We haven’t offered to help BP or the people in the shellfish industry or the people who have to clean up the animals and the beaches. We haven’t held any concerts, no celebrities have been visible, organizing fund-raising efforts.
Most likely there are several reasons for this:
1. We don’t know how to clean up the ocean or the animals and feel we should leave this up to the experts.
2. We don’t like our corporations. We see them as rapacious and as unreliable partners, and they have been both. We may even look forward to seeing them losing millions/billions.
3. We have had so many crises to deal with lately that our pockets are a little bare.
If we get behind BP and help them with contributions the way we do in other catastrophes maybe the BP people would feel a partnership with us all, instead of just having to swallow the blame (and, I don’t know about you, but I do blame BP). Instead of having to act defensive and prideful maybe they could put all their energy and resources into the task at hand – getting the oil shut off and cleaned up. Perhaps it could be a matching funds arrangement or some contract that still required that BP use its own money in addition to ours. When they were providing a product we needed we liked them well enough. We suspect they have been greedy since they posted huge profits while our gas pumps prices continued to rise. They have been heedlessly careless of our environment with their “need for speed.” It might be a good thing to have them “owe” us.
It does us no good to withhold our charity from BP because they will refuse to feel the shame we wish them to feel. They are much more likely to come up with creative and effective solutions if we are behind them. Maybe we can at least try to encourage a new, more responsible corporate style. Maybe allowing another corporation to fail or sending another corporation running for the hills is not in our best interests. Besides, while we are busy blaming BP a whole important ecosystem is dying.