Cartoon Tuesday: Who Pays?

7_6_10_cartoon.jpgThis comic is one of many on BP’s disaster available at U.S. News and World Report.

There have been so many depressing plots surrounding the ongoing horror story unfolding at Deepwater Horizon.  It’s sort of a "pick your poison" buffet catastrophe: helpless animals coated in oil,  the universal inability to figure out a way to stop the darned thing from gushing to say nothing of the destruction of tourism, fishing and countless other industries. 

But when it comes to transportation policy, the depressing story has been that there is no story.  Despite the unbelievably clear warning that the Deepwater disaster heralds, most motorists don’t see themselves at all culpable as they fill up their tanks and heckle BP executives when they appear on their television.  However, as this comic warns us, the joke will ultimately be on them.  After all, where do they think BP is going to get the money to pay for all the destruction caused by this disaster?

  • I’ve been thinking that it’s a fallacy that BP or anyone can actually pay for this disaster… Can the gulf actually be “cleaned up”? It seems like it’s going to be deadened zone for many years to come – sort of like the area around Chernobyl.

    It seems like we’ve been decimating our oceans for a while, to the point where they were already greatly deplenished… and now we’ve given this sea the push over the edge. I hope I am wrong.

    I’ve been trying to think of a radical response – that could sieze this long moment – something like a gas tax to pay for restoration and prevention (ie: green transportation modes)?

  • S.S. Sam Taylor

    OK, so BP is going to fund the future (to be renamed) Streetsblog LA? Damien they have deep pockets. Go for it!

  • Actually I was noticing that bp sponsored/funded the LACBC’s first LA River Ride! Their logo is right there on the shirt…

  • I remember that NPR story. The reporter interviewed people at a gas station in rural upstate New York.

    That’s the power of the built environment. You can hate BP all you want, but if you live in a rural area, or the suburbs, it’s damn hard not to drive. Hence the need for urban design that gives people meaningful transportation options.

  • Joe,
    Were you still on the LACBC board at that time?

  • @Aurisha – definitely! I was on the board then.

    I didn’t mean to disrespect the LACBC with that comment – and I apologize that it came off that way (I winced when I saw that Damien used it as a pull-quote.)

    Many LA non-profits accepted bp contributions, sponsorships – including Friends of the LA River. Right after the gulf oil disaster hit, the Long Beach Aquarium opened a big new exhibit that was funded by bp – and they had to scramble to figure out how to play it.

  • If I thought it was a slap at the LACBC, I wouldn’t have highlighted it. I thought it was a little funny, I mean given what’s happened because of BP recently; but they did a lot of work to paint themselves as the green gas company for years. Its no surprise that they sponsored a bike ride.

  • yes – I think it was when they first changed from Brittish Petroleum to BP… they were spreading some cash around for enviro sponsorships to green their name.