The big news in the papers, on television, and everywhere you look is environmental disasters. They seem to be happening a lot, and we are working on new ways of handling them. Most recently, there have been oil rig disasters. In these disasters, oil spilled into the sea and spread to the gulf coast. This has been a serious problem for different reasons. It destroys sea life, for one. It is horrible for the diverse life that lives underwater. It is also horrible for the people who live on the coast. It destroys their environment and also causes problems for industry. It probably seems like absolutely no good came out of the oil rig disasters. There was certainly a lot of harm that came from them. But if we try to learn from our mistakes, then we can prevent the same disasters from happening again.
One thing we learned from the recent oil rig disasters is that there is a lot of unaccountable, and therefore unregulated, action in the oil industry. It seems like no one wants to take the blame for the accident. The petroleum company wants to blame the oil rig, and the oil rig wants to blame the petroleum company. There needs to be more government regulation so that potential accidents cannot happen in the future. This would require inspections, investigations, and newly formed government agencies that can work free from the influence of lobbyists and other financial and corporate representatives.
Another thing we learned from the rig disasters is that oil is not as safe as we previously thought it was. The conventional wisdom had always said that the drilling was dangerous part. As scientists find safer ways to drill for oil, officials have not been keeping tabs on the way the oil is transported. This makes the oil issue much more complex. In the future, you can expect to see a harder push for alternative forms of energy, as well as stricter restrictions on oil transportation.
No matter where you stand on some of the oil questions, you have to admit that the oil rig disaster was a wake up call. It is time to do things differently. We can no longer assume that it's business as usual. When we see the amount of space covered by the oil spill, we can see how much is at stake. The spill was as large as a US state. This was a large, detrimental accident.