Will British Petroleum Still Make a Profit? All Bets Are Open.

On the morbid side of things, gambling website PaddyPower.com is taking bets on spill-related extinctions. [...] PaddyPower seems to be flip about the whole thing, but the site serves as a startling wake-up call--yes, this spill might be so bad that entire species die out as a result.

Read that startling bit on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Fast Company’s Website. It’s disturbing on so many levels, initially; after careful consideration, is it really?  

Paddy Power Site owners claim that they’re hoping their actions will help “highlight the recent gulf catastrophe,” and although few may buy that this was their initial goal, I think we all pretty much believe the same thing: that’s just a spin on a great but shameful opportunity.  
But, amidst all the BP cover ups journalists are slowly unearthing, one aspect few had so far talked about is the potential and all too likely disappearance of a few species; the Kemp's Ridley turtle is at the top of the list... odds are (according to Gambling911.com, a gambling “news” website (that aims to sell the spin) – sorry, didn’t bother directly checking out the Paddy Power site, no time to waste).   Albeit corporate-media news disseminators have placed much concern on the environmental effects,  it did take an Irish-based betting Website to bring the idea of annihilation of certain species outside of activist and environmentalist circles.

So, I’ll admit that my first reaction to seeing this being turned into a gambling opportunity was total disgust, but my shock quickly dissolved into fulfilled-expectations of typical human behaviour--we humans are disconcerting, that's nothing new.  Let's face it, people gamble on way worse things, some of which wouldn't exist without gambling. And weren't people placing bets some years back on whether or not Britney Spears would commit suicide?  Paddy Power is also taking bets on who the next CEO will be, so honestly, in this case, what’s worse? That some crafty buggers found a way to profit from this and inadvertently played a role in raising awareness in unlikely circles, or gambling on such things?  And what’s all of that in comparison to what’s actually happening?     
What I’m really afraid of is this:
Knowing what we humans are capable of, I wouldn’t be surprised to one day find out that these oil-related extinction bets had become so important and represented such potentially large sums of money for some who played a part in accelerating/assuring the extinction of some aquatic species of flora and fauna, especially some of the most unlikely ones, the ones that represented the more interesting returns... and I’m thinking the whole thing was cooked up by BP PR folks in an attempt to divert some public attention... and I’m thinking BP Investment dept. folks, placing bets and insuring them... and I’m thinking big winnings and earnings covering the material and financial cost of this disaster... and it does sound silly, but I’m trying to think up a logical reason as to why BP would act the way they are, why they would apply the solutions they are, and why they continue to obsess over the use of highly irritating toxic chemical dispersants (beyond the most obvious, i.e. dispersants keep the oil away from the surface and out of sight) which is also, at this point, the most damaging course of action for them...  It blows my mind!  
I bet you that going electric makes more sense now, doesn't it? 

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© 2010, Pascal-Denis Lussier 
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