What is missing is outrage
The team had found lakes of oil in the desert caused by the SOC (Southern Oil Company of Iraq). I asked, "What are we going to do about this?" "We will talk to the Minister," said the Director, "These lakes are continuing to kill."
"Yes, everyday!" said one of our staff, "We watched as Martins came upon the lakes, thinking it was water in the desert and diving down to drink."
"You could just stand there and watch it happen?" I asked aghast, (but I feel now that I was really asking two questions. One saying, "Are you for real?!" and another saying "how could you just stand there?!") But of course it was for real. Those lakes are killing machines ... species are dying there needlessly because people are too damn lazy to clean up their messes 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And they have been there months, probably years.
But his response had something of a barely perceptable shrug that seemed to say both, 'Of course' and 'Oh well.'
The Director said to him, "You will be a leader when you find a way to immediately take some kind of action about things like this."
I thought, what is missing here is outrage, but who am I to say this to an Iraqi who has faced outrage upon outrage and was forced to be silent. They are innured to it. It's banal now. The banality of evil.
We need real help here to protect Iraq's biodiversity and in a country that is throwing everything into oil development to ressurect itself, a few birds (thousands) are not even discussed or thought about ... but once the oil runs out, what will be left? No one in Iraq can stop oil development and it would be a waste of time to try. Iraq needs that oil to develop but it's got to protect its environment along side that development if it wants to be left with something more than a wasteland.