More than a popular nature photography contest
Since the explosion on a British Petroleum (oops, sorry, just “BP” as we wouldn’t want to pretend that this energy company works with oil, just as KFC doesn’t “fry” any food) oil rig on April 20, 2010, a tremendous amount of oil has been spewing from the seafloor a mile down and into the Gulf of Mexico. The National Wildlife Federation, home to one of the more competitive nature photography contests in North America, has started a campaign to assist wildlife threatened by BP’s oil as it washes onto the shoreline. I now have a link that will take you to their donation page on the top of the sidebar on the right side of my Blog.
Environmental Effects of Crude Oil on the Gulf Coast
I will soon be on Lake Michigan’s shoreline to work on a story about the potential effects on the tourism industry should Asian Silver and Bighead carp should they successfully colonize Lake Michigan, or the effects on people living in the Chicago area should they close the Sanitary and Ship Canal that forms the artificial connection between the Mississippi River basin and the Great Lakes basin. However, just as I was finalizing my proposal, BP’s oil rig exploded.
Sarah Palin’s mantra during the 2008 presidential campaign, “Drill, baby, drill,” suddenly and perversely betrayed the cruel reality of offshore drilling: “Spill, baby, spill.” (There is always risk in oil exploration: even if you are a staunch supporter of increased energy exploration, you cannot deny that there is always some risk of a catastrophic event, even if you believe it to be unlikely.)
For a moment in time, I contemplated changing my proposed story altogether, and travel to Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Texas, and Mexico (should oil enter the Loop Current, all of the coastline will be covered). Cuba would be a good place to go as well, but that would be difficult as an American. However, I believed then, as the events of the past month have reinforced for me, that the environmental damage is incalculable and that the story of the effects could only begin when the spilling of oil has stopped.
Instead, I watch alongside everyone else as a commercial industry, which some proclaim hold the answers to all catastrophes, and should therefore be entrusted with the future of our natural environmental, fails to stop the worst oil still in United States history.