Deepwater Horizon: I’m not fucking stupid

Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.
~Bertrand Russell

A couple of things have warranted a return to the Deepwater Horizon topic.

Okay, so the spill has officially become larger than the Exxon-Valdez. Still not in the top ten, though. Apparently it’s finally past the dead zone and now we’re starting to see dead animals and all that photogenic jazz.

I’m still not all that concerned.

Yes, animals are dying, yes, those are precious brackishwater wetlands.

But everyone’s doing what they fucking can. It’s out of our hands for the most part, and if you’re really concerned, get down there and help or something.

BP’s catching all the crap. I mean all of it. They were leasing the rig from someone else, Transocean. I’ve rarely seen their name mentioned at all. I’m not saying who’s to blame, I’m merely pointing out that laying this squarely on the shoulders of BP may be a hasty decision.

But let’s get to the meat of this post.

Oh, Defenders of Wildlife.

“OHMYGOD OFFSHORE DRILLING IS HORRIBLE AND SHOULD BE STOPPED.”

This is, as far as I can tell, the first major spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil spills are rare. Naturally, companies that pay [insert deity here, if applicable] knows how much fucking money to build the rig and put it out there don’t want the rig to explode and send thousands of gallons of an expensive commodity straight into the fucking ocean. I am unconvinced that the Deepwater Horizon spill necessitates a moratorium on drilling. I don’t think offshore drilling is as dangerous as many environmental groups would like to make it. Yes, I am all for weaning our asses off of oil. I don’t think we need to use fear mongering tactics to do so, though.

I’m not done with you yet, Defenders.

You’re suing BP. Okay. Cool. That area probably holds a few federally endangered species, so you’ve got a suit. From the press release:

“The Gulf of Mexico is home to numerous endangered and threatened species all of which face acute and/or chronic risks from the Deepwater Horizon disaster including: five species of whale (blue, fin, sei, humpback, and sperm); five species of sea turtle (green, hawksbill, leatherback, Kemp’s ridley, and loggerhead); seven species of beach mice (Alabama, Choctawhatchee, Anastasia, St. Andrew, Southeastern and Perdido Key); seven species of bird (piping plover, roseate tern, whooping crane, Mississippi sandhill crane, Everglade snail kite, wood stork, and least tern); four species of fish (gulf sturgeon, Alabama sturgeon, pallid sturgeon and smalltooth sawfish); two species of coral (elkhorn and staghorn); Florida salt marsh vole; and the West Indian manatee.”

Let me point out that the Gulf of Mexico is not well-known for whales. Sure, there are a few here and there, but overall, you’ll want to travel elsewhere for whales. The manatees are unlikely to have direct contact with the spill, along with the whooping crane, the kite, the vole, and probably several of the other species. I’d like to point out that the whooping cranes winter in Texas. Winter in Texas. Some of these species are only federally endangered…the global IUCN considers them, on the whole, to be of least concern. This means that only the US populations are in danger, the species as a whole is not endangered.

I’ll give them the turtles. Some of those are considered critically endangered by the IUCN, and there are populations residing in the Gulf. And the fish, too, why not, I’ve never been good at fish. Wild fish, anyway.

But the beach mice. Let me start by asking you to read the excerpt again, paying special attention to the part about the beach mice. There are seven species, correct? That’s what it says.

That’s a lie.

Every single one of those mice listed as a species is, in fact, listed as a sub-species according to the IUCN. Right here, under “Threats.” I even checked to see if the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed them as species or sub-species. They’re sub-species according to the ESA as well. Threatened or endangered sub-species of a species listed by the IUCN as least concern.

Maybe I’m just picky. I do hold a degree in wildlife biology, so these things irritate me in ways they don’t irritate others. Species != sub-species.

But I just have to say…Defenders of Wildlife, do I look fucking STUPID? Are we, as a fucking nation, so god-damned IDIOTIC that you can’t be bothered to put the fucking scientific names in your damn press release? Or be bothered to concentrate on the species that are at the highest risk and leave the big flashy ones that aren’t out of it? For the love of fuck, I don’t think there are too many sperm whales chillin’ in Louisiana. Yes, eventually this spill will have some impact on their population in the future. But there’s a lot of difference between a minor indirect impact on sperm whales and an immediate direct impact on sea turtles or a critically endangered sub-species of beach mouse.

“Oh, just put some big species in there, some whales or something, yea, manatees are great, that’s a good idea, and break those mice up so the list’ll look longer, no one’ll know, they’re mice, right?”

Fuck you.

Fucking pet peeve. This is something I expect out of PETA or one of those other “at all costs” groups, not damn Defenders, whom at least occasionally seem to have a bit of sense.

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One Response to “Deepwater Horizon: I’m not fucking stupid”

  1. There’s only six sub-species listed anyway. Way to count, Defenders.

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