Song - Artist - Album
Everlasting Arms - Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
Well hello there!
This week on the Politics of Singing (every Sunday at midnight...technically Monday morning), the topic is the environment - specifically the BP oil spill in the gulf.
To begin with, let me briefly explain cap and trade. Cap and Trade, or Emissions Trading, is an approach to controlling pollution that uses the "free market", which you would think the Right would be okay with... Basically the government sets a Cap on how many tons of pollutants a corporation can emit, and each corporation has to buy a permit to pollute. They buy a certain number of permits for each "credit" of pollution. Now, some firms may already be operating at levels well below the cap. This is where the Trade in Cap and Trade comes in. These firms can sell some of their permits to firms that pollute more. So there's a cap on pollution, firms can trade rights to pollute, and the incentive is there for firms to pollute less because it will save them money. Simple.
On to BP... the latest oil spill has dumped millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The low estimates claim over 200 thousand gallons of oil are spilling into the ocean per day, not to mention all the natural gas. The spill was caused by an explosion, origins still unknown (though BP first claimed it was due to a "failed piece of equipment" and then claimed it was caused by a "methane bubble" that was disrupted during work on the rig), which blasted a hole in pipeline. The explosion killed eleven humans.
The last major oil spill off the U.S. coast was the infamous Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, which contaminated 1,300 miles of pristine shoreline and killed tens of thousands of animals. I have been boycotting Exxon and Mobile stations since I became politically aware, around the year 2004 (yeah, I'm a late bloomer). Before that, in 1969, there was a terrible spill off the coast of California that killed over ten thousand sea animals and dumped 80 to 100 thousand barrels of crude oil into the Pacific. This happened in Santa Barbara, where many members of my family live, and where I lived for five years prior to moving to Connecticut. In fact, my uncle John was in elementary school at the time of the spill, and has pictures of his whole class helping to clean up the oil from the beach.
BP is currently using chemical toxin Corexit 9500 to clean up their big spill, which you can read about here.
Oh, and if you live on the east coast and like to live in fear, check this out.
There are a number of conspiracy theories floating around out there about the cause of the explosion. One comes from my hero Rush Limbaugh (yes, that is sarcasm, and yes, I threw up a little bit in my mouth as I typed that). He suggested "whacko environmentalists" were responsible for the explosion, and cites the delay of the Cap and Trade debate in congress as evidence of this...so he is actually saying that these crazy environmentalists are in fact SO crazy that they would destroy the environment in attempt to stop the destruction of the environment. Confused? You can listen to his convoluted theory here.
Another comes from the WhatDoesItMean.com conspiracy site, and suggests that it was actually caused by a suicide submarine mission from North Korea. No, I'm not kidding, and neither is Sorcha Faal, alleged author of the so-called report. You can read all about it here and decide for yourself whether it makes sense...
Or read Randall Amster's piece on The Huffington Post , which does a nice job of addressing each of these conspiracy theories.
My favorite conspiracy theory, though, is that managers of BP gas stations don't want their customers to know they get their oil from BP. I know, you're thinking "Why on earth wouldn't they want their customers to know that?! That's ludicrous!!!" The only evidence I can offer you nonbelievers comes from this picture, which I stole from my Uncle John's facebook page...
Decide for yourself what the truth is...
I'll leave you with the lyrics to three of the songs on this week's playlist, one from metal band Gojira, one from Bad Religion, and one from anarcho-punk band Contravene.
Lyrics to Gojira’s “Global Warming” off their 2005 album, From Mars to Sirius:
Four hundred thousand years ago
They came from outer space
And gave us life here
And we are taking everything for granted
I don't think we should do this now
And when I see the smoke around
I feel like I'm not
From humankind down there
I feel like glaciers are my eyes
And mountains are my head
My heart is ocean
And I feel all alone
Because everybody's wrong
I feel the living
What is this thing that we call hate
And that's inside of me
Get out of here!
A world is down
And none can rebuild it
Disabled lands are evolving
My eyes are shut, a vision is dying
My head explodes
And I fall in disgrace
I hold my inner child within
And tell him not to cry
"don't fear the living"
One day you will stand as a king
And now fear can erase
This light below us
Each one of us is now engaged
This secret we all have
This truth is growing
And as a warrior I have to fight
I can already feel
The love I'll discover
I had this dream, our planet surviving
The guiding stars always growing
And all the worlds
The fates all the countries
They're all rebuilding at the same time
I never fell and always believed in
We could evolve and get older
Open your eyes and let all this flow
Now see a new hope is growing inside
We will see our children growing
Lyrics to Bad Religion’s "Kyoto Now!" off their 2002 album, The Process of Belief
It's a matter of prescience
No, not the science fiction kind
It's all about ignorance,
and greed, and miracles for the blind
the media parading, disjointed politics
founded on petrochemical plunder
and we're its hostages
If you stand to reason
you're in the game
the rules might be elusive
but our pieces are the same
and you know if one goes down we all go down as well
the balance is precarious as anyone can tell
this world's going to hell
this mythologic hopeful monster to exact its price
We can't do nothing and I think someone else will make it right
You might not think it matters now
But what if you are wrongY
ou might not think there's any wisdom in a fucked up punk rock song
But the way it is
cannot persist for long
a brutal sun is rising on a sick horizon
It's in the way
we live our lives
exactly like the double-edge of a cold familiar knife
and supremacy weighs heavy on the day
it's never really what you own but what you threw away
and how much did you pay?
In your dreams
You saw a steady state a bounty for eternity
but now the wisdom that sustains us is in full retreat
this mythologic hopeful monster isn't worth the risk
We can't have vision for the future if it can't be fixed
We need a fresh and new religion to run our lives
Hand in hand
the arid torpor of inaction will be our demise
Oh, Kyoto now!
Lyrics to Contravene's "Whose Nature is it?" off their 2002 self-title album:
Power hungry politicians to oversee foreign relations.
Controlling the defense systems & borders between nations.
But meanwhile a much more secret side still holds the upper hand.
They're working hard day and night they have our future planned.
The corporations have the brains but their motivations comes from greed.
The politicians are lacking minds but they have the money that they need.
Together they're the team that forms the good ol' USA.
Corporate control & federal defense to protect the capitalist way.
Monsanto began behind locked doors.
They started splicing genes, manipulating nature - to control what our future will bring.
Disease resistant crops producing higher yields.
Plants that thrive on less water & grow in less fertile fields.
But they couldn't stop there - chemically they held the key.
They started producing special pesticides since the public couldn't see.
Now they control the food crops through genes they went and spliced and sell the chemicals to maintain bio-engineered plant life.
They didn't predetermine the effects of changing nature's plans, or think about the outcome on livestock & humans.
So the next logical step in their conquest for greed was to manufacture pharmaceuticals that soon we all will need.
Still manipulating life - it's too late, the seeds are sewn.
They're still producing pesticides & fertilizers to ensure that plants are grown.
And as our health is failing all over the world today, they continue to develop & push more drugs to keep our symptoms at bay.
This is but one example of how corporate america rules our lives.
They're making money off of us when we're born, throughout our lives, and when we die.