The ABC news is reporting today that the continuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may mean the end for BP. Sadly, there seems to be very little discussion about what this means for oil drilling in general.
This should be a wake up call to the world telling us that we need to urgently move beyond the use of fossil fuels for so much of our energy. There is no way a solar or wind energy farm could cause the kind of destruction that oil is currently causing to the south-east coast of the USA.
But sadly this is just the tip of the iceberg – the real damage caused by oil is not in the form of an ugly, easily photographed black slick across the ocean. Rather it is in the form of an invisible gas, carbon dioxide, slowly building up in the atmosphere and heating our planet to levels at which existing ecosystems are not adapted to survive. The first impacts of climate change are already being noticed but unless serious action is taken fast the eventual effects will make the damage caused in the Gulf of Mexico look positively pleasant by comparison.