Monday, June 14, 2010

Thoughts On Oil Spill

Reflecting on the current oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, I am reminded of how people want someone to blame. In the midst of a crisis and well after there will be much discussion of whose fault the crisis was and whose responsibility it was to prevent the crisis.

I do not think we have even begun to understand the magnitude of the current oil spill crisis nor its lasting effects. To see so many pictures of birds struggling for breath trapped in the oily mire makes me not want to turn on the news. However, my desire to not be ignorant of the unfolding tragedy and to try and find my roll in contributing to the solution compels me to watch.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about how people are proclaiming a boycott against BP. We agreed this response could hurt the situation more. If BP does not have the money to pay to clean up this mess and provide relief for those who lost their livelihood, then this will become a further burden upon the victims and the taxpayers. The government is overburdened enough. It should be the responsibility of the business to clean up its mess and this requires a sufficient flow of funds.

I can’t even imagine what the executives of BP are going through trying to deal with such a large disaster with the public opinion railing against them every step of the way. It is not that the public doesn’t have a right to be outraged. It is just that any person or group of people with this kind of pressure and responsibility must have an enormous weight upon their shoulders with little hope of relief in sight.

I applaud the thousands of volunteers offering their assistance. It is frustrating for all to see that they are not yet being well utilized as no one has ever organized such a large clean up before. The legalities and red tape do not help the situation.

It is the duty of an organization, person, business, government, etc. to own up to its mistakes, but it is also the responsibility of the rest of us to forgive them and move beyond the blame casting to solutions. While more mistakes are sure to be made in a situation so mind boggling, we need to have an attitude of grace and look for ways that we can be part of the solution rather than adding to the problem.

We are not under the pressures that the leaders of BP and their consulting scientists are under. Most of us are not living in the areas damaged by the oil spill and are not standing looking out at the devastation knowing America awaits them to do something about it. The loss of life, jobs, and wildlife weighs upon them as what may be the greatest ecological disaster in the world continues to grow as they struggle to find solutions.

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