CNN.com has an excellent photoessay documenting the experiences of the survivors and of some of the 11 killed in the April 20th explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which spawned the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history. Sixty days later, oil continues gushing from the ultra-deep well up to 6 miles beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
But what about the human toll? It’s not just the eleven lives lost in the tragedy and the many suffering as a result.
A huge portion of the Gulf Coast population is in some way connected to the oil industry as a way of life beyond the 20 percent working in the energy industry and those in the oyster and fishing industry affected by the spill. President Obama has called for an end to offshore oil exploration. But what are the alternatives? Many more jobs will be lost as a result of this disaster and the policies that result from it. It’s important that those distressed as a result receive adequate compensation. But it’s equally important that new jobs are created and that a culture that is very much rooted in the offshore oil industry is given the appropriate tools to transition into new ways of life. Where is the funding for clean energy plants and new, green construction in the Gulf? Where is the incentive for companies to establish themselves in the Gulf and commit to new projects that will lead to such employment?
As my dear friend Sloane reminded me yesterday: If you really want to know how the population is affected by the disaster, watch the localnews.
“This is the worst environmental disaster of our lifetimes,” the president said in opening a speech that started off sounded eerily like a declaration of a war with no end in sight, as we’re already fighting on two international fronts.
“I’m willing to look at different approaches. The one approach I will not accept is inaction,” Obama said. 18 minutes later, the speech is over and I’m not sure exactly what we CAN do.
For the past couple weeks I’ve seen headlines and tweets regarding BP’s leveraging of Google Adwords (as well as Bing and Yahoo!) to control the top (sponsored) search results for such terms as BP Oil Spill. This is a natural response to crisis for any corporation, no matter the depth of its PR 2.0 savvy.
But according to recent AdWords number crunches, BP is only paying an average of $1.33 per click or roughly $1 million each month (SearchEngineWatch, June 9). Perhaps as low as $1.22 per click.
Why so little? Nobody has been outbidding them in the AdWords marketplace. It’s time for some guerrilla tactics.
Here’s what I propose: Google should donate any revenues above $5 per click for any keyword to funds and charities dedicated to restoring the Gulf and/or to benefit those whose livelihoods have been shattered as a result of the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill.
Yes, this is a crazy idea and it could throw AdWords of its hinges. So let’s just do it for ONE DAY. Google can’t change the rules for specific keywords but they can change the rules across the board. All it would take is a few noble souls willing to launch a bidding war with BP up to say – $20 per click. And Google’s word that monies will be donated (a great PR move in itself).
Justice is: clicking a search result and having $15 transfer BP to a non-profit Oil Spill fund. With each and every click!