Deep ecology goes beyond a limited shallow approach to environmental issues. It offers a comprehensive philosophical framework that argues the core values of social work and its conventional ecological models must be extended to support the new realities of the environmental crises (Besthorn, 2012). Deep ecology is the ‘cultivation of ecological consciousness’ (McLaughlin, 1987, p.2), the belief that there is no ontological divide in the field of existence and no separation in reality between the human and non-human realm (Fox, 1984).
In the immediate aftermath of the oil-spill, BP was quick to blame Transocean – the owners of the drilling rig that caught fire and exploded. The company’s attempt to reduce forthcoming repercussions by passing on the blame highlights how BPs primary concern remained their reputation and profitability, rather than prioritizing the environment in an instance as detrimental as this. Beyond BP’s half-hearted approach taken to mitigate the spill, it was discovered BP had compromised numerous safety procedures during the excavation of the well found to be responsible for the 2010 oil spill. By leaving a test valve on the blowout preventer and turning it upside down, BP avoided having to withdraw the pipe for testing – saving $260,000 with each test (Cherry & Sneirson, 2010). If BP had followed correct procedures and not cut-corners for the sake of profit maximization – excavation procedures would have been carried out correctly and prevented the spill from ever occurring. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was not an isolated incident however, as demonstrated by the company’s appalling track record of safety violations [Appendix 1].
Through BP’s attempt to pass the blame, a lacklustre approach to remedy the spill and numerous other environmental disasters the company was already held accountable for, it’s apparent that BP had a complete disregard for the environment. Seemingly, environmentally destructive corporations like BP pose as friends of the environment solely in an attempt to preserve and expand their markets (Bruno & Karlinger, 2002). This reflects how BP’s benevolence was limited to areas that would be profitable for the firm’s shareholders and did not engage in CSR beyond that level (Cherry & Sneirson, 2010). This shallow ecological approach to environmental matters is a reflection of humanity’s instrumentalist view of nature. The mainstream shallow worldview tries to ensure business as usual through the advocation of green marketing, where the central objective remains the benefit and affluence of humans (Naess, 2001).
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