Like so many others, I am watching the events in the Gulf with a mix of anger and despair, though the despair is winning out; especially after I look at the photos of the effects of the oil.
I moved to Missouri because I was attracted to the very thing that BP’s oil is killing: the wildlife, the history, the culture. Especially the wildlife, though. The marshes along the Louisiana coast are some of the most amazing areas of the country—teeming with wildlife. Now? Well, the photos tell us what to expect in the future.
I am unhappy at President Obama’s handling of this mess. He seems to be unaware that we, the people of this country, needed to feel that his hand was on the rudder; that BP wasn’t completely running the show. Instead you have a stupid dog and pony show earlier this week, with Interior Secretary Salazar saying one thing and some jackass Coast Guard Admiral contradicting him. The EPA asks BP to pretty please stop using toxins in our waters, and BP’s response is no, we don’t think so. What does the EPA do in return? Nothing. Heck, it’s only been this week that the head of the EPA actually headed to the area.
All combined, we don’t have an image that our government is even aware of what’s going on, much less on top of the situation. I may be a Democrat, but I’m not blind.
After the last few weeks, I sadly come away from this event believing that our President doesn’t “get” the environment–that he’s a Harvard educated city boy who probably never ran through a field of wild grasses, or walked a bayou path. He is not connected; he doesn’t feel the pain.
Politics aside, I’m like so many people who are frustrated because there’s nothing we can do. I volunteered with every organization I can think of, but they all say the same thing: they have folks in the area who have volunteered, and they’re only looking for people who have trained to work with oil spills. So I did the next best thing and volunteered for oil spill training when the local Audubon has classes again.
We feel terrible about spilling oil in American waters, we’ll make sure the next spill happens where the terrorists live.
The humor acts as a relief valve, when the anger and the sadness begin to overwhelm. It’s difficult to laugh, though, when you contemplate the extent of the damage to the Gulf.
What this mistake has demonstrated is that we have no business drilling wells offshore. We obviously have no way to easily fix a spill when it occurs, and the potential for long term damage is enormous.
Yes, I know the alternative. I’m not a wealthy person, but I would rather pay more at the gas pump…and for food, and plastics, and everything else dependent on oil. We can’t keep destroying everything beautiful in the interest of cheap goods. We have to think beyond ourselves.
Fascinating first person account of a Mother Jones reporter trying to get past the BP controlled machine in Louisiana.
Newsweek article on BP using local government to blockade news photographers.
Video: What BP Does not want you to see.