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Oil, mine disasters not helping environmentalists

Our Readers Who Comment are having a wonderful time throwing rocks at each other today in response to a thoughtful article that says the worst oil spill in U.S. history and the worst coal-mining disaster in 40 years have not energized an environmentalist response.

Comments range from "Drill, baby, drill" to lectures on how we are addicted to relatively cheap gasoline. Some readers push activist fuel-saving agendas, others argue about the validity of climate change questions or attack Al Gore.

As David A. Fahrenthold and Juliet Eilperin write, "Environmentalists say they're trying to turn public outrage over oil-smeared pelicans into action against more abstract things, such as oil dependence and climate change. But historians say they're facing a political moment deadened by a bad economy, suspicious politics and lingering doubts after a scandal over climate scientists' e-mails."

We'll start with binkynh, who wrote, "It completely fascinates and disgusts me Americans are more concerned with cheap gasoline than clean oceans. It reminds me of drug addicts who have no concept or care about how their behavior effects the world around them--just get them their next fix. It's shameful and sickening."

Bugs222 said, "Big Oil has spent tens of millions of dollars in recent years to deliberately cast doubt on climate science that even the oil industry's own scientists said was irrefutable. So, it's no wonder that folks are confused. That's what Big Oil wanted, since it didn't have to prove anything. Just plant seeds of doubt, exactly as the liars in the tobacco industry did."

But boblieberman wrote, "Great tragedy? This is not a great tragedy in the minds of most of US citizens. There are no bodies, prices haven't risen, goods are plenty. When the dimensions have become tragic... in five or ten years, then maybe we'll see great change."

OldUncleTom asked, "How about some easy stuff to reduce carbon emmissions? 1) fewer trucks, more trains, they use a lot less fuel per ton of freight delivered... 2) stop building power plants that burn fuel... Nuclear, Wind, and Solar should be the first choices, not the last; 3) high-speed rail between cities... how much jet fuel is wasted on short-hop flying between LA and SF, or NYC and Boston, when it could be faster to take the train?..."

B2O2 wrote, "This is just sick. It's like the heroin addict is laying in the hospital bed after the overdose, and everyone is just finger-pointing about how the hospital admission was handled, or whether her charts were mislain, or where she might get her heroin more cheaply next time. Nobody's talking about the addiction..."

cirrus_nine said, "Never underestimate greed and stupidity. Things will need to get worse before they are better unfortunately. This means a very dire situation for us as when people realize how bad things are, it will already be way way too late."

zone22 asked, "Why is anyone surprised after the big yawn after Katrina? Keep staring at your cell phones while the nation slides into ruin."

daskinner said, "Environmentalists have lusted to "remake" society (destroy it) for a long time. This is just another interlude. Sure, we're ticked off at the British Petroleum toffs, but the fact is, most Americans can see through the eco-hype. Without the blowout, there would be no issue at all, no question about oil production."

gitarre predicted, "It's going to be a long, LONG time before the environmental movement gets its mojo back. They have a lot to live down, what with their loony hysterics in the whole "global warming" fiasco.... and having hitched their wagon to a clownish scoundrel like Al Gore..."

moebius22 wrote, "Americans may care for the environment, but they care more about cheap energy. Energy legislation is all about scarcity and making energy more expensive."

charko825 said, "DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!!!!!!!!! More money needs to be given to allow for more drilling. We need to make drilling for oil the number one priority to supply our energy needs. It's time to throw off the constraints of the wacko green movement that caused the oil spill in the Gulf!!.."

MagicDog1 asked, "Why has nothing happened? Two reasons. First, the Democrats are in power. The environmentalists are usually Democrats, and this time they have no one to protest against. Second, the spill is happening in the South, whose people couldn't care less about themselves or the environment."

But MrTracker wrote, "This will instill some more hatred in people toward the oil companies. That should make it easier to blame them for the high gas prices that are coming as the Fed inflates the dollar into oblivion."

jjjjjj1 wrote, "Evironmentalists are lying scum."

To which dougw3 replied, "I live near the Chesapeake bay. Your comment is ridiculous. Environmentalists will sometimes get overzealous, becasue of their passion for their cause. However hard the fight is, hence my mentioning the bay, these people continue to care about the world around them. They do this even for your sake. You need to wake up to what's going on around you more, and try something constructive for a change."

We'll close with mitt1968, who wrote, "We don't deserve this planet. I hope we will stop all space exploration so that we don't pollute other portions of the universe, of which we are the teensiest speck."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  July 12, 2010; 9:11 AM ET
Categories:  Environment  | Tags: BP, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Oil  
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Next: The Gulf oil spill and the lessons not learned from Exxon Valdez

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