A "hurricane" in the Pacific Northwest was foreseeable but it had been discounted by folk wisdom. A hurricane of the force and site of Katrina was foreseeable but had been statistically discounted in likelihood. Black swans.
BP has made a big mess. It may sound like we're talking about the Gulf oil spill, but we're actually talking about our own backyard: BP's Carson Refinery located in densely populated southern Los Angeles.
All the right rich people want the Gulf squared in their rearview mirrors. The oil companies want to drill, and many politicians want the oil companies to stay happy so they can secure their donations come election time.
The press, government officials and BP pitchmen are insulting our intelligence by suggesting that the oil has vanished and there's nothing to worry about. They can whistle away the crisis as much as they want, but we'd all do well to stay on top of this.
Almost all the president's men -- the Coast Guard, OSHA, NIOSH, FDA, and the EPA -- in keeping with an ongoing cover-up, cannot seem to find any unsafe levels of oil or solvents in the air or water. But other people are.
The will of the American people is being subordinated to the demands of giant money-making machines called global corporations that can now spend or threaten to spend unlimited amounts of money in support of any politician.
I remember the bay from my childhood as a place filled with wildlife -- birds, alligators, sea turtles, and of course abundant oyster, shrimp, and crab beds. But since the BP explosion, the bay has become an industrial zone.
As the oil disaster continues to ravage the Gulf, we are being reminded of the value of our oceans. That's why I was filled with hope today when Obama announced he is creating the first-ever comprehensive national ocean policy.