Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth

September 6, 2010 12:18 am

Juliet B. Schor • The Penguin Press, 2010, 258pp.

Oxygen depletion, the formation of ecological dead zones and the further disruption of the food chain will be among the effects of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In light of such consequences, U.S. President Barack Obama made the prudent decision to impose a 6 month moratorium on all deepwater drilling. Yet a U.S. Supreme Court judge has struck down the moratorium, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.” Not surprisingly, oil companies like Chevron and Exxon are relieved by the ruling, pointing out that they weren’t responsible for the unfolding tragedy in the Gulf. What is surprising is the support for the judge’s ruling on the part of many in local communities devastated by the oil spill. In Louisiana and Florida the accident has thrust tourism, fishing and all of the other industries dependent on healthy ocean ecosystems into steep declines. People remain outraged at BP, to be sure. Yet for the devastated local Gulf communities, stopping deepwater drilling remains a prospect that most are not prepared to entertain.

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