Witchcraft as good a solution as any to plugging hole in the Gulf
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

There's a hole in the bottom of the sea
There's a hole in the bottom of the sea
There's a hole, there's a hole
There's a hole in the bottom of the sea ...

Have other former Girl/Boy Scouts found this song stuck in their heads lately, as I have?

Since it won't let me alone, I'm going to write about the Gulf oil spill even though I have no idea what to do about it. I certainly admire those people who keep trying to come up with something.

There was the hairdresser who started a movement to save the hair that is on the salon floor after a haircut, on the theory that clean hair will absorb oil, so it could be spread over the spill, then scooped up. I read that lots of people sent hair, but advocates ran out of storage space, and BP didn't actually want to use it.

A local letter to the editor suggested they "simply blow up the leaking well, maybe with one of those gigantic, bunker-busting bombs we developed for the Iraq war," noting the Russians have had success with this technique. This seemed to me a huge improvement over an earlier idea that seemed almost serious, to use a nuclear weapon to plug the leak.

Once I wrapped my head around that one, I was in horror-show mode, and cringed at an idea to release oil-eating microbes, imagining them eating the oil spill, then reproducing uncontrolled and attacking gas stations, plastic companies, fast-food restaurants and eventually, our unwashed hair. I found myself thinking about the cute little mongooses that were brought to Hawaii to kill rats, and now are busy killing off other local species.

Early on it seemed sensible to let BP professionals deal with the problem they were trained to address. But slowly we learned that, in fact, no one was trained to address a hole in the bottom of the deep sea.

I saw Sarah Palin on Fox, telling us how she asked to see the original BP contingency plan for a Gulf oil leak and was shocked to see that it was the Alaska plan simply lifted and copied even though Alaska leaks happen on land or in shallow water. She said what caught her attention first was a section on caring for impacted wildlife; she found the plan referred to walruses and other creatures unlikely to be found in the Gulf area.

The Obama administration's biggest idea so far is a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf, which has upset the residents who rely on clean water but also work in the oil business. A solution to this, heard recently on CBS, was suggested by Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-La., that would allow drilling to continue, but force companies to stop drilling just before they actually hit oil. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is said to be open to this idea.

So the oil companies are to drill little holes in the Gulf just for the sake of drilling holes? How will they determine when they arrive at "just before"?

Last Saturday Chip heard a discussion on talk radio among some experts who were saying that this oil isn't the same as the decomposed dinosaurs that we normally encounter, that it's somehow different and that it may be part of a giant underwater reserve that covers the entire planet; so that now that the door has been opened, the oil will continue to pour forth until it's all gone.

If this is true, we should hope that there is no connecting tunnel to the remaining dinosaur remains, or the entire planet could be drained of oil in a rather short time. I suppose we could just go scoop it off the southern United States and keep ourselves warm and driving in New England for at least a few more years.

Last Sunday a local Wiccan group planned to conduct an "ocean blessing and healing" ceremony in Salem, sending out "magickal healing energy." Some may scoff, but let's be fair: This approach makes a lot more sense than detonating a nuclear bomb over the hole.

I even admit to digging through the pile of papers on my table to find the latest literature from the Jehovah's Witnesses, to see what they had to say. Their "Awake" magazine is usually right on top of current events, but unfortunately hadn't yet addressed the oil spill. I'd guess that when it does there may be reference to its being yet another sign of the coming "end of days;" i.e., the concluding time period of this system of things.

It may seem I'm being flippant about a serious crisis. The truth is, I want to cry every time I see those seabirds covered with oil, trying to groom themselves. God bless the many people, both amateur and professional, who, like the "experts," have no idea what to do about stopping the oil, but are out there on the Gulf shoreline, trying to block and/or clean up the mess.

Perhaps their efforts will buy humanity a little more grace time before "the end" than it may actually deserve.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in the Lowell Sun, Providence (RI) Journal and other newspapers.

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