I seem to recall reading somewhere that the average person knows somewhere in the region of 100 people. I guess I am slightly different, my address book is the size of Nebraska! Musicians, Authors, Hoods, Spooks, Film Makers, even the occasional regular folk! They are all part of my network.

One of the more eclectic members is a gentleman who goes by the name ‘Rick The Poet Warrior’.

I first encountered Rick when I stumbled across his latest book ‘Kill The Rich‘. With a title like that who could resist? The book turned out to be a glorious rant about life in general and rich people in particular. Rick made a conscious decision to not spell-check the book in any way whatsoever, and the result is a work that in some ways resembles a series of hurriedly written emails and text messages. It may be hard to believe, but this style actually is very powerful, it conveys a sense of urgency to his message.

I had not heard from Rick for several months, but that is not unusual with my contacts, some I do not hear from for several years at a time. Two days ago I saw the familiar email address rickthepoetwarior in my inbox..

The message was tantalizing, a Rick special. It was in the form of a short poem. I rather liked it, so I wrote back and asked if he had any objections to me publishing it. This was his reply:

Go ahead Simon

I haven’t put anything on net because of two important factors

1. I’m going camping, who cares about anything when you’re camping?

2. There’s a black suv with black windows and dark characters parked out front:)

So folks, here is what Rick The Poet Warior has to say on the subject of the BP Gulf oil spill:

Be Pee Oil

BP Oil
Gilt goal toil
Foil Petro soil
(Bypass Boyle)
l               Seas sure spoil
Shell corp.s
Oh where mohel
when you need one

Even poets who live more than 1500 miles from the Gulf are upset about what has happened and continues to happen.

I for one am appalled at the eco-disaster that has taken place. My wife is from the New Orleans area, and many of her family continue to live in the region. I watch CNN and hear a BP spokesman explaining that the company is stepping up to the plate, and that so far they have spent nearly $3 billion on the problem. The facts that are beginning to emerge is that had BP spent a fraction of that money in prevention, the entire fiasco would never have happened.

The economic impact that this disaster has caused is almost incalculable. The fishing industry is decimated, but that is only a fraction of the problem. The fishing industry fuels many other industries far and wide. Restaurants, supermarkets, tourism, recreational boating, equipment supply and maintenance, are but a few.

I was in my local supermarket the other day, one of my favorite dishes is Shrimp Etouffee, the only shrimp available were way outside of my price range. This is a direct result of BP.

The economics of the Gulf region are complex and very interrelated. What was viewed as a coup by the White House in placing a moratorium of deep water drilling in the region has merely exacerbated the problem. Many thousands of paychecks have been lost. It has been said that for every man or woman aboard a drilling rig there are 100 jobs dependent on it, from supply companies, maintenance companies, even simple supply vessels delivering groceries and mail.

Hind sight is 20/20, should deep water drilling have been permitted in the first place? That is in itself a complex question. The thirst for oil is so great, and our reliance on Middle East oil had made us an addict. OPEC could turn on or off the spigot at any time. They dictated the price we pay.

The early 1970’s showed what could happen, gas was in very short supply, and prices went through the roof. At the time I was living in England, and although they were never implemented, every driver was issued a book of (circa WWII) ration cards, with these you could buy so many gallons per week.

The answer is not how to make deep water drilling safe. The answer is how to remove our reliance on fossil fuels.

I see potential in Solar, Wind, and Wave power, but they all have downsides. My wife would be mad at me if her soap operas were on and the sky was cloudy, or the wind was not blowing.

I for one am a huge fan of the Nuclear solution. Fission has a bad wrap in the US, but understand, more people died at Chappaquiddick than Three Mile Island. Fission has problems, it has spent fuel rods that can take thousands of years to cool down. Where could we store this waste safely? How about Tony Haywood’s wine cellar?

Actually the best long term solution is Fusion. There are no ugly by products. It has been the holy grail of scientists for 50 years. It is so simple, yet so complex, we recreate what the sun does. This is where our research dollars should be going.

Simon Barrett

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