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We Are All Trapped in a Global Oil Slick

Jonathan Hari @ The Huffington Post - Has our crude awakening begun, at last? It's not just the pelicans of Louisiana that are flapping and flailing in an oil slick -- it's all of us. We live permanently doused in petrol. Every time we move further than our feet can carry us, or eat food we didn't grow, or go shopping, we burn more barrels. Petrol pours off each of us like an invisible sweat. The 20th century was propelled into the stratosphere on a great gushing geyser of oil, and in the adrenaline-frenzy, nobody wanted to ask where it was coming from, or what it would cost us in the end.

But in this decade, the true costs of oil -- the ones that have been steadily accumulating since 1901, when it began to spurt from a hilltop in Texas -- have begun to finally distract our gaze from the speed-dial. They silently dominate almost every long-term question we face.

Extracting oil from the ground has almost always been disastrous for the people who live nearby. The only thing that is unusual about this morphing of "Drill, Baby, Drill" into "Spill, Baby, Spill" is that, this time, the world noticed the victims. From the Niger Delta to Azerbaijan, the world is littered with places poisoned by the petroleum industry. Read more.


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