New Media and Politics - Gulf News

Been trying not to make all my posts about the disaster in the Gulf of late. It's playing out long, slowly and painfully. We made pretty good calls here based on common sense and decent internet sources. The first being that there was no way the rate of flow was anything like only 5,000 barrel a day. The figure has now been set at 19,000 or so and that's still low-balling the true figure - as is pointed out all over news sites on the web.

BP Spill

Maybe BP thinks by playing games with the figures they're going to get away with paying a smaller fine - and maybe they will. They certainly have the resources and wherewithal to try. Corporate citizens are never taken to task the way the rest of us are - or would be if any of us were responsible for the deaths of 11 people and destruction of various flora and fauna that has robbed tens of thousands of people of their livelihoods.


Speaking of corporate accountability in these instances, or lack thereof, word today that those responsible for the tragedy at Bhopal were finally convicted - 25 1/2 years later, of negligence. The seven surviving defendants were sentenced to two years in prison and fined 100,000 rupees, or $2,100.


They were the first criminal convictions from the leak at the Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal, a central Indian city. The leak killed 3,000 people almost instantly, and thousands more died later from the aftereffects of the toxic gas, an ingredient in pesticides the plant produced.

 Maybe BP will get the same deal. Or maybe they'll get the same deal as Exxon, 'cause that's what they really want. They want the rough estimates to be off by 2/3's and to fight it in court for 20 years and then dole out pocket change and pretend they've paid their debt.

The President has been doing his part near as we can tell, but will get little credit as there is little he can do other than try and make the accountable - seems unlikely if BP finds ways to drag it through the courts for 20 years. The reality is that they will have to wait until August when the relief wells have been dug, and even that's not a sure thing, before oil stops gushing into the Gulf. Meanwhile, he's out-numbered by the whores and spinmeisters and those in the pockets of big oil.

For comic relief from all this, try reading about an under-reported spill stemming from the BP offices in the UK.