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Piper Alpha and BP: contrasting studies in political will

Posted
August 16, 2010,
by
Claire Montanaro
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In our human world there is a fine balance between seeing what is occurring around us with a sense of equanimity and understanding, and taking responsibility for it where it is appropriate. Sometimes we get it wrong - and that is alright, too because this how we learn.

It helps to remember that we are not responsible for the actions of other people (unless they are too young or are unfit to do it for themselves) but have one hundred per cent responsibility for what we do and create in our own lives. Pointing the finger of blame when things go wrong is pointless. However, it is sometimes forgotten that humanity has a unique and highly significant role as the bridge between the world of Spirit and the world of nature: it is a connector and enhancer and if we get it right then the future of Gaia will be magnificent. It is the other key responsibility that we have. Just as we are guardians of our children while we are needed, so too are we guardians for all the non-human life on earth - the plants, the animals, the earth beneath our feet and the seas also.

I am pondering these matters today because a report has been made which says that the explosion on the Piper Alpha oil rig in the North Sea in 1988 caused not just loss of life but also great environmental damage which could have been mitigated at the time if there had been political will and a greater sense of responsibility. The contrast between the reactions of the British government of the time and the American government to the BP oil spill this year is marked, with the one being muted, to say the least, in calling for remedial action and the other being vociferous in demanding reparation and compensation in full.

I talked recently about the importance of trying to be impartial and fair in these matters,and I continue to believe this. I have talked too about trying to see the bigger picture of events such as these, recognising that everything that happens has a higher purpose however painful or unfortunate it may seem at the human, emotional level. When acceptance is combined with a sense of responsibility - where it is appropriate - the combination is perfect.

Looking at the environmental impact, in the BP case we have seen a demand for and acceptance of responsibility to an extreme level along with great resistance to what happened. In the case of Piper Alpha we saw a limited taking of responsibility and, you could say with hindsight, passive acceptance, as a result of which there is dangerous toxicity in the waters of the North Sea now which could affect human as well as marine life. It could have been prevented with will and action.

Not all of us are politicians or environmental activists, but we have our part to play in such matters too,in the way that we observe and assess what is happening in our world, in every sense, and how we respond even just mentally.  If we can remember that other element of responsibility that we have beyond just for ourselves, it will help us play our part and do what we can for the planet, however small it may seem at the time. It will help.

Claire Montanaro is a spiritual teacher, channel and blogger with special interest in esoteric philosophy and the world in transition. Loves nature and wildlife. Author of "Spiritual Wisdom”.

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