Just as I.F. Stone taught us that All Governments Lie, we now learn from the BBC: Shell fights spill near North Sea oil platform, that all oil companies, eventually, inevitably, spill oil.
Oh, and by the way, all governments lie about all oil company spills.
I was living and teaching in Valdez, Alaska on March 24, 1989 when I woke in the long gray hours of the morning to hear our local radio announcer tell us, "The Exxon Valdez is on the rocks and leaking oil." From the moment of that first truthful, though understated, announcement, the spill of lies quickly overwhelmed reality.
The full amount of oil spilled was never determined, or unequivocally revealed. Reports of the number of animals killed by the toxic goo changed hourly, obscured by cadres of clean-up workers, bonfires on remote beaches, Exxon hired biologists and unnumbered freezer trucks full of uncounted carcasses.
Throughout that first summer, and for the next two years, I documented in still photographs and video the effects of the spill on Prince William Sound and the Alaska Natives who lived in this supremely beautiful place. I went out into the Sound every day from March 25 to September 15 of that first year.
On September 15, when Exxon declared the clean-up to be successfully completed (Mission Accomplished!), I stood on a beach that was so slippery with North Slope crude that it was all I could do to stand upright on the rocks, let alone walk across them. When I returned to Valdez, I watched open mouthed as elegantly coifed TeeVee presenters on the City dock, miles from the nearest oiled beaches, waxed eloquent on the wonderful job Exxon had performed in cleaning up the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Oh, and by the way, TeeVee presenters, the stenographers of power, always lie about government lies about oil company spills.
The one lesson we learned from the Exxon Valdez oil spill was this: once the oil is out of the container, there's no getting it back in. And, there is no technology on this Earth that will ever prevent the oil from spilling out of its container.
There is no way that human beings can extract toxic materials such as oil, coal, tar sands, oil shale, and even uranium from the Earth without causing damage to fragile ecosystems and living beings that cannot be restored, even using all of the energy produced by those same fuel sources. Our attempts to use these ancient accumulations of sunlight are the greatest demonstration of the principle of entropy in the history of mankind.
This is why TeeVee presenters always lie about government lies about oil company spills. The inherent, fatal consequences of the use of fossil fuels completely undermines the mythology of modern human civilization and the deeply held belief in the transcendence of unlimited economic growth. In a world of finite resources, continued growth is impossible. To think otherwise is to participate in collective madness.
If the truth were to get out, and the people realized that we have been fed a fairy tale of economic lies by our governments, via the stenographers of power, the people might just decide that they've had enough and reengage in the process of self-government, self-reliance and mutual aid.
Hmmmm... not a bad idea, that.
Pssssst! Shell Oil is lying to you about their latest North Slope oil spill, and your government is not telling you the truth.