Yup, we killed an ocean

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This is just the beginning

This whole oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has really upset me. This is odd because I am not an exceptionally “green” person. I mean, I am not opposed to recycling or low emission cars, but occasionally I will still toss a recyclable item in with the regular garbage and I refuse to start a compost bin. So, to be having nightmares about this oil catastrophe is odd for me.

Last night I dreamt that the entire ocean floor blew up causing tidal waves to sink most of America and all of Mexico. All because of this top kill that BP had tried. There were whales and sharks and dolphins trying to flop into peoples pools and people were drowning in their homes and fish were attacking us whenever they had the chance. Terrifying.

Now, I know that was just a nightmare, but really, if me, a girl in upstate New York has a subconscious that is screaming this loud about what is going on, something has to be really, really wrong. I mean more wrong than just killing millions of animals and ruining the livelihood of all the people who rely on the ocean for income. Something irreversibly bad is happening. And it is our fault. Us, as the human race. All our fault. This is not a Katrina or a Haiti. This is all on us. We did this not just to ourselves but to the earth. We killed an entire ocean.

I do have a tie to the Gulf. When I lived in Houston as a teen, my friends and I would spend every weekend swimming and tanning  and surfing in Galveston. I got my second case or sun poisoning in Galveston. My best friend and I went, just the two of us, no surfer boys, to tan. This was not the best idea as I am a translucent white girl who only ever turns pink (see this https://sparklingbytheway.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/lucy-and-ethel-got-nuthin-on-us/ for an idea on how ,as I got older, I didn’t necessarily get any wiser when it comes to the color of my skin). So, I had on a string bikini and my best friend had on a bandu bikini. She had a brilliant idea that we should pull in the sides of our bottoms as we layed on our stomach so that more of our butt cheeks would tan there by making our butts look smaller. Brilliant!

We could hardly sit on the way home because our butts were so burned. We were in such pain all over and bright red. Her 1969 VW Bug didn’t have air conditioning but the wind from the windows was like sandpaper on our burned bodies. We were miserable. We got back to my apartment, stripped and about died laughing. I had three bright white triangles and a white stripe in the back and she had a white horizontal stripe in the front and a  triangle in the back. Oh the silliness of youth. We had to keep slathering ourselves with Noxema to keep our skin temperature down. But then the Noxema smell started to make us really sick. What a day. I will never forget how sick I was but how much fun I always had in the Gulf.

And now that is lost to any future generations who want to try surfing or burn their exceptionally white bodies to a crisp. I went crabbing there, I got hit in the head by a fish who jumped right out of the water, I stepped on a slow-moving turtle. I experienced nature, the life of the ocean. And to be totally honest, I don’t even like fish. Or the ocean really. I am not one of those people who feels drawn to the ocean or has any real connection to dolphins or whales. Again, this is why it is a bit strange to me that I would be so wound up over what is happening in the Gulf.

I guess it is the loss of life and the magnitude or what we, as keepers of the planet, have allowed to happen to our world. It is more than just the loss of life, it is bigger than the oil washed birds that are dying a slow and painful death (although that is totally enough). It is what we have done. And we are all responsible and we all will pay the price.

A friend from Texas  sent me the specifics of WHY it is taking BP so long to stop the flow of oil from the broken pipe. He has lived in the region his whole life and has known many oil people. I get it. I get that they are doing the best they can with what they have. What I don’t get is how what they have is not even close to being what they need to stop the oil. How did they not know that drilling a well that is inaccessible to humans was a disaster waiting to happen? And how were they not prepared for that disaster? How far our arrogance has taken us and how far we have fallen and how awful that the totally innocent have to pay the price.

It is just so sad, all this loss of life and the knowledge that lives will continue to be lost for years to come. We have made birds and fish and people suffer because of our senseless desires. I live a few miles from a wind farm. The wind turbines are awesome to see. Many people around here have solar panels on their houses. There are other sources for energy. There is no more reason for us to harm the earth just so we can live. Like I said, I am no tree hugger, but I am totally using this opportunity to scare my kids into shutting off the lights when they leave a room. Something’s gotta change.

God bless the Gulf and rest in peace to all the lives lost, human and animal alike.

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189 responses »

  1. It is very sad what happened. I am wondering if we will get to enjoy our yearly family get together in Port Aransas, TX without tar!!

    I knew that Saved By The Bell episode would come true…and the sad thing is…we aren’t even going to get a bigger, better Bayside…Kidding aside…this is horrible and disturbing.

    http://www.wutevs.wordpress.com

  2. It really is the arrogance of our species that has gotten us into this mess…not only with the oil spill, but with global warming as well. We, for whatever reason, think Earth is ours to do with as we please, no matter how it may endanger the other species living here as well. That arrogance can only lead to a very bad ending. Hopefully we get some sort of wake up call.

  3. We also need to consider that the cable news media is accountable for this devastating event. During the last election, oil drilling was central issue in the campaign, yet not one of the major news networks did a substantive or investigative report on oil drilling. Rather, they engaged in their usual practice, opinion mongering. Hold them accountable – part of the blame belongs with an apathetic press corp. – read this great blog on this issue, it is called, CNN: refracted culpability –
    http://anelegantfeast.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/cnn/

  4. I completely agree with you on this one. It’s upset me so much, I really wish I can get down there to help with the relief; however, I feel that this whole disaster was just caused by plain ol’ ignorance and greed….ugh….but wonderfully put!!

  5. I came across your blog and was very happy to see your concern for the Gulf. The reason I was so happy is though you do not live near the Gulf or are not directly affected by it you are still concerned. I am born and raised in Florida and for the past two years I lived in Minnesota until I just moved back to FL 2 weeks ago. Living in the Midwest opened my eyes to those that are of no concern to something that does not directly affect them. I couldn’t believe how many people had no idea about the spill or the magnitude of devastation that has happened and will happen over the next months and even years. So I thank you, for caring and maybe opening the eyes of others who didn’t realize how big of a deal this actually is. 🙂

    -Steph

  6. It’s just so very tragic. I can’t stand to think of all the wildlife that will suffer because of our addiciton to oil. Not to mention the people whose lives have been changed forever because their careers are dying like the fish. The image of the bird is so sad. And the worst part? When will it end? Bad enough to clean up a spilled that’s finished spilling, but this is just incomprehensible. Thanks for sharing.

  7. what happened in the gulf is disgusting and what it even more scary is that they are unable to halt the flow.

    12000 barrels a day spilled into an ocean that is an incredible amount of pollution and it is all down to BP (in this case). And to add insult to injury the CEO of BP says that the spill is just a drop in the ocean (source:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1278279/Gulf-Mexico-oil-spill-BP-boss-Tony-Hayward-tries-downplay-disaster.html)

    this just shows the utter arrogance of people at this level.

  8. Your nightmare and the image of the oil soaked bird highlight the gravity of this situation–a shutoff valve that is yet to be found and the far reaching consequences for human and animal life. Your sentiments are on point. Thank you for your piece.

  9. first you write very well …powerfull and …like you say it is not only offshore drilling it is our stupid pride to become bursting big all the time with no respect for anything but the bigshot…Obama is not Martin Luther King he is still to worry trying to please all …But what I dont hear often is the realization that evEry huge man made catastosphies need a power and a will coming from somewhere …and that honest and pure and saint machine of truthfulness is the universities of the world …So If we dont encourage the young student to question authority …worst will happen because there is no limit to MACHO! GIRL ch’ange the world !

  10. I saw your headline and had to read your post.
    I agree, why were they not prepared for such a disaster to begin with. It is so sad. I know they are trying everything but the days just keep passing and we are killing more and more animals each day.

  11. I just take the tram home instead of taking a taxi – because of reading your words. Thanks.
    Have a better day!

  12. What a well articulated post! You are to be commended. I live in Australia and we recently had a spill near us too, a MUCH smaller one and it took far too long to stop. We, as a species, are raping this small planet to the point that in a few hundred years, or less, there will be nothing left. Big business and governments are doing FAR too little to change things and are, if anything, making things worse though greed and criminal inattention.

    I am by no means a tree hugger myself but I am appalled by this and previous so called “accidents”. The oil companies MUST be held responsible and be held to account. Any spill such as this should be cause to stop their operations permanently. Anything less is a complete sell out. There ARE alternatives to oil but those in charge are not prepared to bite the bullet and make it happen.

    Such a tragedy as this must not be allowed to happen ever again. by BP or by any other company.

    Solar, wind and geothermal ARE viable sources of energy… It’s just that those industries don’t have the strangle hold that the oil companies have… It is time that that situation changed!

    Solar power or wind power will never cause such a mess as this.

    • I totally agree with this, this palnet has been raped since the industrial revolution be it deforestation, over fishing or things like this oil spill.

      The government will do nothing as they are essentially sponsered by the big businesses that have massive political clout. I think when the fossil fuels actually run out there will suddenly be leaps and bounds progress in the development of alterntive, sustainable energy that we as joe public will have to pay through the nose for.

  13. I work at a college in Florida and it frustrates me how people are not willing to accept that the consequences for being dependent on oil. Oil and all of its polymers are changing our environment. The stuff we use today will be around even after my bones turn to dust.

    I hope our similar concerns will motivate the development of a new technology that will move us away for the need of oil and all of its shapes.

  14. i think they wait until british petrol can’t pay for cleaning the sea then when they gave them part in the company they will do it quickly, clensing.

  15. Very well written post.. I too grew up in Houston and used to go to Galveston quite often. It’s completely a shame what a disaster this whole ordeal has become. I’m like you in that I’m not 100% “Go Green!” but I try to do my part in recycling, etc. Our wildlife in the Gulf is going to be wiped out in front of our eyes with this whole mess.

    Thanks for the post.. you have a new follower.

  16. Don’t mourn, organize. And while you’re organizing: reduce, reuse, recycle. The 3R’s of conservation.

    Thanks for that truly god-awful photo. It’s labeled as a Korean oil spill photo. The powers that be are restricting media coverage of the Gulf.

  17. You are right. This is a human problem. It is not a political, corporate, national or

    It is time the situation changed. It’s been time for a while, but the mass of human society is comfortable with letting someone else or something else deal with it so they can go shopping. Somehow the gravity of the earth’s current state isn’t sinking in.

    I wonder what it takes to spark a revolution in the consciousness of the human collective.

  18. It’s unfortunate it happened, but Mexico has had a worse spill that lasted 9 months and worse than this. It happens every day in Nigeria. This will be cleaned up.

    The only reason it’s a big deal, is because it happened in the US and because eco-commies are making it a big deal to forward their agenda. That agenda, to send the US back to the stone age.

    Africa’s oil spills are far from U.S. media glare
    Tue May 18, 2010 1:49pm EDT

    LONDON (Reuters) – Oil gushing from an undersea well in the Gulf of Mexico has damaged BP’s reputation and share price but accidents involving other companies in less scrutinized parts of the world have avoided the media glare.

    Investors have knocked around $30 billion off BP’s value since an explosion at a drilling rig killed 11 people and began an oil spill the London-based major is struggling to plug nearly a month after the accident happened.

    Read more:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64H56O20100518

  19. I live in Houston, have all my life. It is extremely disturbing what greed and arrogance can cause. All for the love of Oil, kinda like the war we weren’t meant to believe was all about the towers.

    I am so sick of all of this but one little person can do nothing to make a difference.

  20. my only question is : How many years more will this planet survive if what has happened in our surrounding is caused by human errors? It’s our homework, and that’s going to be hard, and perhaps expensive.

  21. My husband works offshore, a boat captain. From our understanding, there SHOULD have been 3 different things in place to avert a situation like this. But the gossip going around says BP didn’t use them, thus keeping costs down.
    How will this be stopped now? Does it spew till that spot runs out of oil??

  22. I’m not American (just clearing that up). I live far away, in a country most would not even know about if it weren’t for the fact that the 2010 Soccer World Cup is being hosted here.

    Equally I have no authority on American matters. I have one or two pen pals in the States, but no idea how your world and your media and your expectations function.

    What I will say is this: I find it incredibly difficult to be sympathetic to your plight.

    It’s been how many years of hyperconsumption? How many species and villages and tribes and rainforests has American Capitalism destroyed, the world over?

    How many trillions of tons of carbon monoxide have your factories and cars and SUVs and planes pumped into the atmosphere?

    This is what the oil spill looks like in proportion: http://www.twitpic.com/1spm21/full

    That black dot there, middle left, in that little lake thingy (Gulf of Mexico)? That is the full extent of the oil spill – and in the long run will have nearly no effect on the rest of the world. The oil bubbling out of the Gulf at this very moment was being drilled to meet American demand. Had it not washed up on shore, it would have been vaporized and shot into the air, for the entire planet to suffer under.

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still living down the two atom bombs American forces dropped during WW II. The radioactive fallout from those bombs has circulated the world – we have all been affected, and nearly none of us asked for it. But worse, this is what you do to the planet every single day.

    And I can’t think of a single American who would be innocent of this. Every purchase you make from large corporations – every McDonalds burger, every Apple iPhone – gives these companies one more bullet to use against developing nations. Your market demand for cheap gadgets has driven Chinese workers to commit suicide (Foxconn suicides). Your hunger for fast food has starved African and South American nations.

    Every loan, every financed vehicle or house, every purchase on credit imbalances your economy that little bit more. It creates that much more debt, that much more leverage, and that much more chance of another Wall Street, or Credit Crisis. In every way the American nation has acquired far more than it’s fair share, and has abused it as if it were a right, not a privilege.

    So now, after all of that, you’re finally dealing with a catastrophe on your own doorstep. You are finally faced with the same destruction and loss of income and political squabbling that your economy creates in third-world countries like mine. You are seeing in no uncertain terms what your fiscal and energy policies, your gas-heavy vehicles, your highly advanced weapons do to other, undeserving countries, every hour of every day.

    Karmic. Fucking. Justice.

    • You are right. America is a greedy and hungry nation, and we are all guilty. Don’t discount, however, the number of people – even in the USA – who, as much as they are able, are not a part of the dominant culture. But the Gulf of Mexico, and the Louisiana wetlands don’t exist in isolation from the planet any more than the environmental disaster areas in your country exist in isolation. (And, really, Brazilian greed probably goes a long way in contributing to the mess – I’m sure you have a ruling class, and besides, there are no innocent parties anymore.)I think it’s time for all of us to realize this is a pretty small planet we’re on, no matter what corner we occupy, and start acting like world citizens. Throwing stones is not helpful.

  23. This is in answer to Wogan: Not all Americans live that materialistic life you so ranted about. In fact, that can be only the European invaders who came over and raped and killed our people to take our land. There were intelligent,earth-loving people in the Americas, till the Caucasians came over to “civilize” us savages. The real Americans still respect the earth, most live on the reservations by choice to get away from the polution and greed brought over by WHO??? The Europeans !!! Thanks, but own up to the fact that all that destruction was imported by people like you,Wogan. Your ancestors and fellow caucasions.

    • My goodness, Lynn (and Wogan) pointing fingers, throwing stones, blaming – especially blaming people alive now for the actions of people who have been dead for hundreds of years is not very helpful. There are good people everywhere who are working every day to heal the earth. But, we’re all guilty, aren’t we, of screwing it up. Never used a fossil fuel? Ok, you get a a pass…

  24. It is truly sad what is going on there and I know the world is watching as it gets worse, hopefully BP gets it together so some of our wildlife and ecosystem can be salvaged.

  25. The key here is that WE have to stop this! We’re responsible for our dependence on oil and WE have to change the way we live.
    I wrote my last blog post about this and have committed to making changes in my life.

  26. I think this is such a tragic situation. I am disgusted at the thought of how bad this has gotten. So many animals have died because of this catastrophe and I am appalled that this hasn’t been fixed yet. Why does it seem like we are never prepared for when something like this happens?

  27. “And now that is lost to any future generations who want to try surfing or burn their exceptionally white bodies to a crisp.”

    No offense, but it’s pretty clear from this that you just saw some pictures of the worse off places and are extrapolating it out to everything. Chances are that that beach you went to in Galveston is 100% as healthy and clear to swim in right now as it was back when you went. I can’t speak for that beach, but in the Florida panhandle the beaches are the same as they always were at this point.

  28. I’m totally with you on this. We’ve GOT to stop killing this planet in our selfish pursuit of happiness or whatever you want to call it. Mother Nature is speaking out and we need to pay attention to what she has to say, before it’s too late.

  29. I’m from the Houston area as well, and have family all over the Louisiana coast. This mess has been breaking my heart ever since I first saw the headline. Galveston may not have been the cleanest beach to begin with, but that’s still no excuse for slathering it with oil like the engine of an over-used Honda Civic.

    I haven’t been back to the area in some time, and now it saddens me deeply to know that Louisiana’s delicate and beautiful wetlands will never again be crabbed by future generations of little boys in Spider-Man underpants and a apparently unhealthy desire to catch an alligator (I blame Steve Irwin)

    One day the oil will go away. But the time and wildlife lost can never be replaced.

    MN

  30. Hey so this comment section has disolved pretty quickly.

    Seriously though, it’s pretty funny hearing all that stuff coming from a South African, given how they live in comparison to the rest of their continent I guess you could call them the America of Africa.

  31. @Lulu

    That’s a pretty silly question. The planet will survive, and heal with barely a wound worth licking. Even at its absolute worst there’s nothing humans can do to the Earth that would be more than a freckle on its history.

    What we can do is make it hard enough to live on for humans for long enough for us to die out. But as soon as we’re gone the Earth will heal quickly (in comparison to its lifetime) and forget any of it every happened.

    I can’t recall who exactly it was that said it, but some famous scientist likened it to an analogy where if the Earth could feel, even the worst humans could possibly do to it in terms of pollution, global warming, etc would be analogous to a human having a stomach ache for 1 minute on some random morning.

    Thinking that humans have the power to destroy the Earth is even more arrogant than the folks that are leading the consumption.

    • I don’t suspect you have ever heard of melting glaciers at the rate of 5 feet a year. There is more if you care to turn around once in a while and look.

      • There are scientists who insist that studies have to be carried out on real evidence and not in models besides events are happening faster than thought (as oceanjoe says).

        The problem is that for politiciens computerized models are better for explaining things in a way that fits their expectations.

      • And those glaciers will be re-created again, as they always have.

        The Earth will eventually fall into another ice age. Then thaw. Then repeat. As it always has. We may bring that on a little quicker, but it will always heal from it the same.

      • Ok, lemmie try another angel…passenger pigeon, dodo bird, the Bali Tiger, the Golden Toad, that genie has gone, not to be returned. Not to mention that the CO2 trapped in ice is 20 times more prevalent in the last 100 years than at any time in history…and that’s Earth’s history. Some things are just common sense my friend.

    • Hi Halo, I’m not so sure that an ice will come again. What’s more, we shoud be placed in a small one now. But as some people say, we’re living a “long summer”.

      We are going in the opposite direction that the Earth goes. The Sun is becoming warmer and the Earth needs to cool itself. Adding CO2 we are doing very little…

      The question is that we are affecting all the ecosystems, in other words, all the tools the planet has to cool and keep Life as we know it.

      Some scientists agree we have passed the thresold, it is, a point of no return and nobody knows where we are ahead. What is clear is that people, live stock and pets are redundant.

      Many living things consuming a lot of resources at the same time in planet every day smaller. One species 50% or more of the resources. It’s something to take into account.

      Regards.

  32. Wow. Wogan, you seem angry. And very self-righteous. I will echo Lyn’s statement that not all Americans live the materialistic life you describe. I’m not Native American, but I choose not to participate in the production-consumption economic model that has so devastated other countries. Problem is, unless I become an ex-pat and leave my home and family, my choices are limited. I’m complicit in the system simply by turning on my lights and getting into my car and buying plants for my garden at Lowe’s. But make no mistake, there are plenty of people like me who fight hard every day on the personal, community, public, national, and international arenas AGAINST the American policies of green and corruption. We fight with our votes, our personal choices, with where we spend out money and how we teach our children. Change is slow and too many people love money, but we’re still fighting. I didn’t chose to be born American, just like you didn’t chose to be born wherever you are. But here we are. And pointing the finger at the Bad Guys does nothing. Rather than raging and lamenting about where we’ve all been, focus on where we’re going together and making it the best journey possible.

  33. It’s very difficult to know what to say in such devastating circumstances. There are many emotions involved including sadness, anger and helplessness. Of course, as a civilization, we deeply regret what has happened. We wish that we could go back and fix the problem before it occurred. We wish we were more prepared for the situation we have found ourselves in. Unfortunately, it is too late for wishes.

    I have stumbled upon your blog today so have not prepared any type of studied approach to my reply. I type with feeling from the depths of my being. Honestly, I am still without words.

    Actions speak louder than words so I try my best as an individual. I walk, I bike, I support local business, I withdraw myself from wanting too much, I walk by the river, I turn out lights when they’re not needed, I grow a small little garden patch, I try to eat consciously. I don’t quite know what else to do. I am by no means rich except for the fact that I live in a rich country. Perhaps it is greed that has gotten us into this terrible predicament!

    I don’t believe in “God” yet I pray that nothing like this happens again. I pray that we learn from our really stupid mistakes. I pray that the world will become a better place. I pray. And I hope.

  34. Thank you for writing such a deeply compassionate and thought-provoking post. You are reminding everyone how we are all connected with each other and the earth. This is probably why you are having dreams like the one described above.

    This oil disaster is a tragedy and something that could have been prevented if the entire industry wasn’t so corrupted. The only good part I can see, is that more of us are now aware of off-shore drilling and the lack of safety it imposes. Additionally, it is shedding light on loose (non-existent)regulations from Government and how much the Bush Administration has hurt the U.S. I agree with many of the above posts that America is selfish and we all have some responsibility here due to our insatiable consumption habits and lifestyle choices, however we are also victims of industry/ capitalism.
    How do we reverse this?
    1) Become more Aware-Get educated about the products we use everyday & eco-friendly ones
    2) Commit to changing at least one “non-environmentally friendly” habit daily/weekly/ or monthly
    3) Start utilizing more eco-friendly products
    4) share with others & help spread the word

    For me, I have stopped using plastic bags. I now use material ones. I have cut down on my amount of driving and used corn gas instead of regular gas. My next car will be the Nissan Leaf that is 100% electric and my church has just installed 75 solar panels (the largest in AZ 4 a non-profit). I don’t get newspaper subscriptions and am consciously choosing to stop buying plastic water bottles. Plus I have signed up for paperless billing on all my bills.

    See, we can all make small changes here and there to help reduce our dependence on oil and stop hurting the planet. But blaming, shaming, and name calling doesn’t help. It only creates anger/hate and turns off communication.

    You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it. Lets change our minds to change our mistakes and heal the planet.

  35. Dunno what to say…. I’m just a young graduate but I sure am a tree hugger….. Lived in a little town and grew up comparing heights with trees that I planted… i lived a wonderful childhood with nature and i wish to save enough to allow my kids to enjoy the same…
    I don’t say we must all be tree huggers… all i’m saying is that at least we must take note of where we’re heading….. I guess even if everyone’s conscience hurt as much as your’s did, we’re on the right track….

  36. When I first saw the incident in the news I pretty much over looked it thinking that the oil industry has grown up sense the Valdez spill and would probably get it under control lickidy split.

    I didn’t know that the oil industry operates without contingencies for the worst case scenarios.

    It too is now making me sick that the oil industries whom will be the first to sell their wears as if nothing could ever go wrong are finding themselves as helpless as all the victims they made from this oil spill.

    I hope Obama reconsiders his own push for more off shore oil drilling. And I hope that the solution to this problem includes new legislation making it harder for off shore drilling.

    I hope for the sake of the emergency that they oil spill gets cleaned up asap. I also hope that the oil industry reals for a very long time after taking care of this emergency and takes drastic steps to clean up their own day to day practices.

    John

  37. Pingback: Golfo del Messico « Bouképhalos

  38. A picture like tthat you published in your article
    gives a better idea of the universal catastroph that happened in U.S.A. pumping petrol from
    the deepness of the sea. You say that is the beginning. I agree with you. Soon petrol scories
    will arrive in all the seas, also in italian beautiful Mediterranean sea. Do you imagin the costs of Tuscany, those of Lazio, Campania, ecc. full
    of petroleum. This is sad, very sad. There are many people that have no coscienza, responsability. Now, everybody in the world must do something, to help USA for this enourmous emrgency. Now nobody will not believe that men, are like God. This is the
    most important proof.
    Cultura Mugellana – Paolo Campidori

  39. Your writing is powerful and this topic makes me think of the payback humanity will have to face due to our selfish mistake.

    Karma exists.

  40. I am in Philadelphia, and Philadelphia is a long way from the Gulf, but not so far that I don’t sense the death of the ocean. Not so far that I am not mystified at a company the size of BP who didn’t plan for a mishap or a disaster. Not so far that I don’t share responsibility for the social contract that allowed a well to be dug under these circumstances, just so that a can jump into my cars and drive a mile here and a mile there whenever I want. I am part of a nation that has acquired a sense of entitlement that knows no bounds. Will this disaster on our own shore be a wake up call? Is it possible for us to chart another course?

  41. You have a very good point! And i feel exactly the same about this issue. What we are doing to the world is horrible. And like you said. We killed an ocean. It’s a horrible thing and i can only hope that things will start looking up soon.

    Also you have a very well written blog, I very much enjoyed reading what i have read so far. So i’ll definitely be keeping a watch on your blog. I like i. And you’ve got a new reader. 😉

    http://www.jojolindsey.wordpress.com

  42. This whole crisis is a result of the previous Republican administration’s “Deregulation” success. It was nothing less than putting rediculous sums of wealth into the hands of a few over what was best for their country and fellow countrymen. They “Deregulated” oil, banking, mine safety, food and drugs, you name it. Every other country out there requires a parallel safety/relief well be drilled at the same time as the original one – except for the United States! Even without that, they knew they had broken safety equipment, without the batteries to run it – yet still they started it up. Killed 11, polluted an ocean and ruigend countless miles of beach/wetlands – all because lobbiests won over what’s best for a nation!

  43. What needs doing is to plonk a flat-bottomed oil tanker full of wet cement straight on this squirting little leak of an oil spill out there in the Gulph, like slapping a greased up plug in a hole in the dike, like that Dutchman did, what’s his name.

  44. I completely agree with you. I think I’m probably more of a “tree-hugger” than you are, as you put it, but there is something about this tragedy that feels different than other oil spills.

    It is indeed a sad time for anyone who understands how volatile a situation we are in, as an overall human race, with respect to how we have been treating the planet.

    Thank you for this considerate post.

  45. There is much you can do. Get active. Speak out. Join groups that protest and write letters and march. Speaking here won’t produce change. Movement produces change. If you don’t like the oil spill, take it upon yourself to DO something. I’m so tired of all the responses that say “How are we going to fix this?” The real question should have been “Why did we let it get this far?” WE did this. WE are responsible. Not Obama. Not our governments. WE didn’t speak up when it was our time. Instead we put the corporate ‘soother’ in our mouth, bought more ‘stuff’ than we needed, packed most of it into a garbage dump, sat on our couches and wined. I’m not being mean – I’m just keeping it real. Get MAD. Then get moving.

  46. Wogan,
    You’ve made some excellent points, but we’d not be able to have read your words, if it were not for computers and email,… and where did those things come from ?

  47. I totally agree with what you are saying it is a disaster. We need to pray and act. In the future money should not be all we live for as a society.

  48. I’ve worked with BP, his practices about HES ( Health, Environment and Safety ) are so rigorous – or this I thinked – I don’t know how an enterprise with all the Nature colours in its logo could make this !!!
    Oh….the blue of the sea isn’t in its logo ………

  49. I really enjoyed your blog – as a new blogger, I appreciate seeing people who are thinking through what they write and why. The BP oilspill is a topic I have yet to approach. I know I feel so impotent and completely at the mercy of government. It’s government rulings that could have avoided the whole thing – other countries insist on special stop-valves (there’s a better way to indicate the technicalities – but you get the point). Without these safety measures, you can’t drill. But the States doesn’t have these. Europe does. Even Venezeula does but not the States. It was the lack of regulations that allowed this type of drilling so close to their shores – and look where the world is now.

  50. In Nigeria more oil is spilled in a year than what has leaked into the gulf. And what was “spilled” into the gulf is a hell of alot. The life expectancy in Nigeria is 40 years old. But nobody hears about it. The oil companies will trash any place they can get away with, they have rarely been held accountable, till now when they do it in broad daylight right on the US Coast. Heres the article.
    http://www.blacklistednews.com/news-8987-0-23-23–.html
    Ive also seen a documentary about it years ago. Nothing gets done. We need to find clean, sustainable sources of energy. I think its already feasible but the oil companies want to bleed the earth dry first and make what billions they can off of a substance we dont really need necessarily anymore. Cars can run off hydrogen, we can get electricity from solar, wind and water power. We can devise more efficient generators and machines. Why arent we pursuing it? Because these billionaires have been running everything with no-one to answer to. What oil, and petro-chemicals, and plastics have done to our shorelines, lands and oceans, is just criminal.

  51. This is a really powerful post. I think your dream meant a lot more than you make of it. We ARE destroying our planet. And this may be the first time it’s hit you, but for some people, they’ve been having such dreams for ten, twenty or even fifty years. Stay in upstate NY, you’re safer there than people are in many other places.

  52. We need to learn from this. But what? how about the incremental cost of consumption? What about the need to make green and sustainability a top priority in our lives?

  53. I live in New Orleans and your dream is being dreamt all over this city. Except we are envisioning a hurricane causing a huge fire on the gulf due to the dispersants and the oil poisoning the city and Lake Pontchartrain. BP has lied so much and continues to. Louisiana, I wish you could have seen how beautiful Grande Isle is/was. We are so fearful we are losing everything and this time we won’t be able to recover.

  54. Wogan, you called the oil spill a black dot. I’d like to point out the obvious: a dot on a satellite image translates into gigantic on earth terms. The fact that it’s visible at all from satellite is extremely disturbing.

  55. This is to wogan: How can you write this off as if it serves americans right? Of course its because of their insane capitalism and greed that the oil spill happend but not EVERYONE is to blame. How can you say that its justice? Is it justice that the pelicans and fish and shrimp and other marine life have to die and suffer? Did nature get what it deserves?

  56. You don’t have to be “green” to care about the environment. Your concerns are totally valid and I think others would agree with you. I will never understand how human beings are capable of such atrocities; this isn’t the first oil spill, and you’re absolutely right – who thought drilling an inaccessible oil well was a good idea?

  57. Thank you for writing what I feel. I can’t seem to shake that quivery, ‘I’m about to cry’ feeling when I think about this oil disaster (‘spill’ sounds like such a tiny word, like, “Oops, I spilled the milk”).

  58. I live in Paris, France, and I feel quite the same as you. This is far worse than just the “worse ecological disaster in the history of the United States” as they put it in the media.
    It’s a worldwide disaster, that will probably affect, not just the local environment, but our health just like Tchernobyl did.
    We are all sick of our addiction to oil.

    I wrote a post on a French website and most people cannot be bothered yet, or feel so powerless they feel they cannot respond.

  59. I refuse to dwell on the worst environmental disaster in my lifetime and choose to consider it a new beginning; one where it creates new jobs, technology to reverse the severe death to wetlands, wildlife, peoples lives, jobs and our precious ocean. We are here to clean it up; so let us all put positive energy and action into the recovery phase. Do what we do best; recover from disasters.

  60. Wogan, Lyn nailed your lame rant. The oil spill will stop, the mess will be cleaned up mostly by nature cause oil is from nature.

  61. No matter whether you are a “green person” or not we all better wake or their will be no green left.We all need to do our part to get off the addiction to oil and generate more of our power with renewable sources.If we all help,it can be done before it is too late.Go here and see how some tips and how you can help http://www.mikesbestreviews.com It is very sad to see the animals and people this is impacting.

  62. Your piece really expresses the feelings of many people. It is a disaster that unites the world, or not… I got even more worried when I read an article in a Dutch Technical Magazine; also in disasters like this we seem not to be able to make use of the worldwide expertise in oil spill response. I translated the article a place it on published it on WordPress http://bvandenbrink.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/first-dutch-oil-sweepers-to-the-gulf-of-mexico/

  63. I really related to your post, and I feel your pain and your frustration…I’m so there too. You said in your post “How did they not know that drilling a well that is inaccessible to humans was a disaster waiting to happen? And how were they not prepared for that disaster? ” The horrible truth is that they did know….this exact same thing happened in 1979 off the coast of Mexico, but that well was only in 20o feet of water instead of 5,000 feet of water as is the case in the current disaster. They couldn’t handle this disaster over 30 years ago in only 200 feet of water, so what business did they have doing the same thing in 5000 feeet!! It’s disgusting!!!

  64. Very well put. And I totally agree. People’s greed has gone way too far, and we can’t expect to keep living like that with no consequence. It really upsets me too, and I’m not directly affected either, living in Wisconsin.

  65. I am NOT a treehugger but I am ECO-friendly, so it will really effect my life. Like a scar in the “I love Earth” part of my heart! I will remember all of the people that have risked their lives to pump up oil. But that picture…THAT is just WRONG! You know what! TURN ON LIGHTS. DON’T TURN THEM OFF! SEE HOW LIFE IS LIKE WITHOUT OIL! MORE GOOD, HAPPY LIVES (HOPEFULLY)! Now THAT’S what SHOULD happen. EVERYONE would be ECO-friendly. Paint recycling signs on TRASH bins. THAT is a GOOD idea. I KNOW IT.

  66. Your title says it all. The politicians are going on and on about how they’ll bring justice to those affected (BS) …but what it comes down to is what you wrote: we’ve done something irreversibly wrong here. And have been for decades: it’s only now that we’re seeing the consequences. The world needs to wake up!

  67. CSeaPerkings, creating jobs to fix things that shouldn’t have happened is hardly helpful. It’s like the broken window fallacy of economics. All the money spent on this won’t get spent on something else.

    On the other hand, I don’t think that ‘future generations’ won’t enjoy the ocean. It’s just that BP should go bankrupt fixing the mess it did(unless they’re too big to fail and the fool in chief will bail them out, since it’s trendy lately).

    Oh, and the people clamoring about greed, do you drive a car? If you do, dump it and buy a bike. Stop being greedy. Obviously only others are greedy, not us. If it’s greed, the best thing the government can do is let BP fix it and let them spend themselves into oblivion. Greed also entails fear of loss so it will be a lesson for the future for other oil companies. Just like letting all the morons on Wall Street fail would have been a lesson. But I doubt that it will happen. I think they will pull another Long Term Capital Management.

  68. I absolutely agree with you! And the sad thing is, we don’t seem to be hearing anything in the media that hints at people reconsidering the whole notion of raping the planet…this won’t get companies like BP to question the very notion of digging for oil; it will just get marked off as an insurance cost and they’ll just keep digging away while they try and think of ways to do it “better.” As you said, it is scary how incredibly arrogant humans can be. At some point, we have to realise how small and insignificant we are and focus on letting the environment look after us, rather than pretending we are able to look after it.

  69. Yes, I feel you and have very similar feelings. You put it down in words very well. Enjoyed the read! I tend to blame BP, but we did do this to our planet.

  70. Your dream can be a reality in a flash …should the oil that has sunk to the depths of the ocean floor, form the same kind of gas bubble that caused the initial explosion to begin with, and come within sparking distance of just one of the MANY thermal vents, dotting that region of the ocean floor, that are emitting heat, and steam @ temperatures equaling molten rock, and Lava…

    Well, let’s just say, that your dream…could very easily, and practically be a premonition, or even a prophetic warning.

    Sorry, I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble…but, this is no leak, or slight spill people, more like an oil spewing underwater volcano, which is building pressure minute by minute… and in my opinion…was no accident.

  71. It upsets me too. 😦 I keep thinking about the poor animals that are dying and how our waters are being polluted and it’s just disgusting. 😦

  72. This is good.. what you’ve written I mean. I only hope that the government will have their eyes opened to what is happening to our ocean. If it keeps flowing out of the bottom of the ocean.. don’t you think it will also affect many others across the globe? I think so.. I’m also not really an ocean fanatic, but this spill is quite frustrating! Great post!

  73. perfectly said. you are an amazing writer! i agree completely. it really scares me that it isn’t stopping, and it makes me sad that there is nothing i/we can do about it. 2012?

  74. I find it unconscionable that the ocean is dying a slow yet all this because of humans. I find it inconceivable that the leaders of major oil companies does nothing more and what to scale internationally. Water is a common global

  75. It’s a shame the most powerful nation in the world that would save us from an alien invasion, they just can’t plug a hole.

  76. A well written essay about a tragic blow to humanity, the animal kingdom and our mother, Earth.
    As Patch Adams said just a week ago, in a conference in Tijuana, Mexico: “If we don’t change our ways from greed to compassion, I do not see a future for the human race.”
    I could not agree more. My daughter and I are as devastated as the poor sea animals who are the victims of our folly.

  77. Beautifully written. Heard this morning US will take criminal action against BP- and so they should. However, this is now a tragedy of HUGE proportions, I think all oil companies should work together to find a solution!!!

  78. Now it needs to give a Franc Zappa, thereby he to compose a song : Oil on the water, corruption in Sky die on the beach.

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  82. As reported on the Dianne Rhem show, if this is not capped, it could flow for years. How much has to leak out into this Ocean for the Ocean to be mortally wounded? So goes the Ocean, so goes Us.

  83. This is the price we have to pay for being so dependent on fossil fuels. This is the price for eating up all natural resources. This is the price for being so condescendent with politiciens corruption: out of control, MMS corruption and a transatlantic catastrophe.

    I would recommend you to watch the DVD Manufactured Landscapes.

    And by the way, good quote to close the post. I will do the same with your permission: God bless the Gulf and rest in peace to all the lives lost, human and animal alike.

    Regards.

  84. The image of the bird upsets me deeply.
    I can’t imagine how many millions of animals suffer at the hands of human selfishness and greed.

    Humans don’t deserve this earth. We show such little respect to something we depend on. I am reminded of the infamous speech by Chief Seattleon the Web of Life :

    “This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

    One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator. ”

    The native americans were so wise – to them, earth and the animals in it were sacred. To destroy it would be destroying ourselves. Now we see how true his words are.

  85. This is an absolute travesty to the environment but the powers that be seem more concerned about the bottom dollar and public perception!

  86. I must say that every day events done by people have really caused me to lose faith in humanity, but at the same time posts like this and all the people who commented reminds me that there really are good people out there.. You just have to shift through all the blatant corruption and greed.

    The oil spill sends me into a fit of fury of rage. How could something like this happen for the almighty dollar? Some people act as though it isn’t a big deal.. Sigh..

    Something that really angered me was when the spill first happened and BP was stating that it wouldn’t be that bad if they could burn off the oil that was reaching the surface and all the oil still in the ocean depths wouldn’t be a problem.

    This is what they are telling people. How?! How the hell is it not a problem? The ocean is a constantly moving ecosystem. All it would take is an ocean storm and all of the oil that supposedly “isn’t a problem ” to be gushed up on the surface.

    I recently did a research paper for a college class on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. The effects from THAT spill are still being felt and many of the animal species still haven’t, and some will never, recover. This new spill has surpassed the Exxon spill..

    And yet our government is hardly involved, BP is stalling, and mistakes are being made, and time is not an ally.

    How much more must it take, how much more will we, as a people do, before we realize that consumption, materialistic gains, expansion, and money aren’t the most important aspects of who and what we are?

    Ok.. Done ranting. Thanks for the great post!

  87. Mayority of the problems are man made. Why we don’t care? Why we are so blind? Why we do nothing and watch passively? Why USA create problems with their profit drive policy to destroy poor people all over the world?
    US citizens, wake up!

  88. i am so upset with this spill that i actually wake up in cold sweat. although i am all the way in hong kong and this is in gulf of mexico. i cannot help thinking about how we are fucking this world up. what type of world do we want to leave our children with? all the idiots working for bp, halliburton, shell, chevron – they are so irresponsible. they ought to be jailed. when someone gets killed, we jail the criminals. how about this? people, animals, the ecosystem will suffer for years to come…

  89. “How did they not know that drilling a well that is inaccessible to humans was a disaster waiting to happen? And how were they not prepared for that disaster? How far our arrogance has taken us and how far we have fallen and how awful that the totally innocent have to pay the price.”

    Amen.

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  91. Eventually the gulf will recover, eventually.But the cost to peoples livelihoods, wildlife and marine life will be devastating. Could it have been avoidable? This is not the first oil spill to have occurred but lets hope it will be the one where everyone has learnt not to let this happen again. I live in Florida along one of the area’s white beaches, how long will it take before the oil hits? Who knows.
    A timely post, thanks for sharing.

  92. Gosh, I love your writing-style! But I don’t know what to say about the spill that hasn’t already. We do live unusual lives, don’t we? So disrespectful of the earth…

    I watched the film, Apocalypto, last night; I saw it once before- soon after it was released, but I had an urge to see life, once again, before machines: like your post, it made me ponder.

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  94. Hi,

    Very nice what you wrote, from his point of view, really nice. I identified with the text and now I live in Brazil and have the same feeling, the same fear.

    If I may, I will be translating the text into Portuguese and publishing on my blog, respecting their copyrights. I will also be adding this link to my favorite Facebook, and Twitter Blog.

    Tks for great text.
    Kisses and smiles.
    Ielo

  95. @ WHY it is taking BP so long to stop the flow of oil from the broken pipe.

    This is not too trivial. 1st of all, we use oil for many things, not just cars. 2nd of all, the blamed really cannot be pointed at the current admin. but their lack OF response.
    However, this will probably happen again. It will happen, because, even though environmentalists are sincere, they are sincerely WRONG.
    Most oil rigs are less than 1000 feet down, this one is a mile- WHY? Because the sincerely WRONG people did not want to ‘hurt the sea life’- but look what their ‘do-gooding’ has done.
    THEY ARE responsible for this current mess. And given the FACT that they have the $, they should bring in the Russians who know what to do when this happens.

  96. I was just thinking about this last night. Sitting here in my apt in the middle of Iowa, I thought, what is going on down there? Why haven’t they stopped the oil from gushing out? I told my boyfriend that I too have this “preminitional” feeling that something really bad is going to happen. There will be harsh consequences to this oil spill. I can’t imagine how they are going to stop the burst (not a leak, a leak is minor, this is catastrophic) let alone clean up the enormous mess they’ve already caused. We’re in need of a miracle or suffer dier consequences…

  97. Well, I am a tree huger and one of those people who is really drawn to the ocean and the water and loves fish and dolphins. And I am equally upset about this. I want to grow up and become a marine biologist to do anything I can to help the environment.

    I have solar pannles on top of my house too, and we live in a very sunny region where the sun and wind (sometimes) is in excess. A lot of developements and experiments are taking place in my country (Greece) to try to imporve them.

    I agree with what someone above said, don’t take a dream so powerful and moving and relevant lightly. But be careful how you interpret it. My paternal grandmother who was italian used to believe that dreams were the OPPOSITE of what is really going to happen. No joke she could make scarily accurate predictions based on her dreams because she would figure out the likely opposiute. I don’t mean everything is oging to be fine and dadny and we arent killing the environment, But maybe its just that this isn’t what is going to do us in. Or maybe then ending is different. Or maybe we WILL be able to save ourselves by people waking up and doing their part. the LEAST you can do is be eco friendly on your comp. Everyone uses google soo often now, so they came up with a sister site Blackle (www.blackle.com) which has a black screen and saves tons of energy.

    Hope you rest a bit better,
    Mirella
    http://www.mirellarose.wordpress.com

    (p.s. other than this, very funny posts!)

  98. Well written. I think it’s important not to fear, but to pray. Boycott BP. I know many will lose their jobs, and the economy will take a hit, but we need to send a BIG message to the industry: You may not do this to our planet.

  99. ‘Well, I am a tree huger and one of those people who is really drawn to the ocean and the water and loves fish and dolphins’

    -I grew up in the Hamptons on L.I., I love animals, sea life, etc. as well-BUT, the facts are the facts, if that spill/explosion was not a mile deep and only 500 feet, because of the environmentalists, we would NOT have this problem.
    We can get rid of the problem by getting the Russians, paying them to do what they always do.

  100. Humans do create waste while they live. The hunterer-gatherers did it. The agriculturalists did it. The industrial age people are doing it. The Soft Age people will also do it.

    But the load is increasing and the mother earth can no longer bear it. If we do not stop by ourselves, we will have to stop eventually.

  101. Jonatan: Goog video, I’ll post it on my blog.

    Mirellarose: What you say about Blackle is a good idea but mostly in CRT monitors, even so I encourage people to use it in LCD monitors. Last but not least I would recommend readers to take into account the measures that are numberedd at the end of this post.

    Bye everybody.

  102. Often corporations like BP use one disaster to distract us from what they are really doing. BP seems to be trying to distract us from a highly controversial issue that Canada may be okaying in the near future: the tar sands oil pipeline through Canada and the USA. Is this why BP hasn’t tried too hard to stop this leak? Are they using it as a diversionary tactic?

  103. Boycotting BP will stop ANY progress. It will BK them from doing the work that they NEED to get done-bad idea, very bad. If anything, they need our most heartfelt prayers in getting this taken care of.

    • I’m sure they have enough money to repair this spill and some more. Questions like those ones raised by April make me think in the opposite way you think.

      Time will give us the answer, perhaps…

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  105. I agree. This whole oil spill killed the ocean. And if it is more dangerous here, I will eventually move… to Australia. But there is still an ocean there. I think that it would be fixed, but people don’t want to be wasting money, but when money depends on the world then that is when they should use it.

  106. I don’t even know where to begin… a disaster like this will have repercussions for decades to come. My mother is completely bothered by the lack of effective response. I don’t know if it’s a matter of can’t or won’t or money. Regardless, the problem is getting worse by the second and … and what? What can we do? It’s so frustrating that we (readers, viewers, watchers) can’t physically DO something. It’s beyond my capacity as a twenty-something person with limited funds to really help in a meaningful way. 😦

  107. This is going to have a huge ripple effect on the wildlife in the area. It kills more every single day and I don’t feel like we are working fast enough to get the problem fixed.

  108. Wondering why all that is happening ?Are you really surprised? That’s the way ah ah ah …bla bla bla …becoming rich at any cost killing microbes and viruses with all our might …
    Do you know what a mirror is ?How cheap it is !
    Science is teaching science is the teacher …ethical behaviour is a joke for turtles…
    YOU YOU YOU universities student are almost the only one that can truly make a difference are you still afraid of your teacher ?Are you still stupidly obedient despite all T’HAT and necktie ????Are you ready to do anything to keep playing tennis with the «pro»? Do cry it’s time to weep and ch’ange the world …evolve !

    • Hi Marco, the memories I have from university are really good because I had the fortune of having some professors who opened my eyes to other realities. That’s why there are two “Pericos”. One before the university and one after.

      Regards.

  109. We are poisoning the planet. It’s like we think we can buy another one this planet goes bad. Crazy thinking. If the planet gets Cancer, we better quickly get the space program looking for a way to save mankind, and find a new world. But sadly if we don’t learn to stop these practices, we will destroy that one as well.

  110. “Desperate men grab at straws when drowning.”

    BP, Obama’s regime, and the entire oil industry ‘brain thrusts’ obviously, have never had a clue on how to end this ecological disaster and are now willing to try everything hoping that something, anything, will work to save their bacon.

    All this effort will not stop the crude oil to completely cease flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. It will create a DEAD ZONE affecting perhaps the whole ocean system.

    The oil industry profited in $trillions over the years however, they failed to plan for this because it would have cost a bit of their money. More, if they did their homework perhaps it would have proven that extraction was wrong in such deep waters. They were negligent because they did not prepare adequate solutions for an ‘accident’ like this. $GREED$ blinded them and now humanity and animal and plant life has to pay.

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      • I have sent what I can. Wasnt a whole hell of a lot, but I am doing what I can. One thing is certain; boycotting these people is very dumb, it puts them OUT OF WORK. We need all the help we can down there.

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