Letter to the Editor

Oil disaster in the Gulf: These are the consequences of our greed for petroleum products

Sunday, June 13, 2010

When I was young a wise adult gave me this advice: "Be careful whom you point your finger at; you might find it pointing back at you."

We are assessing blame for the BP oil disaster. Unfortunately, 11 people lost their lives to help feed our insatiable appetite for petroleum products. Oil is the lifeblood of western economies. It is part of almost everything we consume or use. At this time there is no economically feasible alternative.

We need our automobiles to get to work and for multitude of other tasks. Other fossil fuel-consuming devices are not a necessity: pleasure boats, ATVs, motorcycles, motor homes and private planes. These are essential to our pleasure, and in order to feed them we must extract oil wherever we can.

Is it not the environmental extremists' fault for insisting we must drill far out to sea so as not to disturb the pristine view? When the line of sight from shore is 12.5 miles due to the curvature of the Earth, is this not ludicrous?

BP is only providing a product in demand where it can legally do so. This catastrophe falls into the "stuff happens" category. There is a certain risk to life the way we want to live it. We cannot make the world 100 percent safe. That is why 29 miners died in West Virginia, why a man died in a pipeline explosion in Texas, why approximately every 30 years we may deal with an oil-platform blowout.

We must accept the consequences of our actions.

JAMES C. ROCHE, Jackson