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Offshore drilling; the flawed posture of acceptance of inevitable harm PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 01:21
Offshore drilling; the flawed posture of acceptance of inevitable harm

Joan Russow – Global Compliance Research Project

In a recent Grist article “ten ways to kick the offshore oil habit”, the author, Jonathan Hiskes cites the following statements which indicate that: “The only option, political leaders tell us, is for Americans to choke down the occasional drilling catastrophe and deal with the ugly consequences.

Accidents happen," said Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). "You learn from them and you try not to make sure they don't happen again."

"I doubt this is the first accident that has happened and I doubt it will be the last," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

"The reality of it is that we will be depending on oil and gas as we transition to a new energy future," Ken Salazar, President Obama's Interior secretary, told a Senate panel last week. "You are not going to turn off the lights of this country or the economy by shutting it all down."  http://www.grist.org/article/2010-05-24-10-ways-to-kick-the-offshore-oil-habit

The acceptance of inevitable harm posture and the precautionary principle
This acceptance of inevitable harm, contravenes the fundamental principle of international law; the precautionary principle. Which could be paraphrased as Where there is ithe threat of irreversible environmental damage, the lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent the tthreat.  To prevent the threat, states must ban off-shore drilling,

This posture of inevitable disasters has been used in multiple contexts. At the base of this posture is that the good offsets the bad, and it has been a long-standing policy related to militarism and now with climate change.

Acceptance of Ineveitable harm posture is prevalent  in militarism
The willingness to accept inevitable disasters is pervasive throughout United States military policy.

In Amarillo Texas. in the 1980s, it was reported that a priest in the Catholic Church made his parishioners aware of the implications of producing nuclear weapons, and his church was soon empty, but the nearby Baptist church was full because the parishioners were exonerated by the offset of contributing to the national good. Even in 1983, Macateer from the Christian Round Table proclaimed that “nuclear weapons were part of God’s design”.

In a April 2000, there was a headline,  The price of peace.” [rather than the cost of war] in Denver newspaper, in relation to cleaning up the Rocky Flats between Denver and Bolder. The Rocky flats contained years of nuclear waste resulting from the creation of the US nuclear arsenal.

In war after war, the evils of war are offset by euphemistic message of good – Operation Enduring Freedom, or Operation Iraqi Freedom etc, or even to liberate women, or essentially to protect US freedoms. Rarely, is there a war that is for nothing so brazen as protecting US vested economic interests.

The US continues to circulate nuclear powered and nuclear arms capable submarines is offset by “pax Americana’s mandate to protect the world. The U/S continues to develop new weapon systems that can be used to replace the prohibited weapons previously developed; these new weapon systems have usually a short lifespan until their use will also be prohibited, and thus the cycle continues.

Ineveitable acceptance of harm posture is prevalent  in false solutions to climate change

To save the good- the planet- is offset by acceptance of the bad – false solution- such as nuclear energy.
“In the 2004 article in the Independent, James Lovelock of Gaia fame: proclaimed that  Nuclear power is the only green solution We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources;
civilisation is in imminent danger.|”

Unfortunately, his statement has been used to legitimize the safety of nuclear energy.

The cycle of error persists
This posture of inevitable acceptance of harm will continue to contravene the precautionary principle,  to undermine real solutions,  and to perpetuate the cycle of error.


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