Is this the final act for the Gulf of Mexico?


The article, Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world, written by Naomi Klein in today’s Guardian is by far and away the most cogent piece of analysis I’ve come across to date on the Deepwater Horizon disaster. To summarise the piece in a few hundred words would do Ms Klein a great disservice because the article needs to be read in its entirety. The Fault Lines film (see above) for which she served as consultant is also an eye-opener. The article (and the film) sift through events surrounding the disaster before, during (right now), and in the future, at different levels and in all its multiple dimensions, and one is inexorably led to the conclusion that — as a social-ecological system — the Gulf of Mexico could well be playing out its final act. The system has been under strain for some considerable time but, as resilience theorists will tell you, there comes a point where Gaia will simply not take any more abuse, a threshold is crossed, and the social-ecological system enters a new regime, where there is no going back to the old regime. The scary thing is that the collapse of the Gulf of Mexico social-ecological system would not necessarily end there. It is not an isolated system, but one that is inextricably linked to many more.