Paddy Power is taking bets on which species of marine life will become extinct first… and which BP executive. This is a catastrophe of such enormous magnitude, one that affects lives and livelihoods, the environment, and America’s collective psyche, it is unseemly to sink to this level (via the Wall Street Journal):
In a press statement entitled “Ridley Turtle Tipped For Oily Exit” the plucky Irish bookmaker is taking bets on which marine species will first become extinct due to the month-long oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Here’s what the release says:
RIDLEY TURTLE TIPPED FOR OILY EXIT
(24 May 2010, Dublin) As the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico enters its second month with little or no sign of abating, leading betting outfit Paddy Power are taking bets on the first species to become extinct as a direct result of the spill. [...]
Paddy Power says it’s trying to highlight the responsibilities of oil companies.
Worthy sentiments, but they don’t fit the tone of Paddy Power’s statement, with comments, as mentioned above, like “Top of the bookies list at odds of 4/5 is the already critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley Turtle.” Followed by the bad-taste punchline: “In what must be considered spectacularly bad luck, this particular species of turtle migrates to the Gulf of Mexico at this exact time of year.”
Some punchline [click green button].
But the bottom line is this: the idea is to make money, get publicity off these bets.
So they’re profiting off a dying ocean, devastated industries, the health and welfare of all involved, and a disastrously polluted shoreline. In that way, they’re not much better than BP.
I’m betting that I don’t go back to Paddy Power’s site any time soon.