This week, students at North Harford Middle School wrote a series of letters to the editor about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The following is a selection of their work. The rest can be viewed online at baltimoresun.com/bpletters.
End the oil spill blame game
On April 20, a BP drilling rig on the Gulf Mexico exploded, causing the largest oil spill in the history of the United States. The oil rig was leased to BP by Transocean, and Halliburton was working on sealing off the well before the blast. Everyone pointed fingers, and accusations flew back and forth. An entire investigation has been launched, but that is the least of our worries.
Every day, 12,000 to 25,000 barrels worth of oil is leaking into the Gulf of Mexico. Animals wash up on shore black as night because they are covered in oil. The beaches that were once white from sand have turned black. The thought reminds me of good versus evil. It appears that this evil is trying to consume everything, but what can we do to stop it?
The oil continues to spill as the government plays the blame game. Our dependence on oil has led to the destruction of nature. Look at us now; we are all greedy and selfish. We pretend to love the world, but all we love is money. Money and power. What are our values, where have they gone? This oil spill is just another example of how our obsession with power, money, and oil is going to ruin our world. As a 14-year-old girl, this does not seem so great.
We need to fix this oil spill together, as a unified whole. Everyone coming together for a good cause, even if there is no money or power to gain. Better yet, we should find a way to end our dependence on oil, because it is tearing our nation apart. Right now, the evil is not BP or Transocean or Halliburton. The evil is us, every one of us, because we are greedy and self-centered and we cannot see the bigger picture. If we do not end this egotistical need for more fuel, more money, more control, just more, then there will be nothing left on Earth but us. Think of how bleak a future that truly is.
We are all to blame for the oil spill
I am a beach-goer, a tree hugger, and a seafood-lover. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico really affects me. I see the oil-covered birds, black as coal, on TV. I hear all the news stations talking about it. I think of all the fishermen not being able to put food on the table because of the dirty, oil covered shrimp and fish in the ocean. Also, the shop owners down in Florida, waiting for tourists to come pouring in, but being let down, because who wants to go on vacation to dirty, ugly beaches? Why is this happening? Because of the carelessness of certain money-making oil rig companies. They do what is best for themselves — what will make them the most money, not what is best for our planet.
I, of course, realize that it is not completely their fault. The people really to blame are us. Us — the people of this planet; the soccer moms, the overprotective dads, the cranky grandparents, the rebellious teens. We are all to blame. Even the most eco-concerned people have contributed to this disaster. We all have used oil, and it has become a very important part of today's society. Our selfishness has caused this disaster, and the effects of it will stay with us for generations to come!
I know I am just a young girl who plays sports and doesn't really do anything exciting, but I hope that you will listen to me in saying that we need to stop throwing around the blame and clean this up! Animals are dying, beaches are being ruined, the ocean is being contaminated, and people are losing their jobs. BP needs to fix this, and we should all help. Does it really matter who caused this catastrophe? I don't care. I just want this to be better, and we are obviously not trying our hardest, because the oil is spreading farther and farther every day. I am scared that it will soon reach the East Coast, where I live, and go up the Chesapeake Bay, killing the fish and wildlife all around me.
You may think that you are just one person, and that you can't make a difference in the world, but that's not true. If we all join together and help stop this oil spill, it can — and will — happen.
Will I ever be able to enjoy the gulf beaches?
I am a 13-year-old girl, and when I am older, I would like for my kids to be able to go to the Gulf of Mexico without black oil taking over the water.
There was an explosion on a BP drilling rig, and the pipe broke. Oil just started pouring out into the ocean, and wouldn't stop. It has been letting oil into the ocean for almost two months now. They didn't take into consideration that if something went wrong, the whole gulf could be affected and even businesses.
This situation with the oil spill makes me feel like something should've been done and that the government waited too long to fix it. An extremely large number of animals and people have been affected by this. Animals will come to shore covered in black from massive amount of oil. The beaches share the same trait, with the black washing up on shore, and turning the white sand black.
I have learned that from the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, oil is still affecting the water today. This oil spill of 2010 is much larger than the 1989 spill, so I can infer that this oil spill will still be a problem in 30 years. The problem with this oil spill is that oil is still spilling out of the pipe, and we cannot get it to stop. I believe this should not have happened.