Monday, May 03, 2010

An Armageddon in the Gulf ... of Mexico?

While Tim LaHaye and the Council for National Policy try to arrange wars in the Middle East in order to force Christ's return, a present-day Armageddon is unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.

I have been following, from afar and in horror, the epic saga of the British Petroleum oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico (here is the moment's story from the New York Times). In short, the deepest offshore well ever drilled is now gushing as much as a million gallons of oil daily (by some estimates) into the waters of the Gulf, following an explosion on and subsequent sinking of the drilling platform on April 20. And no one really knows the upper limits of just how much oil is gushing up from the ocean floor, although it could become the greatest ocean oil disaster ever.

All efforts to stanch the oil have failed, and it may be up to three months before the flow is finally stopped. Already, the oil slick is reaching the marshlands of Louisiana, and it will soon coat the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida with oil, with the possibility that the slick will round the tip of Florida and head northward up the eastern seaboard and further into the Atlantic Ocean.

The implications are staggering. Ocean ecosystems could be wiped out, resulting in chain reactions that we cannot imagine at the moment. Entire human industries and livelihoods dependent upon the Gulf and Atlantic oceans could be destroyed for months or even years to come.

The back story is that BP earlier claimed their deep sea exploration was completely safe and that any accidents were "virtually impossible." Seriously. They actually said that.

In addition to BP's arrogance, some are blaming Halliburton (yes, the same Dick Cheney company that stole untold tens if not hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars through government contracts in Iraq they never fulfilled) for some work they did for BP on the seabed below the drilling platform that exploded. And in hindsight, some experts are saying that oil companies are drilling too far below the ocean surface to ensure safety.

It makes me cringe to think what we as humans are doing to the planet God gave us. We're poisoning the air, land and oceans with reckless abandon, for the profit of a few and the pleasures and conveniences of the masses. Rather than using our technology to be stewards of God's creation, we use it for destructive, self-serving purposes.

Perhaps this horrific tragedy will serve as a wakeup call to people of faith and our nation and world at large, concerning the dangers of abusing the earth. Or perhaps the time has already passed for a wakeup call, and the best we can hope for is to begin the long-term task of partially patching up a planet that has already been fatally wounded by human greed and callousness, of which the Gulf oil spill is the latest example.

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