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Published on February 24th, 2012 | by Isa Cann

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For Appearance Sake: The BP Oil Spill Now

BP would be happy if we put the Oil Spill out of our minds. Therefore they spend millions to assure that the public forgets the long term damage to wildlife. The message from BP is that most everything is back to normal, sponsoring ads to entice tourists back to Gulf, and funding university research on the aftermath that is certain to skew the results (where money goes, goes accommodations to keep that money flowing). Don’t suppose that because a positive seal of approval emanates from an esteemed university  is the information true.

Do you wonder what the long term repercussions of oil spills, particularly BP’s in the Gulf of Mexico, are on our economic development, oceans and other waterways?

I have recently spoken with an *ocean science PhD who indicates that some research professors are being bought by BP. After all, funding provides their and others’ jobs. To them, it may feel like the right thing to do for the Gulf economy at large; lie to save or increase ocean industry jobs.

But ethics ought to prevail nevertheless. Economic development built upon a foundation of half-truths is certain to tumble. It is up to the public to ask the questions common to critical [news] media literacy of their news sources:

1. What does the new really mean? Is critical information left out of reports?

2. Who is providing the news? Are they capable of understanding the data in sustainability – or **sustonometric – terms?

3. Who is paying for the news? Is it a non-profit who has nothing to really gain? Or is a corporation with everything to lose?

Look more deeply and discover some truths. From there our foundation of understanding is more solid and opportunities for repair are hopeful.

  • * The PhD is one who must continue to have an open dialogue with the researchers who are perpetrating the inaccuracies. Therefor I won’t make her work difficult by revealing her name.
  • ** Sustonometrics is the dynamic of environmental care in the face of economic development.

 





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About the Author

Isa is the creater and original producer of the radio program The Long View on WUML FM 91.5 (www.thelongview.org). All facets of Sustainable Development (SD) are covered on the program. Featured guests include invested political figures, academics, Green business owners and other Green organization representatives. She also owns an SD focused website design, marketing and communications business, www.MediaArchitects.co. Isa has earned both: a B.A in English-writing and an M.A. in Economic & Social Development -with, again, a focus in Sustainable Development!



2 Responses to For Appearance Sake: The BP Oil Spill Now

  1. Bayou Refugee says:

    Your post is accurate about BP’s public relations game and the dangers of compromised university research. But you are naiive to not recognize that non-profit corporations also have their self-interest at heart. The National Wildlife Federation and similar groups have been more than willing to use the oil spill to further their interests, expansion and their fund-raising bottom lines with little tangible benefit to local residents. Many of these national “save the coast” groups arrived late to the fight — only once they saw national attention and federal / BP money available. But university ocean / coastal / environmental scientists would not be the first in academia to sell out to big money. How many historical examples due I need to give you?

  2. TheLongViewdotOrg says:

    Thank you for the comment. Yes, many entities have capitalized on the tragedy of the spill, including non-profits. But typically, in economies like the one we endure presently, non-profits support has been frequently reduced, while Big Oil continues to be subsidized, and at that, to amazing heights of prosperity. It’s difficult to compare the manipulative corporate power of a BP versus that of a National Wildlife Federation whose focus is environmental care I believe.
     
    Motivations play a large role in long term success and failure of clean up efforts.
     
    It is true that it is a complex (and convoluted) relationship between corporations and the “causes” they support. The National Wildlife Federation is funded in part by several aggressive polluters but the organization is dedicated to saving wildlife, correct?
     
    However, for BP, the dedication lies in advancing their economic interests. Historically, there is no reason to consider that if certain production processes would result in overall profit, BP would have the spill occur all over again (calculated risks include all losses after all). Perhaps the damage will be localized in a different part of the world – or not - but those who suffer the consequences; from local businesses to wildlfe, will scratch their heads having defended/financially supported [through our taxes] Big Oil.

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