The omnipresent, immeasurable human greed for profit has struck yet again. Crude oil has been flowing into the sea and contaminating the natural environment for many weeks (months?). There is wild speculation in the media as to the exact amount of oil – the main aim here is to attract attention and drive up sales figures artificially. Humans still have a lot to learn – but more of that later…
The company operating the exploded drilling rig has been attacked worldwide and vehemently criticized as if it were the only guilty party. If all of humanity did not use oil for its diverse and perverse needs, then neither BP nor anyone else would be interested in extracting even one drop of it, i.e. consumers and producers both share equal blame for this disaster and others of its kind. It is just too cheap and self-reassuring to find a particular scapegoat in order to wash one’s own hands clean of the affair, particularly as it could be gathered from media reports that the state authorities had failed miserably with regard to the awarding of drilling licences and controls - were bribes possibly involved again? Now we are all in a proper mess, for nature belongs to every one of us and is everybody’s concern!
Instead of immature and one-sided attributions of blame, the following should be tried out: towards the beginning of this oil catastrophe I happened to see a television report on major construction work in the Far East. If I remember correctly, the construction engineers were using gigantic water pumps there for some drainage work with a suction capacity the size of an Olympic swimming pool per minute and pump. The engineers had three identical pumps in operation in situ. You could suck the Gulf of Mexico dry with those pumps, was my thinking!
Dear People of British Petroleum! What are you still waiting for? Borrow these pumps and suck the complete oil-water mixture into huge tanks. Then the brew can be separated into its different parts again without any hurry – have you not got any process engineers in your ranks? . . . . Unfortunately I cannot say exactly where these special pumps are – I came upon the television report by chance near the end of the programme, but the above-mentioned application seemed perfectly realistic to me. I imagine you will find the pumps fairly quickly if you ask the appropriate embassies or Chambers of Industry and Commerce in the region where pumps of this kind are currently being used (it could have been Singapore or Kuala Lumpur). Or state bodies could perhaps be helpful to you through diplomatic channels (careful – bureaucratic delays possible!)? I have to admit that I am at a complete loss as to why the pump operators have not come up with this simple idea themselves!
The helpless attempts to use floating barriers to stop the oil spreading out over the open sea are more than amateurish – one light breeze and everything sloshes over them. Even more half-witted is the attempt to use planes to spray chemicals in order to break up the oil. Honestly you people, have you still got all your oil marbles? You cannot get rid of one load of shit with another. In the end you will have two loads instead of one. . . . . Burning off the oil with the resulting huge clouds of smoke in tow can similarly only be regarded as a brainless panic reaction.
What we should all finally learn from this catastrophe are the following simple facts: (1) human beings have to overcome their unbridled greed and egotism.
Maybe our poster (Fig. 1) will serve as a reminder. Thinking purely in terms of profit has been “out” for a long time – it’s just that word does not seem to have got around yet. . . . (2) The achievements of human engineering are still in their infancy. We build little machines and fly to the moon – but always at a cost to nature – the key words here being air pollution and non-reusability. Mother Nature has been showing us how to do it for billions of years: the 100% re-use of resources after the “demise” of what had once grown and developed – or has any archaeologist ever dug up the remains of a natural dump anywhere?!
Our current methods of generating energy are just as “fossilised” as the raw materials with which we do this. We don’t even know how, let alone where, we can “store” the waste from the nuclear industry safely, yet we continue to operate nuclear reactors blithely in order to produce clean (?!?) energy.… Similarly, we have built various combustion engines and have been blowing climate-damaging exhaust fumes into the air for more than a hundred years, yet we continue to drive and fly along merrily. But this is just not good enough, you people - consider what’s happening in the Gulf of Mexico at the moment, consider melting glaciers and polar caps, ozone holes, radioactive contamination and air pollution etc., etc.
As I mentioned at the beginning, we are all party to the reasons for this (oil) catastrophe, so the following step must be implemented immediately to ensure that an accident of this kind is prevented from destroying the environment at least in the future (at least for as long as there is still oil in the ground). All the nations of the world (whether with or without oil reserves) and all the oil producing companies must jointly maintain a kind of “oil suction brigade” similar to a fire brigade, but of course equipped with gigantic suction pumps and correspondingly large floating tanks distributed at strategic points throughout the world’s oceans, above all where a lot of oil is involved. It must be possible to reach the oil wells and every stretch of the oil transport routes within a very short time. As soon as an unplanned oil leak is identified, a sufficient number of “suction pumps” would be sent there. All costs, including the subsequent separation of the sucked-up brew, would be covered by everyone together, see above.
This world belongs to all of us – animals and plants! We humans still have to learn to behave ourselves. There is no “substitute” world. We treat this world worse than the worst terrorists do – blinded by greed and the lust for power, ruthless in our destruction. The naïve notion of colonising Mars sounds like a threat - along the lines of: we’ve already made a proper mess of our planet, now it’s the next one’s turn! The taxpayers’ money for the “Mars mission” should first be used in this world for the development of the first true civilisation! How we barbarians can finally succeed in this plan will be explained at a later point in time. Now it’s a question of saving the Gulf of Mexico. Otherwise we will contaminate our complete solar system, still believing that we have behaved as “beings in God’s image” – what a fallacy, what “blasphemy”, what a shameful thing, what miserable paltriness!