Acts of God and Nature

June 7th, 2010

Inspired by Worshiping at the BP altar and Lessons from the spill(Washington Post 6/06/10).

“Acts of God are acts of God.” – Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) discussing the BP oil spill in an interview with an Oklahoma radio station
 
“From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.” – Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)
 
“This is not an environmental disaster, and I will say that again and again because it is a natural phenomenon. Oil has seeped into this ocean for centuries, will continue to do it… We will lose some birds, we will lose some fixed sealife, but overall it will recover.”  – Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)
 
“Oil is as much a part of nature as air is. Oil is as much a part of nature as water is. … If we didn’t do anything, it would recover. It might take a lot of years, but it would recover. The Earth is an amazing thing.” – Rush Limbaugh


According to Republicans, God works in mysterious ways,

Causing massive oil leaks when he’s not too busy hating gays.


I’ve heard of blame-shifting, but this is absurd:

Blaming God and Nature for the disaster that has occurred.


Sorry Tom and Rick, but you’re both wrong:

Greed, not God, caused what went wrong.


Sorry, Don and Rush, but you are incorrect:

It’s NOT natural, 40 million gallons of oil into an ecosystem to inject.


Initial testimony and investigation show a string of errors

Responsible for the spill’s environmental terrors.


These weren’t the best laid plans of mice and men–

Corners were cut again and again.


In spite of a weak well casing and problems with well control,

The BP “company man” for speed continued to cajole.


A blowout preventer with a hydraulic fluid leak and a dead battery,

And failure to compensate for pressure abnormality.


Use of seawater instead of drilling mud

(A major reason for the oil flood).


Eight years of oil industry favoritism and deregulation

Perpetrated by the Bush Administration.


BP assured regulators it could handle a spill 10 times as big

When applying for a license for the doomed rig.


BP said they could clean up 50 times the oil they’ve been able to,

But I guess making mistakes is natural too.


Even if the spill were God’s act,

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have environmental impact.


No, this wasn’t an act of God or Nature.

You’re all wrong again (but I guess that’s in your nature).

***

Here’s Cole’s “act of God” statement.
 

Here’s Rush’s “it’s natural” statement.

Here’s the Young Turks report on the Republican reaction to the oil spill, including discussion of the sudden Republican belief in government (when THEY need it).
 

Here’s Congressman Young’s statement via the Alaska Public Radio Network.


 


And here, Congressman Young (and Sister Sarah) is a report on how Alaska is still suffering from the environmental effects of the Exxon-Valdez spill 21 years ago, and might take centuries to recover. The intro music is Mercy Mercy Me by the great Marvin Gaye (listen to the full song below).

And here’s your theme music for today, Act of God by the Christian group Acapella. Some people do indeed have a strange philosophy (not this group or Christians in general, just those Republicans who believe disasters like thisare an act of God).

Some further comments: Congressman Young also stated that “during World War II there was over 10 million barrels of oil spilt from ships, and no natural catastrophe.” I don’t know what his source for that figure is, but it seems to me that he’s factually wrong, for several compelling reasons:

  1. Assuming Young’s figure is correct, WW2 era oil spills were 10 million barrels (420 million gallons) over the course of four years (8.75 million gallons per month) spread out (assumedly) over all the world’s oceans, compared to 40 million gallons (so far) over the course of 6 weeks in one spot. So, the BP spill has already far exceeded average worldwide oil releases, in one location.
  2. Young assumes that there was “no natural catastrophe” caused by the WW2 oil releases. But just because there was no catastrophe that he knows of (or that people knew of at the time) doesn’t mean there wasn’t one.
  3. Even if Young were right on both counts, that doesn’t negate the direct observations that there have already been serious environmental impacts of the Gulf spill, and will be many more that we don’t even know about or understand yet.

Rush also goes on to say that “more oil [is] spilled every year in Africa, in Nigeria, than so far in the Gulf. So it’s not unique, it is not exceptional, it is not the largest. Mexico had a spill that is larger than this. Nobody talks about it except apparently me. Ixtoc I, it went on for nine months.” Though it hardly seems necessary to analyze this (and other) statements by El Rushbo:

  1. A Google search on “Ixtoc” yields 187K hits between April 1 and May 31 (i.e., before Rush made his poorly informed statement). So much for “nobody talks about it except apparently me.”
  2. As this Washington Post article (another “nobody” talking about Ixtoc) reports, Ixtoc’s environmental impacts continue to this day, 23 years after the spill.
  3. Ixtoc was indeed the biggest oil spill in history, but the Gulf of Mexico spill is poised to overtake it. But even if it doesn’t, does merely being the second biggest spill in world history (and the biggest in American history) mean we don’t need to worry about it?

Sign this DCCC PETITION to send Congressman Young a message that the BP spill IS an environmental disaster.

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3 Responses to “Acts of God and Nature”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Obama’s Katrina? Says:

    […] Acts of God and Nature […]

  2. Newsericks » Blog Archive » God Hates Jesus? (or, Touchdown Jesus Taken Out of the Game) Says:

    […] follow up to our earlier posts on the subject, but from a different perspective, inspired by Lightning: No respect for religion […]

  3. Newsericks » Blog Archive » We’re Sorry, BP Says:

    […] Still thinks the spill was an act of nature or God. […]

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