Again and again, the news reads like the book of the Apocalypse. BP’s spill is not only causing the immolation of sea turtles, but is endangering another totally harmless species: the whale shark. It is the largest fish in the world, utterly without a mean piece of cartilage in its body, and naturally the first to get the Darwinian boot.
The controlled burns that BP conducts have burned up sea turtles alive. I have seen sea turtles from my kayak in Hawaii – that was considered a piece of luck. I also once snorkled with a sea turtle in Mexico. He was a grim looking fellow with narrow eyes, and looked at me with that peculiar turtle disdain look, then swam off. He ate the feed in the water that people tossed to the fish. He was very fast and quite elegant in his fortress home. I couldn’t keep up with him. I pointed at him so that another swimmer could see him, but he didn’t understand the gesture and I alone got to observe the reptile.
I’ve never seen a whale shark live – and it’s looking less likely that will ever happen. Experts don’t know how many of the beasts have died – the whale sharks, like whales, to whom they are not related, sink to the bottom when they expire. Oil isn’t a cheap resource. It’s the priciest one around as it will cost us the planet. Anyone who wants to see the value of a human life versus that of oil should watch the masterpiece The Wages of Fear. But I digress.
Oil is a dead resource, both in terms of its usefulness to the planet and in the sense that it is dead organic matter that we desecrate with burning.It is also dead in that its an asset not worth recovering any longer.
Also, it will kill us as dead as it is.