We all use it – even if you don’t drive and bike everywhere – you indirectly are a part of the system. Oil is dirty and we’ve known a long time. And while we can make a difference by decreasing our consumption, ultimately it’s up to legislation to get rid of it. That’s what has to happen.
I’ve been musing about what to say about the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Although I have journalistic aspirations, the point of this blog isn’t news reporting and I’m frightened at the potential for anyone taking my posts as absolute fact. My views are quite biased and current events Wingtrip will cover/is currently discussing are not news reporting. They are reports, they are opinions (which is fine).
That being said I think that we can all recognize that environmental disaster is bad for everyone. And I hate to be a cynic but BP isn’t going to be held fully accountable. Oil has been vomiting out of the ocean floor since April 22nd. Today is May 13th and they still haven’t made real progress. The oil is creeping to land. It’s hard to fathom the immensity of this disaster. To give you an idea – I’d encourage you to follow this link: Oil Spill Over Seattle . I searched Seattle to superimpose the current size of the spill over my home. It essentially would fill all of my beloved, rhythmic, fingered Puget Sound and beyond. I was horrified. Find you city or compare it to major cities.
In every situation I try to see the positive and I’m grasping air here. Animals are already starting to wash up on land. Dolphins, birds, fish. Seafood prices are going through the roof and many fishermen are going to become bankrupt and potentially never go back to fishing. A landscape is forever warped, gone. And apparently the calculations of 5000 barrels spilling out per day is a gross underestimate. There’s never a stink far from huge corporations and this is no exception. According to the NY Times, the U.S. allowed this drilling to go on without permits and despite the concerns of their scientists, pressuring them to “change the findings!”
“Under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Minerals Management Service is required to get permits to allow drilling where it might harm endangered species or marine mammals.”
The list goes on of the ills surround a disaster horrible enough, but there is one light in all of this. Real energy reform. There has already been a huge decline in the push for more offshore drilling.
The massive devastation is the sounding for real change in our energy use. I could just as easily see this all be forgotten but I hope that it isn’t. It now should be and is obvious to almost everyone that the risk we take in oil is not worth it. Fox news can say all they want about the massive environmental devastation and suggest people are overreacting (which they fail to have any reporting about on the main page of their website), but I think a voting majority will come around. This isn’t an overnight process but it’s a part of our legacy, our health, and I hate to talk about national security, but yes it involves that as well. We are addicted and unless we want to one day wake up and the gutter ( and there won’t be anyone to pull us up by the bootstraps either), we all have to change.
I feel like crying when I think about the beautiful wetlands that coming generations will never enjoy on the gulf (simply that I’ll never have the opportunity). Spectacular lands of salt, teaming with diversity, and space that will seen be completely choked for good. Largely because of human greed and apathy. A biome that will cease to exist. An NPR correspondent went out on the marsh with a Nature Conservancy Head recently, a person that should be at battle stations in the wake of oil to land. But he wanted to be with a place of stillness and be with it one last time, because he knew that it would never again exist as he knew it. You could heard the pain in his voice and I was bleary eyed listening to it. That enough should make people want to give up driving their car or taking jet rides.
Stay tuned for a dispatch from our friend Drew Wheelan at Drewtube as he covers the spill for the American Birding Association and gives us a brief post as well.