Monday, May 3, 2010

Black(ened) Swan

As per last week's post, when I speculated that something would soon emerge-probably not on my short list- to act as the next black swan, or flock of black swans, overturning the U.S. economy's apple cart, a terrible oil spill may well be the event that, no pun intended, turns the tide. My sources (try not to laugh too hard) inform me that this ecological disaster, which is already enormously damaging to all manner of marine wildlife, will make the Exxon Valdez spill appear like a lazy stroll in the park by comparison. The entire Gulf of Mexico is now in grave danger of becoming a dead zone, ecologically and economically, and if one would be amateur analyst is correct, the path of the Gulf Stream could cause the destruction to spread as far as the northeast coast fishing grounds.

Once again we are faced with a grim reminder that the cost of doing business as usual, specifically as regards how, and on what basis, we provide energy for ourselves, is untenable. Tragically, and not just for our species, we are destined for this sort of catastrophe, because we simply will not meaningfully reform our mode of existence. Instead, we give audience to imbeciles whose signature incantation, at least where our energy problems are concerned, is "Drill, baby, drill." Well, this is what one reaps when one drills like an entitled baby.

In the meantime we'll have to contend with attempts to soft peddle what looks like a kind of ghastly companion piece, albeit an infinitely worse one, to the Hurricane Katrina debacle of 2005. The sandy white beaches of the west coast of Florida, among other beautiful places, will be stained black this summer, and many other things-things that are even more precious, precarious, and beautiful than sandy white beaches- will be hopelessly sundered so much so that Memorial Day cookouts that are notably devoid of Gulf shrimp will be the least of our problems.


Debra said...

Beautiful piece, Edwardo. Thanks. Enjoyed it a lot.

Johnny D. said...

I totally agree, Edwardo, but I sure hope that somehow, miracle-like, they are able to cap this damn thing in the next couple of days.

My god, man. This is bad already, and if they don't get it capped ASAP, there is no way anything good is going to come of this.

Related, I saw a news story somewhere today that mentioned how this might be something that sends the economy into a tailspin again. My first thought was, "Yeah, right. Like snow in the winter time is a big surprise, you all blamed it for a couple of months for the bad economy, and now this is going to be the tipping point?"

Now, here, with a writer I admire, I see similar musings. This gives me pause to think a bit deeper.

Now wait, I knew when I saw this back almost two weeks ago now that this was not going to be good, but now I think I'm really seeing this for the massive disaster this has the potential to become. Basically, this is an ecological Pearl Harbor, or, if you prefer - 9-11.

Black Swan, indeed.

Debra said...

An oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would be like... an oil spill in the Meditteranean...
I think that we have been "in luck" for such a long time that it blinded us to what COULD really happen.
We have a natural tendency to function in "outta sight, outta mind" mode as a species.
Maybe this black swan will wake us up ?

Thai said...

Nice post

But wake us from what Deb?

It is clear people have very different visions of what they want.

Anonymous said...

Edwardo, this made me think of the exchange we had on possible tipping points.

This could end up leading to it, definitely if one of the worst case scenarios plays out, and perhaps even if a lesser one does.

(And let's hear it for Heckuva-job-Obama, who chose his moment to join the Drill Baby Drill screech just a few weeks ago. He said the question of whether oil spills can occur is a "tired debate."

Nice timing, scumbag. Heckuva job.)

I'm planning to write my own post on this tomorrow. I assembled some info today for it.

Debra said...

Wake us up from collective and individual hubris/indifference/feeling of helplessness.
Playing with your Monopoly money while the ship goes down is not very rational, now, is it ?
I don't know many people who are excited and pleased about the idea of the ecological ship going down.
With them, or their children in it, of course...

Thai said...

I just don't see it Deb.

Remember, rats will choose death over stopping their cocaine addiction.

We are not rational animals ;-)

Thai said...


Thai said...

By the way, I'm shared this to show the health bill apparently has a "show your papers" requirement which I had no idea about.

I didn't mean to bring up the whole immigration bill.

Edwardo said...

Thai, the health care bill has, as per some of the links in a prior post, all sorts of disturbing elements embedded in it.

Debra said...
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Debra said...
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