1) Wet threats. It's so easy in this day and age to focus on the cataclysms that will reach us by way of the land. Earthquakes...landslides...Wolf Blitzer...Every now and again we need to be reminded that the large parts of this earth that are watery can also kill us. Who knows what will happen when the oil leak brings about aquatic genocide? Marine biologists? Maybe. I prefer to speculate without the benefit of knowledge. Perhaps the oil and the other exciting chemicals that have been poured into the water to stop the oil will result in marine devastation, or perhaps they will create the conditions necessary for a new kind of life to emerge. An angry kind of life. A kind of life fueled by hate and bent on revenge.
2) Incompetent threats. It's so easy in this day and age to believe that multinationals are evil, because they seem to do so many things that are straight-up evil. But in our concentration on their obvious evilness, aren't we ignoring another, potentially even more worrisome thing about them? I'm referring, of course, to their incompetence. Yes, they are evil. But evil alone would not bring about such delicious, madcap "uh-ohs." Incompetence brings to the table the necessary unpredictability, the spirit of impertinent devilry, that makes evil seem almost mundane. Yes, BP wields a sickening amount of power. Yes, the people who run it appear to be hideous and bad. But how much more unnerving is it to realize that they also DON'T SEEM TO KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING? They are not evil geniuses who conspires to run the world according to their malign appetites; they are an evil "guy who sat next to you in social studies who was kind of a jerk" who conspires to run the world but isn't really all that bright. They are hugely powerful; they are probably evil; they are not very bright. That is one disasterrific trifecta.
BP has given us more novel and exciting things to worry about, but I can't enumerate them here as I feel moved to catastrophize NOW. Thank you, British Petroleum, and Haliburton, and the other company I can't remember the name of, for making catastrophizing feel brand-new again.