This is going to be one of my briefer posts. It is also one of the least finished. It sticks with simply asking some large questions that are not easily answered. That is because I want to focus on Carl-Henric Svanberg’s BP’s generous response to us “small people” for whom they have given up one year of dividends and also setting up a special fund for victim compensation.
The fact that BP has placed twenty billion dollars into a victim’s compensation escrow account is certainly a very good thing. We are mostly pleased by that development and I think that Ken Feinberg enjoys a fairly high level of goodwill and respect here. So let us be clear about the fact that the money helps. This is without regard to whether or not it is enough money.
1. Louisiana, most of all and other Gulf Coast states have developed a system of leases, licenses, seasons, turtle excluders, pollution control and cultural traditions which has maintained a highly productive seafood industry while preserving the resources that are the basis of fisheries far from here from which we receive little money. We internalize the cost of responsibility and now have been agin greatly assaulted by obvious deluded idiots in the larger world. Will there be a fiscal response to this set of financial obligations and their effects?
2. American policy of sending everyone into unstable industries and cheapened college educations is clearly moronic. We have maintained a whole class of high paying and decent skilled careers of the type this society hates. Now this sector is again assaulted and the whole infrastructure will tend to tear it apart if nothing is done. Will there be sector support?
3. BP is clearly run by people whose social skills are just above those of a gorilla troop. Will there be an effort by skilled people to work within the complex and enduring social fabric of our coast?
4. When food production is affected in any big way more food is taken from the poor in the world economy by a long string of events. Will anyone actually care about the misery that may be suffered as far away a s rural China or Ecuador?
5. Will the natural resources management professions be given social support in this context or will money men and politicians make all the policy decisions?
6. Will the utter cluelessness of policy regarding Louisiana’s unique wetlands in the federal government be really examined?
7. Will the pelicans of the next five generations get health support under Obamacare? Will there be funds to study wildlife survival and reproduction over years?
8. Will the realities of seafood processing piece work be understood by anybody? Or will all decisions be made by people who think food comes from stores in plastic sheathing?
9. Will there be any effort to clear the backlog of coastal restoration projects which will have to compete with the aftermath of this disaster for various resources?
10. Will someone give these BP executives a chance to meet with all the small people here who love their big strong protectors from across the Atlantic so very much?