28 August 2006

Further Thoughts on Florida

So it looks like the first big storm of the season is Florida bound, taking a path almost eerily similar to 1999's hurricane Irene, which features in Lauderdale (which I've begun editing this evening). Hurricanes are bad things generally, and this one will no doubt wreak its share of havoc across the southern part of the state.

I invite you to please consider, however, how much worse the damage would be were the Florida Straits dotted with oil derricks. Consider how fragile the coral reef south of the Keys, and the entire Keys/Florida Bay ecosystem, is, and how much damage a single accident at a rig in the Straits could do to that ecosystem. The oil companies, some energy lobbies, and at least half of Congress wants to put oil rigs there. Think about how much worse the next Ernesto or Irene could be if they succeed.

Then, please, consider what might happen were the Straits dotted not with American oil rigs, but with those operated by a Chinese-Cuban consortium. How good do you think the safety records at American-run oil platforms are? How good, in comparison, do you think a Cuban-Chinese one would likely be? Do you know what the Chinese have done to their environment? How much less care would they be likely to take with someone else's environment?

American policy toward Cuba makes a Cuba-China connection in the Straits quite likely; they're already sinking test wells.

Floridians: is the Cuba policy you have supported for almost fifty years worth this? Is it?

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