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Friday, April 30, 2010

An American Tragedy

I don't know what to say about the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I'm so horrified by the whole thing that I have trouble sleeping these days.
The wool seems to have been pulled over our eyes early after the rig explosion. It seems that the magnitude of the devastation is so massive that it could only be reported in small, gradually increasing doses. At first the local papers reported that although the well hadn't been capped, there'd be no problem. My how THAT'S changed in just a few days, as the truth has come out in its dribs & drabs. Today I read that this could prove to be the biggest, American, ecological disaster in decades, making the Exxon Valdez look like a Spring picnic. There were reports coming from New Orleans yesterday that people there could already smell the oil. Whether that's psychosomatic or not, I don't know.

This is a map of the Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges. Breton & Delta NWRs are in the most danger of contamination right now. There are reports that the spill has made landfall, but I've been unable to find out where (go figure.) I guess that'll dribble out of the media eventually too, like everything else.
TNC's White Kitchen Nature Preserve is part of the Pearl River basin, where we recently went on our swamp tour. Pearl River empties into the Gulf. Closer to home, Lake Pontchartrain, home of Big Branch Marsh NWR & my beloved Fontainebleau State Park, is not truly a lake--there are outlets to the Gulf on the west side. Northlake Nature Center is also connected to the lake by a bayou or two. I can only hope that the oil doesn't get in this far. Regardless, the devastation has begun.
Over 950 birds have already been taken in for cleaning (over 200 of them are brown pelican chicks.) Information on reporting oiled animals and on volunteering to help can be found here.
That's all I can stand to post on this subject right now. Like the media, I can only handle it in dribs & drabs.


YogaforCynics said...

Well, at least maybe this'll give Americans the wake-up call that Exxon Valdez didn't, since it's a lot closer to home for most (not that Exxon Valdez did much to convince Alaskans like Sarah Palin much, but, then, not much would...).

Travis said...

I've read that people are in big-time mobilization mode to get this cleaned up. There's going to be damage, but let's hope it can be contained as much as possible.

Cloudia said...

our hearts ache!

We think of the fish, mammals, birds, water people, Nawlins, and you & Charles.

Words pale

Aloha from Hawaii

Comfort Spiral

Charles Gramlich said...

Don't know what to say. said...

How man can screw up big time. And there is no fix. Please document every little piece of important information...maybe my children's children will read it and finally learn.
I'm sad for the suffering wildlife.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey lovely,

I totally hear you. Total nightmare. I don't know what to say except it sucks beyond all belief. So sad.

Lana Gramlich said...

YogaforCynics; I think Americans get it, actually. Unfortunately it's the corpocracy that runs the country that only cares enough to (most likely,) use this as an excuse to raise petroleum product pricing.

Travis; I keep hoping, but we're no closer to a real solution now than we were then (even though BP was supposed to have a disaster response plan available as part of their lease to drill.)

Cloudia & Christine; Thanks, hon. Our hearts ache, too. <:(

Charles; Unfortunately there's not much to say...

Michelle; It freaking sucks.

Erik Donald France said...

Horrifyingly epic. And evil creepy in that "levees are holding" (NOT!) kind of way . . .

eileeninmd said...

This spill and leak is just a tragedy. I feel so sad and the wildlife. How is your area doing? Have you seen any signs near you?

Lana Gramlich said...

Erik; Agreed, unfortunately.

eileeninmd; We're far enough inland that we see no signs of far. I just hope the latest attempt at a fix works. There are photos in the newspapers of dead birds, reports on TV of dead sea turtles & jellyfish. It's heart breaking.

Berit said...

To our future children:
Will you tell them that the reason nothing ever grows in the garden anymore, because they wanted to win the craziest race. That's this world over. Will you smile like any father, with your children on a sunday hike? When you get to a sea of rubble, and they ask, what was (your world) like. Ah, well, that's this world over; Ah, well, next one begins; Ah, well, that's this world over, you sadly grin.
- Andy Partridge (paraphrased)

In spite of those sobering lyrics I believe there is always hope and a glorious future is still ours to claim!

Bird said...

I just read down to here after looking at all your gorgeous wildlife photos and...well this really chokes me up. And makes me shake with rage. What's scariest is how the extent of the destruction is clearly being hushed up in the media. Also makes me want to say to the oil industry people behind this disaster and all the petrol heads out there like oil? WELL, HERE'S SOME OIL. And dump it over their homes and land. And see how much they love it then.

Anyway, thank you for reporting on this and giving the rest of us a better idea of what might be going on.

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