Gulf Spill Will Make Us Care About the Planet Again
Paul Krugman finds a silver lining in changing public opinion
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2010 10:34 AM CDT
Out-of-work fishermen hired by BP and crew boat workers lay oil booms in preparation for the looming oil spill from the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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(Newser) – We can't begin to guess the full devastation of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but Paul Krugman finds an unexpected silver lining: Environmental destruction has become "photogenic again." Just as Earth Day was born four decades ago of an America sickened by images of Santa Barbara beaches coated in oil, a burning Cuyahoga River, and a dead Lake Erie, the Gulf blowout is a disaster everyone can see, and could bring back "public concern over environmental issues."

Rush Limbaugh's suggestion that "eco-Nazis" had blown up the rig "reflected desperation," Krugman writes in the New York Times. "Mr Limbaugh knows that his narrative has just taken a big hit." Now it's up to President Obama to demonstrate political fortitude, back off his call for further offshore drilling, and tell "America that courting irreversible environmental disaster for the sake of a few barrels of oil, an amount that will hardly affect our dependence on imports, is a terrible bargain"