An article in today's New York Times had done a service to the merchant mariners of the Oil & Gas industry who survived the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on April 2oth, 2010. I have several friends who work for the affected drilling company and know that this event, while not affecting any of them directly, has surely given cause for their families to contemplate the inherent risks of seafaring and the exploitation of natural resources. However unfortunate the ensuing spill is to the ecosystems and economies in the Gulf of Mexico the loss of eleven men who were doing their work in a world dependent on fossil fuel should not be eclipsed.
As more casual information comes to light, something that has been noticeably slow from BP and Transocean, we can only expect enhanced safeguards are developed to detect and prevent future catastrophic blowouts. Personally I hope that the risks rig workers, coal miners, mariners and their families live with day in and day out are remembered by those whose lives are far removed from the discovery, recovery and refinement of fossil fuels.
While it is easy to lay blame and shame on the oil companies and their employees it is our own use of these abundant and relatively affordable sources of energy that necessitate their existence and fund their profits. Until government and communities are willing to adapt to a world without oil, something we've been unable to do since the first whales lit the streets of Boston, we will continue to pay a heavy toll in lives and ecosystems altered.