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Oil Disaster

I'm flat-out sick about this oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which, as the link explains, is really more of an oil river. I've been birdwatching at every location mentioned in the link and know some of the areas very well, have seen many lifers and favorite birds there. This is the worst thing that's happened to southeast Louisiana since Katrina and the federal levee failures, and many of these marshes were only beginning to recover from that. Not to mention the fact that the federal government, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the state have spent five years dicking around with endless studies and unreliable technology. This won't impact New Orleans immediately (though people all over the city report smelling the oil, I was outside almost all day and didn't smell it; maybe it's my allergies), but I'm very worried about the coastal communities, the wildlife, and the effect on Gulf seafood. People on other oil rigs in the Gulf have reported seeing dead dolphins, fish, and turtles in the water.

Sadly, I've already seen my first "Why do those people live there?" comment about this disaster, citing the National Geographic article that was so full of errors I was surprised such a reputable magazine printed it. Do we really have to go over this again? The technology to protect our coastline exists. It has already been implemented in the Netherlands. If we matter enough, it could be implemented here. If not, the rest of the country will eventually lose huge amounts of seafood, oil processing, cheap goods that come in through the Port of New Orleans, and much, much more. It's partly your choice.

Save Our Wetlands



( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Your birdwatching and the effect on the area's wildlife was the first thing I thought of when I heard about the oil leakage. It's a horrible tragedy on so many levels.
Again, for the little it's worth, you have my sympathy. I really hope something substantial can be done NOW!!!
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
The timing is especially bad because it's nesting season for many shorebirds, including our state bird, the Brown Pelican.
Apr. 30th, 2010 03:07 am (UTC)
I was just watching the news and it really makes me cry...I can't even begin to imagine what it does to you.
Apr. 30th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC)
same here.
Apr. 30th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
The country is made of fat, greedy fucking termites who don't look beyond their sitcom schedule.

I, too, chafe at the comments about why you live there. This is a no-brainer, to me: you live there because IT IS YOUR HOME, and a fucking gorgeous one it is.

But if you're thinking the American Populace is going to help NOLA, you're barking up the wrong tree. That would take Political Altruism, which isn't real. We can rail and scream for the government to actually help your city all we like. We can scream through our teeth until they fall out. It won't help.

Shit is about to get very, very real for you poor bastards. I wish I had a solution - VERY MUCH, I do - but there isn't one that's viable in reality, as long as most Americans care more about who's on the newest reality TV show than the fate of one of the most flaming and brightest cities in our country.

(As always, you and yours have a guest room at our place waiting, if needed. I'm sure your cats would beat the hell out of ours. That's fine. Ours could use an ass-kicking.)
Apr. 30th, 2010 01:58 am (UTC)
You guys (Texas) have money. How about we merge with you and both secede? I move we get rid of the governors, though.

Thanks for the offer of a guest room, but unless something bad happens to me on my infrequent travels, I will die in New Orleans.
May. 3rd, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
I'm all for it, especially if we throw Jindal and Perry into an abandoned snakepit and watch them fight over a bottle of hairspray. That could be a pay-per-view event that could balance the whole new state's budget in a matter of minutes.

Seriously, I had a lot of discussions about this over the weekend, especially since a lot of the folks at Texas Frightmare were from Houston and Nola. When they told me that Rush Limbaugh is trying to make this out as a "natural situation", I wanted to slap him. The shrimp and oyster industry for four states being crippled for as much as twenty years after the cleanup, all because Halliburton was too cheap to put in a proper shutoff valve, and this is a "natural situation"? It's obvious that if the Oxycontin hasn't melted his brain, the syphilis has.
Apr. 30th, 2010 01:53 am (UTC)
Every time some jackass crows about how stupid we are for suffering in a way that benefits the crowing jackass, my knee jerk response wants to be, "You're welcome, asshole." Fer fuck's sake.
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:05 am (UTC)
I don't think they generally understand that anything comes from here besides jazz, gumbo, and Mardi Gras. All of which are, of course, unimportant and disposable.
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
I'm familiar with the phenomenon, of course. But in the age of information, it's so easy to know at least a little bit more than nothing at all. Willful ignorance is still king.
Apr. 30th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
Y'all got me thinking: New Orleans offers SO MUCH historically, culturally, economically, but even if we were fucking Useless Bumfuck staked somewhere barren in Nebraska, putting "nothing of value" into the nation, one would hope we'd still have a right to functional federal protection from (predictable! common!) disaster using proven viable methods, without having to do something nice and fruitful for every waking American first and without having our right to live there be questioned.

We're American citizens: we're already singing for our supper, and we shouldn't have dance, too, justifying our existence with dollar signs.
Apr. 30th, 2010 04:47 am (UTC)
Well said, Julia.
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:08 am (UTC)
Agreed. And you'd think that's how it would be. But since 2005, we all know it isn't.
Apr. 30th, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
Very interested in why NOLA folks smell the oil (or think they do).

The way the winds generally go around that area is straight east. Moreso with the fronts that have been rolling through the Southeast lately. People in Central Florida, hundreds at this point, have been calling into the State Watch Office over the last few days complaining they smell burning oil/burning gas/something noxious burning. This has been analyzed and found to be a result of the strong easterly winds over the past week...it IS the burning oil slick they're smelling.

Florida's on alert because of the fact that there's the Loop Current in the Gulf that, if it catches the oil (and it very well may), will funnel it straight down the Florida Coast, through the straits separating the Keys from the peninsula, and spit it out up the Atlantic coast. =/ http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/29/1604316/growing-oil-spill-could-eventually.html
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
There are all sorts of local news stories and tweets about the smell. I thought I might have caught a whiff when I went out to get dinner around 7:30, but really, how unusual is it to catch a whiff of oil in the middle of a city? Right now I've got the windows open and still can't smell anything.

I would hate to see this end up on any coast, of course.
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:19 am (UTC)
Burning oil is a pretty darn gross smell and pretty pungent, too. Which is why I'm thinking about wind currents and why you aren't smelling it while others say they do. People have been calling in as far inland as Gainesville (middle of the Florida peninsula) saying they smell it. Whether or not that's psychological paranoia, I couldn't say, but I definitely believe the folks on the coast.
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)
I can smell it when I go outside now. At first I thought maybe it was the power of suggestion, but now it definitely seems to be there.
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
Kwanboa, we can smell the oil because we can smell it burning. It's very close, already at the mouth of the Mississippi. BP has been screwing us over repeatedly on giving us the facts concerning the magnitude of this whole thing. All I know is that it stank, and many, many people in the metro NO area could smell it.
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
Okay. I'm just saying the wind currents don't work that way, is all.
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
This makes me absolutely sick. The smell was really bad during the day, but has dissipated somewhat - perhaps the wind is blowing the other way. Friends of mine who have allergies have also said they couldn't smell it, but it is there.

When will the man-made disasters quit coming our way? is what I want to know, because this is hurting my heart all over again.
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
When will the man-made disasters quit coming our way?

Thank you.

Edited at 2010-04-30 02:03 am (UTC)
Apr. 30th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
Amen. People cause so much damage, and very few realize that fact, let alone take responsibilty for it and do anything tangible about it.
And they wonder why I'm so damn anti-social, and much prefer the company of my animals to humans...present fellow birder excepted, of course.
A bit of good bird news to share, however...my friend from the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston just sent me a pic of a Siberian Crane egg they're hoping will hatch shortly. Very rare and much anticipated. There are a very few who care a lot...
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:10 am (UTC)
Cranes kick ass! There's a wonderful exhibit of them at the National Zoo in D.C. too.
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
I remember the spill on the river a few years ago - there was a few days when I could actually touch the ugly coating on top of the water. It's hard to think of how much worse this one is going to be in places.
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC)
From the email of a friend who works in the oil industry:

"Step outside and smell it. The whole city smells like diesel. This is the lighter molecules in the crude oil that have evaporated. This is the tiny outer edge of the stuff. If this thing keeps going, this is only the tip of the iceberg."

I knew I shoulda gone to Middendorf's last night.
May. 3rd, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
To give some perspective of how long this will keep going, the Ixtoc 1 oil rig blew up in 1979. Galveston still gets tar balls washing up on the beaches from that mess. (And I still remember the response then-new Governor Bill Clements gave about his rig when someone asked him what he was going to do to clean it up. Namely, "pray for a hurricane." It's hard to find a governor in Texas history who was worse than George W. Bush, even including General Phil Sheridan during Reconstruction, but Bill will always have the choice spot in my list.)
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
It sickens me too.
Apr. 30th, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
This is so UPSETTING. I cannot believe that NOLA has to go through this again. And I feel most horrible for the marine life. Dolphins and turtles,etc. God, such innocent creatures have to die and for what?. And now the coast line is going to suffer and god knows how long this will linger.

Where is the gov't on this one? Bunch of BULL**** I am so sorry Poppy that you have to see your beloved city fall to this. I am so, so sorry. They are ignoring like they did with the big '05 and we all know that it will take the work of the people of the city to fix this, not our unreliable gov't that no person here can depend on.
Apr. 30th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC)
Thanks. New Orleans will certainly suffer, but I'm even more worried about the coastal communities that make most of their living from seafood and sport fishing. This article describes the current mood in some of those towns. These are places Chris and I have been many times and even one person we've met (Cade Thomas, the fishing guide). We know the people and birds in these beautiful places. My heart is breaking for Belle Louisiane.

Having said all that, I think Obama's response is pretty damn good so far. The Coast Guard is on the scene and SWAT teams have been sent to other BP rigs with investigators (the investigators' jobs can be dangerous because the oil companies keep hired muscle onsite).

Apr. 30th, 2010 07:39 am (UTC)
I'm a little disturbed to notice that they DIDN'T notice the spill before because I remember seeing a picture of the fire and I noticed the oily slick on the surface of the water and thought to myself, "Oh no, it must be leaking everywhere"

Well it was, and apparently they didn't 'notice' until about 4 days after I did.
Apr. 30th, 2010 08:34 am (UTC)
I'm saddened and disgusted by the oil spill, and even more concerned as it seems to be wrecking havoc on still recovering areas. Hang in there Doc.
Apr. 30th, 2010 09:04 am (UTC)
This whole thing sickens me immensely even though I'm way up here in New Hampshire. I love New Orleans. It's been many years since I've been down there, but I have nothing but fond memories of the city and its people. The surrounding area is rife with wildlife which is a jewel of the Gulf Coast.

I feel so helpless. The only thing I can do is try to get into a position with more oomph. Hang in there! If there is anything I can do from way up here, do let me know. You're really the only person I know of down there so I'll be listening!
Apr. 30th, 2010 10:55 am (UTC)
That's like saying, "Why do people live on the New Madrid fault?"
Apr. 30th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC)
Why do people live anywhere? After 9/11, being 1 1/2 miles from Ground Zero I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to come to New York until the smoke cleared—at least—and yet they flocked here!

It's insane that people still think offshore drilling is a good idea, and remember, this particular site was a "good" risk. We are fucking doomed by our own stupidity.
Apr. 30th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
I am so, so sorry
May. 2nd, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
Tom Fitzmorris says everything is going to be fine, and for someone who said "Act like nothing happened" re the great hurricane of 05, we should all take note:

May. 4th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
First of All
Can I hate my fellow New Orleans/Vampire friends for -not- telling me that PZB has a livejournal???

I am appalled by this disaster. Someone better damn well pay for it and I mean pay for it socially and financially, for as many years as the mess will linger in the environment.

Ms Poppy, you pointed out something here I hadn't even thought of yet: These lowland areas are only now starting to make a recovery from Katrina. I try to meditate and understand that although the effects are long term, in the grand scheme of things this too is impermanent but damn, the level of human ego, greed and ignorance just makes it so very hard.

It's irritating a certain fanged fiend I know too, and that's never good.
May. 4th, 2010 11:32 am (UTC)
You got quoted in The Daily Beast as a significant bloger/Twitterer on the oil spill. Damned straight!

( 38 comments — Leave a comment )

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