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The Human Side of the Spill

RP Siegel | Monday May 17th, 2010 | 3 Comments

BP announced yesterday that it has successfully placed a narrow pipe into one of the leaking risers, which is allowing some portion of the spurting oil to be collected, perhaps the first good news since the explosion occurred, nearly a month ago. At the same time, CBS 60 Minutes aired the story of whistleblower Mike Williams, the last man to safely leave the Deepwater Horizon as it was engulfed in flames, who described a series of safety incidents over a period of four weeks leading up to the disaster that revealed a pattern of willful neglect by the company in their haste to get to the oil.

Also, over the weekend came reports that the chemical dispersants injected deep underwater had kept large quantities of oil from coming up to the surface, resulting in enormous underwater plumes which could explain the substantial discrepancy in the estimated quantities of leaking oil between those original reports of 5,000 barrels per day, based on satellite images taken at the surface and more recent estimates based on sub-ocean video which claim that between 56,000 and 84,000 barrels per day were leaking.

It might be months or even years before the impact of these chemicals becomes clear. The EPA authorized these deep water injections despite concerns over the adequacy of testing in situ, under the conditions under which these injections are being made.

Global Green produced a video in which several Gulf Coast fishermen are interviewed about the prospects for the future, given the level of contamination that seems to have impacted the Gulf to this point. “I don’t have type A blood, I have type saltwater,” says fisherman Robert Campo who runs a marina with his father in Shell Beach, LA. “My family’s been at this for four generations. This is going to make hurricane Katrina look like a drop in the bucket.”

The continuity of the fishing business and the return of tourists, to New Orleans and other destinations along the Gulf Coast, have been pivotal in the area’s recovery after the massive 2005 storm which claimed more than 1800 lives. Five years later, the area is still rebuilding. This contamination of the Gulf will doubtless prove a major setback to the area. “What are you going to do, provide job training?” asks Campo. “We got guys working for theyself all their life, they hardly can work with they sons they’re so grumpy, how can you put them to work with somebody else?”

A Gulf Aid concert took place, despite some heavy rain and some flash flooding. It featured an impressive lineup of local music celebrities including: Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Marcia Ball, Kermit Ruffins, Tab Benoit and several members of the Neville Brothers Band among others. All the musicians played for free, with all ticket proceeds and handling fees going to organizations helping the fishing industry and the restoration of coastal wetlands.

Shrimping/Fishing Community and Environmental Groups from around the area, were also scheduled to join forces at Grand Isle, Louisiana to send a giant human text message to BP, President Obama, and the country in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Supporters from New Orleans joined in for a community barbecue and provided 300 boxes of donated food from Second Harvest.

The event was a call to action for a full cleanup of the spill, restitution for lost jobs and income, and accelerated efforts towards green energy and green jobs. The event culminated in a large-scale aerial photograph of hundreds of participants delivering a message with their bodies.

All of these events are a testament to the exceptionally resilient spirit and strength of this community.


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  • http://recoveryiinc.net Adria M. Brown

    Bob,

    This is very moving, very powerful! The marine and wildlife, especially the birds,are already suffering! Underwater chemical dispersments……..a death sentence to these animals,……..and Illness,or Cancer, or worse to any humans who eat from these waters! Watch! You'll see! The arrogance of these oil companies, as well as the federal government, and the total disregard for the welfare and the safety of its citizens, all for the mighty dollar, is morre than I can bare! That's why I must continue my fight to be heard!
    I must!

    A. M. Brown
    Recovery I, Inc
    http://www.recoveryiinc.net
    the federal government, and the greed ……….

  • http://twitter.com/DrClaude Claude Windenberger

    As I watch or read the news and comments on blogs, it is obvious that the BP oil spill has been triggering the whole gamut of human emotions. Although emotions such as anger and frustration, etc. can sometimes be helpful in getting us to change course in life, we cannot let them rule our lives and turn us into victims. I was interviewed on this topic by Vicky Chelf on her Truly Sustainable Sarasota radio show the other day (on WSLR 96.5 fm). She wanted to know how we can rid ourselves from feeling angry or depressed and powerless in spite of circumstances–once we are clear that entertaining such emotional reactions is costing us more than it is benefiting us. This is as important an aspect to look at–as we consider making a difference in this disastrous situation–as looking at various ways to clean up the outer mess. Otherwise, if we continue to feel bad and constantly point at others as the source of all the bad things we experience, then our need to be right about that will just keep recreating them. We need to start realizing and experiencing that the real source and cause of what we experience in life is in our mind–it's our choice to entertain such emotions (out of addiction to them) and then finding “other” separate reasons to explain them, such as the oil spill and its consequences. A recording of this radio show can be found at http://recovery.windenberger.com (just search for WSLR) I also use this webpage to chronicle the fast spreading of Adria Brown's Golden Retriever solution across the internet and into the forefront of the news.

  • http://twitter.com/DrClaude Claude Windenberger

    As I watch or read the news and comments on blogs, it is obvious that the BP oil spill has been triggering the whole gamut of human emotions. Although emotions such as anger and frustration, etc. can sometimes be helpful in getting us to change course in life, we cannot let them rule our lives and turn us into victims. I was interviewed on this topic by Vicky Chelf on her Truly Sustainable Sarasota radio show the other day (on WSLR 96.5 fm). She wanted to know how we can rid ourselves from feeling angry or depressed and powerless in spite of circumstances–once we are clear that entertaining such emotional reactions is costing us more than it is benefiting us. This is as important an aspect to look at–as we consider making a difference in this disastrous situation–as looking at various ways to clean up the outer mess. Otherwise, if we continue to feel bad and constantly point at others as the source of all the bad things we experience, then our need to be right about that will just keep recreating them. We need to start realizing and experiencing that the real source and cause of what we experience in life is in our mind–it's our choice to entertain such emotions (out of addiction to them) and then finding “other” separate reasons to explain them, such as the oil spill and its consequences. A recording of this radio show can be found at http://recovery.windenberger.com (just search for WSLR) I also use this webpage to chronicle the fast spreading of Adria Brown's Golden Retriever solution across the internet and into the forefront of the news.