black gold…or just another goose?
Thank you again for this opportunity to speak my mind.
Oil is sometimes called Black gold, a prime bargaining chip in international economics. As fuel prices change economies follow, people reduce spending so that they can afford the gas to get to work. Everything depends on this oil. Even the organic, eggs in their recyclable cartons have been shipped by truck and boat, to the waiting Bahamian public guzzling their share of crude on the way.
It’s our turn. The Bahamas has recently been holding her ears open for the sweet whispers of oil (and Natural gas) exploration. OH! To be free of the foreign oil companies! But how much better is self enslavement? We have yet to package and export the tons of fruit and vegetables we produce in a sustainable way. How many well kept packing houses can you name? What of the salt produced in Inagua? Yet, we want to dabble in the black arts.
Here are some numbers. The Exxon Valdez spilled 11million gallons of oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. It cost the US $2 Billion over 4 summers and killed at least 250,000 seabirds. The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico now is leaking about 210,000 gallons per day. British Petroleum underestimated the leak at 42,000 gallons per day earlier. The predicted oil slick spread is about 120 miles wide in 20 days. Imagine destroying all wildlife along the coasts of Andros (100 miles by 40 miles) in 20 days. All to pump gas or oil from the ocean bed that would still have to be refined in another country and shipped back to us for near the same price.
Of course, in the end, when all the fish are dead, the tourists turn away and the people are hungry and thirsty we can abandon the hotels and go to work for the gas stations. (pardon the sarcasm) I would like everyone who lives within a mile of the coastline or underground water (all Bahamians) to ensure that their government representative knows they need water more than gas. I want everyone whose livelihood is supported by the tourism industry (all Bahamians) to let their MP know that they need more sustainable employment not high risk ventures. Our wildlife and oceans are still laying those golden eggs, but if we destroy them, the world will see us as just another dumb goose.