Tarring the BP Moment

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    With the prospect of the BP crisis drawing to a diminished level of angst, there’s no reason to relax. There are Nigerian oil spills, 62 underground coal fires in China, Haitian deforestation, the shrinking Aral Sea, and the Eastern Garbage Patch. All decades of cumulative environmental destruction.

    These are the big, sexy ones, but there are thousands of others. Just one example: we have managed to contaminate the entire world with polychlorinated biphenyls aka PCBs. The whole world. We are redefining survival of the fittest (or so we think) through genetic engineering. This is a new twist on “fittest.” Want an uplifting documentary? Try The World According to Monsanto and then feel guiltless about serving your child that next glass of milk.

    Jefferson believed in a natural aristocracy. Nature has time and takes its time in allowing success to percolate. We are not the final arbiter. But we affect the outcome, despite the denial.