I don’t know if you heard this, but BP poured like 80 millions gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re coming to this news for the first time, I’m sorry to alarm you, but so far nobody really knows how to stop that. The Deepwater Horizons well has been gushing pretty much uncontrollably for the last sixty-some days, despite a series of comically simple-sounding and horrifically complicated-actually-doing attempts by BP to plug the damn hole. At this point, our options seem to be to A) continue trying, even though everything we’ve tried has failed or B) give up. It should be noted that Option A has thus far yielded the same results one might reasonably expect from Option B. Maybe—just maybe, it’s starting to kind of look like, although of course none of us wants to think this way—all the oil that is under the Gulf of Mexico is just going to flow into the Gulf of Mexico, killing if not everything then most things. The key, under such circumstances, is to not lose hope—to keep trying no matter how difficult the trial, since to do otherwise is to guarantee the failure whose prospect so daunts us in the first place. Enter the Louisiana state legislature.
In the course of last Friday’s Link Roundup, we mentioned that members of the Department of the Interior tasked with regulating the oil industry were revealed to have “[taken] bribes and engaged in drug use and sex with oil industry officials” in 2008. That was awesome. In his New York Times column today, Paul Krugman promises more cops-‘n-robbers-get-together-to-do-coke-and-shout-out-the-window-of-the-squad-car frivolity with the headline, “Sex & Drugs & the Spill.” It turns out that’s just a come on, though, for a column about how anti-government sentiment can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the kind of thing you need to do when you’re competing for eyes with Freakonomics. It’s like when Maureen Dowd wrote about the hot, throbbing need for derivatives regulation.*