Today, the Houston Chronicle covered, above the fold on page 1, the fact that people died on Deepwater Horizon. From that article:
THE 11 WHO DIED
• Adam Weise, Texas
• Jason Anderson, Texas
• Dale Burkeen, Mississippi
• Donald Clark, Louisiana
• Roy Kemp, Louisiana
• Stephen Curtis, Louisiana
• Gordon Jones, Louisiana
• Karl Kleppinger, Mississippi
• Blair Manuel, Louisiana
• Dewey Revette, Mississippi
• Shane Roshto, Mississippi
The hand-scrawled note on the cover of the steno pad is as simple as it is startling.
“April 20, 2010 … Start of Hell,” wrote Texas mother Arleen Weise.
At “6:00 AM” the next morning, Weise noted, she got word of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, the massive oil rig where her youngest son, Adam, was working in the Gulf of Mexico when he was killed.
Today, a private memorial service for the Deepwater Horizon 11 is being held “behind closed doors at a convention center in Jackson, Miss.”
Why haven’t we heard more about these people who died because of BP / TransOcean / Halliburton negligence? I have a theory. As long as we concentrate only on the ecological disaster, then we haven’t put a human face on the disaster. We progressives (admittedly a minority of Americans) care deeply about the ecological disaster. The majority of Americans don’t.
Once we start to put a human face on what happened, we start to have a nation that demands action. Just look at what happened when 39 miners died in a Massey mine collapse. We have “an unprecedented number” of Congressional committee investigations. BP would really rather keep us focused on the ecological damage. That way they don’t have the majority of Americans aware that they value money far over worker safety.
It’s time we remember the dead, and start to discuss the value of human life. The ecological damage is terrible, but so is the blatant disregard for the life of those roughnecks.