While lamenting the state of the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, my wife pointed out that, as consumers of oil, we’re all a party to it. I seemed so obvious that I was embarrassed that it hadn’t occurred to me earlier. Most things in my life - the heat in my home and office, the gas in my car, and the plastics in so many of the good we consume - are all derived from petroleum products.
I don’t know if any of the oil I use (either directly or indirectly) comes from BP, or from the Gulf of Mexico. If anything, though, this lack of knowledge makes my role even worse.
Of course, if rules were broken (or the rules were inadequate), we should do our best to ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen again. Still, we can’t eschew our own role in creating the type of economic and regulatory environment where this type of of disaster can happen. They were drilling that oil for us.