photo: US Coast Guard via flickr
I have to say that this is all getting pretty predictable, the BP oil spill. I'll direct you to Climate Progress for the 'you couldn't make it up' scoop on how BP having a central role in the Exxon Valdez disaster, but a story from a week ago that somehow escaped noticed really is telling about how all parties concerned in the cleanup have acted. Originally in The Guardian, but resurfacing at Yahoo News is the tale of how Transocean basically strong-armed survivors of the explosion, just plucked from the water, into keeping quiet.Here's a representative account, other survivors experienced similar things:
Stephen Davis, a seven-year veteran of drilling-rig work from San Antonio, told The Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg today that he was held on a boat for 36 to 40 hours after diving into the Gulf from the burning rig and swimming to safety. Once on a crew boat, Davis said, he and the others were denied access to satellite phones or radio to get in touch with their families, many of whom were frantic to find out whether or not they were OK.
Davis' attorney told Goldenberg that while on the boat, his client and the others were told to sign the statements presented to them by attorneys for Transocean -- the firm that owned the Deepwater Horizon -- or they wouldn't be allowed to go home. After being awake for 50 harrowing hours, Davis caved and signed the papers. He said most of the others did as well.
Here these men are, rescued from the water and essentially held captive by attorneys for their employer, until they sign a document stating that they were unharmed. I normally try to use a more polite tone, but this is utter bullshit. Complete and total corporate bullshit.
Right from first moments of the disaster a clear pattern of concern for protecting the reputations and profits of the various corporate persons involved overwhelmed all concern about (gasp!) doing what was the right thing for 1) the living persons involved, 2) the living animals soon to be involved, and 3) the living ecosystem as a whole.
At risk of going out on a tangental limb, I can think of no better example of the modern corporation as a virus, a self-replicating, self-perpetuating even at the expense of killing its host deadly lifeform than the behavior of BP, Transocean and (shockingly to a lesser extent, at least from what I've heard) Halliburton in this entire disaster.
The surviving workers on the rig jumped into the water in self-preservation, and the corporate virus tried to preserve itself by getting those workers to say they were unharmed and limit its liability for any injuries caused in the explosion. Sickening.
More on the BP Oil Spill:
Must-See Video Show BP Gulf Spill & Toxic Dispersants Underwater
Welcome to Peak Oil - The Deeper You Drill, The More You Might Spill
BP Fails F***ing Booming School: Oil Industry Insider Vents - NSFW (Video)