ground, creating an enormous mess.

I passed a shopping center where a maintenance worker was cleaning up after one of these things. Rather than rake up the petals and dispose of them, he was using a gasoline-powered blower to disperse them off the property and into the street--where they became everyone else’s problem, meaning no one’s problem.

So, after all the fuel was burned and the additional greenhouse gases were released into the atmosphere, absolutely nothing of value was accomplished.

How perfectly American.

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Norway and Brazil have automatic shutoffs on their drilling platforms..B P had none as it lobbied in Washington to avoid this requirement. It's cheaper to bribe congressmen & regulators than to do anything environmentally responsible....Meanwhile-oil & mining disasters will continue....Put these criminals in jail.! !
This "spilly-drilly thing is not working out for us."

Why would Obama announce that he is having SWAT teams placed at all oil rigs? If it truly was an accident...why would SWAT teams be needed at other oil rigs:

Why would he mention the Dept of Defense referring to this incident?

The spill is absolutely horrible...but apparently we should wait to pass judgement on who or what entity the culprit is.

Can anyone offer any answers or informed opinions regarding my questions?

Sebastion: pirates are rampant on the gulf and in the caribbean. I have friends that specialize in private security for large vessels in this region, and believe me, it's like the wild west. One other thing-- SWAT also stands for Soil and Water Assessment Testing in world of geographers and marine biology. So the truth is, it can swing either way. If you want to address cover ups, try and find a picture of plane wreckage at the Pentagon on 9/11. or better yet, try and find personal footage, like the millions of private photos and videos taken in NYC. or better yet-- try and ask why a government that is capable of tracking a 20 ft boat over international waters as it enters our turf missed 4 airplanes for an hour in high security airspace (over the UN and Washington).

Want to ask about conspiracy theories? Ask about those., hate to tell you this, but Pirates of the Caribbean is either a ride at disney or a movie...that's it...take your pick. Anyone who says the gulf of mexico is like the wild west would probably believe that a missle hit the pentagon...oh wait. FYI...PLENTY of pix of plane parts from landing gear to engine housings...too funny. Keep smoking that antidope...dope.

The president was very clear about SWAT.

For the non crazies here...i just wanted some input regarding what the possible cause was.

There is absolutely no way REPUBLICANS can claim Democratic leadership is to blame for any of this disaster or the reaction. It is estimated it will take months to stop the leak, and BP largely controlled the information of how bad the sill was from the start, trying to protect themselves.  GOP has been complicit in allowing OIL INDUSTRY to RUN our domestic and international policies for almost a decade. REMEMBER it is REPUBLICAN leadership in the FL LEGISLATURE proposing to expand OIL DRILLING 3 MILES OFF OUR BEACHES. Obama has tried to be conciliatory to GOP by offering an olive branch to progress ENERGY legislation and REPUBLICANS still refuse to negotiate on responsible energy policies.  OIL = GOP  You can look straight down the party lines of Florida politicians  who support risking Florida coastlines for a paltry profit hugely overestimated by Oil Industry Lobbyists.  McCain & GOP flat out LIED during PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN about Oil Spill frequency from Off Shore Facilities. See Open Secrets Oil & Gas Long-term Contribution Comparisons: Republicans receive twice as much from the Oil and Gas Lobbyists.  AMERICA needs to see this as a wakeup call to really make some serious commitments to alternative energy and stop just talking about it like it is some futuristic concept. We have real solutions that we need to begin to implement today and invest as a country in SUSTAINABLE RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES and GREEN DOMESTIC JOBS.

Sebastian why don't you do your homework before you post idiotic assumptions You can't just read the headlines. SWAT stands for Soil and Water Assessment Tool

This is O's Katrina, whether anyone likes it or not. He will be judged by the response.

Sebastion: aside from useless attacks, do you have anything constructive to contribute? Seriously you sound like a conservative chump hiding behind your keyboard. Do you even own a vessel that sails the carribean waters? Tell you what. Stop in at the Delray Shooting Center and ask for Paul. Ask about the security work he does and see if you can stomach what he's got to say.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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