Ten years after Deepwater Horizon – a transformation?

70 years of oil prices

Today, as we commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon blow-out, oil prices have hit an all-time low. West Texas Crude hit $1 a barrel today. This is in an industry where they need to get $35 a barrel to hit their margin.

Market instability can be a good thing, particularly in a market that has been as heavily subsidized as our hydrocarbon energy sector. It just punctuates how bad an idea continuing down the fossil fuel road is. But somehow the Administration still believes our future lies in oil – to the extent that they are entertaining the idea of paying the industry to keep the oil in the ground.

Now that is Capitalism in its shining hour! (…or is that Socialism…?)

The spill was from the single largest blowout in history, from which the Gulf Coast will never fully recover. We reflected on this five years ago, and should I still be above ground in ten years, I suspect we’ll have more to say then.

But for now, as Mother Nature has asked us all to “go to our room,” we can also reflect on the silver linings that have been exposed by our stopping the use of fossil fuel for an extended period of time.

I’m sure you have all heard about people living just miles from the Himalayas are seeing them for the first time. And without all of the traffic disruption, and airline over-flights, birds are flocking and behaving in ways I haven’t seen since I was a child. Without the ubiquitous hydrocarbon haze, cities are actually looking beautiful.

What I am eagerly anticipating are all of the papers produced by bioacoustics researchers about all of the behavioral and metabolic changes that result from shutting down the din of global shipping in the world.

Catastrophes, like tie Deepwater Horizon – or the Exxon Valdez, and the Santa Barbara oil spills give us a chance to reflect on our priorities. Apparently, as the Administration frantically tries to prop up the oil industry, they did not get the message clearly enough. We are now presented with an indisputable crisis from which nobody on our planet is exempt.

Viruses are mutagens. They come into our DNA with a set of keys that scramble the strings up. Without viruses, there would be no multi-celled creatures on the planet. So while the immediate manifestation of COVID-19 is painful, and tragic, it is quite possible that the longer-term mutation – or transformation could be quite beautiful.

Stay safe and well so you can participate in this metamorphosis!

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