Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Oil spills and ended marriages

I don't often comment on current events in this blog--and knowing that many disagree with my liberal politics, I try to avoid that topic too. But the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf (spill seems like a dimunitive word in the face of the enormity of the disaster) is on all our minds. Sometimes, I admit, I mute the TV when they talk about longterm consequences, because it's just too much too comprehend, too awful to believe. I do think BP is trying everything they know, but they doing no more than guessing and grabbing at straws, while the situation grows ever worse. Meantime, there are constant cries for President Obama to "take charge"--what is he to do? Dive down there and put his finger in the hole, like the legendary boy in Holland? What the president should have done, but none of us knew it, was to uncover the corruption, the faked inspections, the greed that led to this disaster. I read a column the other day (sorry I can't remember the columnist's name) that suggested that if technology doesn't know how to stop leaks at that depth, we should be drilling that deep. I'm a little afraid the situation may prove analagous to the Barnett Shales drillingsin Fort Worth, with reports of increased levels of benzene in the air. And now, after the oil is out of the pipe (well, I didn't want to mix my metaphors and talk about horses out of the barn), he's doing what's apropriate--he's taken the blame, he's called for a criminal investigation. But I doubt the government has people with any more expertise than BP at stopping this awful thing. I read somewhere that BP will survive this disaster, even though it's costing them billions a day--I hope not. I hope they pay, financially and in terms of criminal indictments, along with inspectors who overlooked violations and all others culpable. This was a preventable disaster. But let's not expect the president to be the boy at the dike, and let's not blame him for every disaster, every little thing that goes wrong. And let's recognize that our dependency on oil and our insistence on our individual comfort are ruining the planet. Read Garrison Keillor's commentary in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram today, June 2.
The other item on my mind is the dissolution of the Gore marraige. I admire them and have great respect. I suspect it's really true that they've grown apart, and I hope, really hope, that they mean it when they say this is a mutual and mutually supportive decision. If so, it's a brave one. It's not easy to strike off on your own, especially at their ages. Thirty years ago, if I'd had the nerve, I'd have left a marriage that I knew was dying, but my excuse was I had four young children and didn't know I could support them. As it turns out, I did nicely, and we were all the happier after my husband left--it was the nicest thing he ever did for us. From the pespective of age and increased wisdom, I'd have left two years earlier. So I admire the Gores, wish each of them well. As someone said on TV this morning, forty years of marriage is a success. This sepraration can't be looked at as the "failure" of a marriage. But if we learn that either one has someone waiting in the wings, I will once again be Pollyanna in disappointment.
Enough of current events. I've had a good day. 11:15 this morning before I settled down to serious work--I'm loving my mornings of piddling and will resent the few mornings I have to get up earlier than eight o'clock. But I've written between 1100 and 1200 words today on my novel and will write more tonight. Plus I've done some serious thinking and defining on my nonfiction project. Retirement is looking pretty good.
Jacob is supposed to come tonight so his parents can dig a huge hole in the yard and explore their sprinkler system's leak, but it looks like rain, and I don't know if he'll come after all. Meantime, I'm going to heat myself some defrosted, home-made chicken pot pie.

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