To the Editor:
It’s easy to clean up the oil in the Gulf of Mexico just by doing what Americans do best: marketing. Here’s the plan: Let BP sell the sludge spewing into the Gulf for $100 per gallon. Those guys will do anything for money and they do it faster for lots of money. This amount of oil could mean billions for them.
The catch is, what’s it good for? Experience shows us many uses for crap in daily life. It should make a great herbicide; anything that can kill the entire Gulf will surely kill those pesky dandelions. Skin cream? It might not be good for the skin, but I bet it removes hair. The possibilities are boggling.
True, there’s no scientific evidence that it’s good for anything. But that’s no problem. The American public always believes marketing over science. When people can watch the North Pole melt and still ridicule scientists warning about global warming, there is no need to ever consider scientific evidence again. Besides, BP can hire some unemployed scientists to prove whatever they want. And Americans don’t care if stuff really works like it’s supposed to. Put any price on junk and mark it down 30 percent. As long as people think it’s a bargain, people will buy it.
Still, everyone has seen pictures of oily dead pelicans. BP has a serious PR problem. There will be initial skepticism. Are there people dumb enough to buy products made of that goo? Oh yes! The American people! We have a political party whose main platform is that business, whose only motive is profit, can be trusted to act for the public good without regulation. We have popular politicians opposed to the restriction of greed on ethical grounds. If we aren’t stupid enough, no one is.
Even with the power of greed hastening the cleanup, we probably can’t save the Gulf. Soon it will be a dead stinky spot on the side of the Earth. It’s a little sad. I remember visiting the Gulf as a kid, but my kids won’t. Still, the Gulf has value as a symbol of man’s conquest of nature. We can make movies about it. Maybe BP could turn some of the oil into asphalt and make a really big parking lot. There could be a chain of malls along the “coast” and we can get some real shopping done, get the economy moving again. Never underestimate the power of free enterprise.
Carroll Boswell, Potsdam