Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Update: Oil Spill Over Michigan

New overlay map released yesterday. Having spent some time the past two weekends hitting the shores of Lake Michigan, drifting through the enormous crowds of day-trippers and vacationers enjoying our beautiful lake, this time I decided to put the spill on the coast at Grand Haven....

North to south, it now runs roughly from South Haven to Manistee. And if you take the east to west coverage of the nearly 207 miles from Milwaukee to Bay City and place that on the shore, it would run from Benton Harbor nearly all the way to Petoskey.

For all intensive purposes, that's the entire eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan. Gone. Fishing, tourism, drinking water... over and done. For a long, long time. Now, of course a spill in the lake probably wouldn't happen exactly like that, lake currents and other factors would come into play (and I wonder if any of our lake scientists are currently crunching the numbers to draw up such a scenario) - this is just an example for size comparison. Or, maybe it would be even worse than this, flowing from Lake Michigan into Lake Huron and then south...

Amazingly enough, those fun-lovin', free market folks at the Mackinac Center are still pushing for lifting the ban on drilling in the Great Lakes. It's "under a continuous cap of rock", says Russ Harding. And if there were an earthquake, then we would be doing ourselves a favor because you are "relieving pressure" by removing the oil. Ooookay. But "certain precautions" would have to be taken, like keeping the well heads inland.

Wait a minute... doesn't that sound like a "regulation" on business? The next thing you know, the Mac Center would argue that environmental precautions are too expensive, interfering with the free market and cutting into business profits, and we can't have that now, can we.

Better yet, why don't we ignore the folks who bring up wacky earthquake scenarios in their bizarre attempts to justify their insatiable fossil fuel money greed, and keep the lake drilling bans in place while we concentrate on developing renewable energy sources. We simply can't afford the "free market" people anymore. In the Gulf, it turns out that the pursuit of the profits for the few will destroy the profits for everyone for years to come - and it's going to cost the taxpayers more than we can even begin to imagine.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Right wing economic and governmental theories are bad for business, not to mention the planet and every species on it, including us. How long until everyone catches on to that fact?