BP's CEO has now officially become the last person on the planet to acknowledge
the Gulf of Mexico deluge is "an environmental catastrophe,"
which might represent infinitesimal progress. But Elizabeth
Kolbert, writing in the New Yorker, offers some historic perspective on why the problem goes deeper
than BP's greed or incompetence.
consumed most of the world's readily accessible oil, we are now
compelled to look for fuel in ever more remote places, and to extract it
in ever riskier and more damaging ways."