Seldom is more than 10 percent of a marine oil spill recovered. We should insist that industry and government are prepared to respond to a spill, but we should not expect any spill response to be effective.
We are tricking ourselves into using cheap and easy oil as fast as we can pump it out of the ground. And perhaps the most pernicious cost of oil is that it has fueled an unprecedented degradation of the global biosphere.
The real backbone of Brazil's "zero tolerance" policy is that the country has produced enough ethanol to achieve "oil independence." It can tell Chevron, BP, Total or any other oil company that even one drop of oil spilled is not tolerated.
President Obama has delivered another victory for clean energy innovation. Today his administration moved forward with new standards for cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks that will almost double vehicle miles per gallon to 54.5 mpg by 2025.
While I commend the Obama administration and 13 automakers for boosting the Corporate Average Fuel Economy of cars and light-duty trucks sold in the U.S., it is only a baby step toward solving our real problem: oil addiction.
When an alcoholic leaves a bar and drives into his third wreck, do you blame the bartender or the alcoholic? When a society addicted to fossil fuels experiences an oil spill, do you blame the company that drilled for oil or the society that uses it?
Petrol pours off each of us like an invisible sweat. The 20th century was propelled into the stratosphere on a geyser of oil, and nobody wanted to ask where it was coming from, or what it would cost us in the end.