A recent Grist post outlined the possible silver-lining from the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:
There's nothing like a dose of reality to make people listen and (maybe) act. The 9/11 attacks made it clear that America was vulnerable, and that measures in place were simply insufficient against certain threats. The devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, compounded by the inadequate response by the government, went on to expose the stark deficiencies in the emergency response structure.
While it may be difficult and distasteful to see anything positive in a tragedy like this, the truth is this inevitable disaster couldn’t have happened at a more politically critical time—just as lawmakers were moving to codify the condemnation of our coastlines. In the same way that the Big Branch mining disaster caused elected officials to take a hard look at mining safety, one can only hope that the Deepwater Horizon spill will serve as the powerful wake-up call the president and Congress need to reverse the foolhardy course they have chosen regarding offshore drilling.
And now, with an oil spill that threatens to rival and even surpass that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, the bellowing question yet again echoes from the graves of history: Is there something deeply wrong with our system today?
(cc) by Flickr user jkirkhart35.