National Geographic has dedicated most of their October issue to a special report on the Gulf oil disaster.
It’s become apparent to me, after reading these articles, that the spill is about so much more than just oiled pelicans and ruined marshes. It’s about the massive amounts of chemical dispersants used that, despite EPA approval, are turning out to have disastrous effects on the Gulf–worse than the oil itself. It’s about the complete unpreparedness of BP, whose spill response plan was outdated and irrelevant. (Entire pages had been copied and pasted from plans for the Arctic, which did not apply to the Gulf.)
It’s about an entire nation beating up on Louisiana. A nation whose thirst for oil means tearing up the wetlands to make room for ships and drilling platforms and pipeline. A nation whose hunger for cheap food means chemical fertilizers washing off Midwestern farms end up floating down the Mississippi River and causing an enormous oxygen-depleted dead zone where no fish survive. A nation whose inexplicable desire to continue eating fish caught from the Gulf threatens these species very existence.
A nation that seems unwilling to connect these actions with south Louisiana’s increasing vulnerability to hurricanes.
It is all connected. We are all connected.