Let’s focus on one thing at a time

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 6, 2010

Crises often spark knee-jerk reactions from people — particularly politicians who seek to show swift, public action.

Those rapid responses are often long on emotion and short on logic.

The reactions following the April 20 oil rig explosion and subsequent oil well leak are two cases in point.

While crews are working feverishly in the Gulf of Mexico to stave off the potential for an environmental disaster, the families of the human victims are still memorializing their loved ones killed in the explosion.

Simultaneously, some people are using the disaster to push their own political causes.

Critics will attempt to demonize the companies involved and our country’s insatiable appetite for oil, all in an effort to push their own political policy.

Our collective brainpower, hope and prayers, however, need to be focused on the families of the victims and the workers who are trying to stop the leak.

When the dust settles in this horrible accident, and the oil spill is cleaned up, our country does need to pause and consider its energy policy.

But to do so now, while the oil is still spewing and the tears are still flowing, isn’t prudent.

Regardless of whether we’re drilling for oil in the Gulf or on land, dangers lurk, human dangers, economic dangers and environmental dangers.

But to our knowledge, no one has developed a renewable source of energy that can provide for global energy needs. So for the time being, petroleum still needs to be a part of our future.

A knee-jerk reaction to the disaster that cripples our nation’s petroleum industry could be catastrophic to our country’s future.