Newsweek on the Deepwater Horizon spill The extent to which the 2010 explosion and collapse of Deepwater Horizon has affected the Gulf of Mexico and land abutting it has been obscured, writes Mark Hertsgaard, who reports on an ongoing trial against British Petroleum in Louisiana. "BP was warned in advance about the safety risks of attempting to cover up its leaking oil. Nevertheless, BP proceeded. Furthermore, BP appears to have withheld these safety warnings, as well as protective measures, both from the thousands of workers hired for the cleanup and from the millions of Gulf Coast residents who stood to be affected. ... The most astonishing thing about BP’s cover-up? It was carried out in plain sight, right in front of the world’s uncomprehending news media (including, I regret to say, this reporter)."
The New Republic on celebrating Earth Day "Why has the contemporary environmental movement been unable to inspire millions of Americans to pressure Congress to take effective steps to stall or roll back climate change?" asks Michael Kazin, lamenting the fate of Earth Day, the annual event originally conceived to demand environmental reform. "The most salient reason for the waning of the greens may be rather simple: American voters do not view climate change, unlike issues on which environmentalists won in the past, as an immediate threat to either their health or their wealth. ... The sad truth is that it may take a horrific disaster—perhaps a cyclone-caused flood which kills tens of thousands of coast-dwellers somewhere in the world—to spark the kind of outrage and action once provided by smog days and plumes of radioactive discharge."