Crude Oil, The Fabric of Our Life

Recreational diving Platform Grace, Channel Islands, Ventura, CA

Recreational diving Platform Grace, Channel Islands, Ventura, CA

Recreational diving Platform Grace, Channel Islands, Ventura, CA

Recreational diving Platform Grace, Channel Islands, Ventura, CA

Recreational diving Platform Grace, Channel Islands, Ventura, CA

The good news is BP has managed to get a shut off valve on one of the leaks for the Gulf Oil Spill. Bad news is that this hasn’t stopped the oil spewing from the source.

Oil platforms are never far from the surface of my mind.  Years ago I dove an oil rig for an editorial assignment. It was an amazing experience. The rig teemed with wildlife. A steady current swept by the rig keeping the life active and swaying in the liquid breeze. The oil rig was healthy and lively.  After the dive a platform liaison informed us that the water returned to the ocean is cleaner than that pumped into the rig.  I liked hearing that and seeing how healthy an oil rig environment can be.
The contrast between support of life and threat to life that oil platforms thrust upon the surrounding environment is perplexing.  I remain torn on the subject. I no longer want me or anyone else to be dependent upon crude oil. But I cannot conduct my daily life without it.  Meanwhile platforms provide shelter for marine life in a liquid desert.  A healthy life at that!
Back at home I’m typing on my plastic keyboard, listening to my radio, consuming electricity, drove to my office in a gas powered car and so on. We cannot exist without oil. It doesn’t matter how much you dislike the stuff.

Meanwhile we have a mega leak in the Gulf.  It is threatening entire coast lines, fisheries and possibly about to displace human habitat too.
As the oil continues to spew from a mile beneath the surface of the gulf I’m getting less and less torn.  For how long can we stand to have oil be the fabric of our life.

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