Do You Want Your Kid Playing the Oil Drilling Game?

April Peveteaux

gulf oil spillThe Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement might be giving kids the wrong idea about our national addiction.

The Minerals Management Service, located in New Orleans, the site of the most horrific natural -- and unnatural -- disasters on U.S. soil in the past five years, has an "educational" page which does offer a lot of fascinating information for school kids about the aquatic life in the Gulf.

Where it gets weird is in the introduction of the "drill for oil" game, and the constant references to how off-shore oil drilling and dolphins co-exist.

Reading the instructions for how you set up your own oil well using sand, sticks, and ink, it sounds very science museum and I can get behind that. But aren't we trying to teach our kids to reduce our dependence on oil, rather than celebrating it? And aren't they hearing about all the damage that's happening as a result of an irresponsible oil company in the Gulf of Mexico?

The descriptions on the site read more like a press release from BP, rather than a true educational forum about off-shore drilling, minerals, and the very real dangers we're facing right now. Take this poster you can order for the classroom, for example:

This poster depicts many of the forms of animal marine life that grow on and around the thousands of oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.  The poster demonstrates that marine life and Federal offshore production not only coexist, but that the manmade offshore structures provide an artificial reef system that fosters and intensifies marine life in areas where it might not otherwise proliferate.

No mention of the oil that is currently choking wildlife to death.

I don't want for my kids to have to play "endangered turtle bingo," but I also don't want them to think that a dangerous practice, that's wreaking havoc in our country, is all fun and games.

Do you think this website needs to include the oil spill story?

Image via southerntabitha/Flickr

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