The gulf oil gusher is a disaster of great proportions. We’ve all seen the pictures of petroleum-soaked birds and dead fish, and the area’s economy is on life support. The mishap truly is a tragedy for all, from Gulf residents to English pensioners to marine wildlife to, yes, BP itself. As bad as this is, however, there’s a way to make the situation worse: by compounding it with another tragedy, one both foreseeable and preventable.
Following the Emanualesque motto “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” some would use the Deepwater Horizon accident to push an anti-oil agenda. And given people’s tendency toward emotional reactions, millions of others are willing to support them. It’s much as how there was a hue and cry for gun control after the Columbine and L.I.R.R. massacres. Passion may not govern wisely, as old Mr. Franklin warned, but she sure does govern.
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