According to this site, BP is the 4th richest company in the world. At the top is Wal-Mart, followed by Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell and Toyota at number five. Rich companies indeed so a disaster such as the spill in the gulf of Mexico ,which is already into the millions, will be doing BP harm. Exxon also had the big Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound when a boat ran into the reef in 1989.Has Exxon suffered? Big traders seem to be able to recover. Will the planet? The Global Marine Oil Information site gives a very good overview of the environmental and social impact of oil spills and the global efforts to contain these sorts of spills, but this BP one is HUGE. Bigger than anything. We cannot actually compare it. The explosion on April 20th appears to have been as a result of a whole set of difficulties which came together to create the disaster. This article clarifies some of the issues quite well and if what is says is true there can be as many as 260 possibilities for failure in equipment. Blame is not going to work here. We consume oil at an alarming rates and we know we do. We have been on and on about it. So the oil companies are under pressure to meet planetary needs for oil consumption. That may mean they do not have sufficient time to test all equipment properly and it seems even the emergency testing equipment wasn't working. You know you have a disaster on your hands when everything is wrong. Everything conspired to bring this about. Eleven people lost their lives and I do not think we have cared enough about them and their families because we have focussed on the magnanimity of the disaster. The families cannot get those people back. Eventually we will find a way to contain the oil leak. I say we. We need to change our perspective and starting thinking. A big bath plug is not going to work. Maybe a top hat will. A president will not fix this. He is in charge of the country. He has to lead the country through the disaster and manage the fall out, but he is not a scientist nor an oil expert and given this has been going on since April 20th and is still not fixed, then some people are asking more of Barack Obama than they are asking of combined planetary environmentalists and scientists. When things are this huge we need to maximise the potential to connect across the planet to resolve the situation. Then we need to think about our oil and coal use. Last millennium. So last millennium. There is a touching tribute on the Net to the men of Gloucester, Massachusetts who have lost their lives at sea and in March 1869 on The Augustus E. Price the entire crew of 11 men lost their lives at sea. Eleven is a football team so these eleven people lost in the explosion were a team trying to work for us. I used my car today. Did you? I don't want those people forgotten in all of this. I don't want blame. I want to see it unravelled and solved in a systematic way . We can do better. We need to. BP will pay the price but the cost is ours to bear.