Posts Tagged ‘oil spill’

oil cleanup up-close report

September 25, 2010
In the midst of all that is going on in the world today, you may find yourself better informed by reading this eyewitness report from the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. Denise Schutte provides an upclose perspective from her visit to a fishing town near the mouth of the Mississippi River.
It will probably take many more of these personal reports for us to figure out what has happened down there, and what we can do to support preventive and corrective measures.

down and dirty in Louisiana, an upclose report from Grand Isle

June 13, 2010

If you want to get a close-up view of what’s really going on in Louisiana, check out this  informative, on-the-island report from the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an organization that  has been monitoring the effects of the oil industry for more than ten years.

Anne Rolfe’s blog post from Grand Isle is quite (dare I use the word in this tragic situation?) refreshing, in this respect: It’s a personal report from a woman who has intimate, historical knowledge of how the oil industry has impacted people in the bayou state.

This particular link, from “the other side of the berm” is, among other things, an honest, eyewitness perspective of the awkward interface between local folks and the world-generated legion of media personnel and volunteers.

Ms. Rolfes presents a fascinating perspective on what is going on down there at the epicenter (from a human standpoint) of our nation’s worst-ever environmental disaster. She opened my eyes to several curious details about the cleanup effort there. I’ll mention just two of them here:

a.) Two businessmen from  California who are, writes Anne, “… hawking a bioengineered, non-toxic, 100% biodegradable oil dispersant product that works by activating water-borne microflora. Armed with a visually impressive video of the stuff in action, they have succeeded in working their way up through the BP bureaucracy to the point of becoming eligible for product field trials-a feat that I understand only about 14 out of hundreds of thousands of products can boast so far. It all sounds pretty good… I wish them luck.”

b.) Volunteers from outside can work for days without encountering a local resident. Anne refers to this personnel disconnect as “weird” because the home folks are generally not interacting with traveling volunteers; they have been asked–by whom I don’t know– to not talk about what’s happening Or maybe they’re just sick and tired of the whole thing.

This cataclysm is weird. I know the feeling. I experienced  somewhat it in 2005 when my wife and I were doing post-Katrina volunteer work in Baton Rouge, but were unable to go to New Orleans because of military or governmental restrictions.

The nightmarish surreality of this disaster prompts me to think in terms of Huxley’s phrase, “brave new world.” Only “the brave” would hazard a trip down to the marshes now, to look square into the face of this monstrosity of human recklessness.

Be advised, though: one Greenpeace writer, mikeg says people are not advised to travel there.  I can understand that. It could be mass confusion. I caught a glimpse of that tendency in post-Katrina work, though the Red Cross was exemplary in their handling of that overflow of manageable volunteers.

Nevertheless, that word “brave” ricochets in my mind. I can’t help thinking that if we are to continue living in a land of the free–free of oil pollution, that is– we must truly rise to the calling of being a home of the brave.

Thank you, Anne Rolfes, for going to Grand Isle, and for giving us your informed view of what is happening there. I’m sure this is but the first of many such reports.  Keep up the good work

Our Prez catching shrapnel from both sides

May 23, 2010

Our President is catching shrapnel from both sides. May God help him.
Carville and Matthews are trashing him from the left, over supposed failure to act against BP on the oil spill. Mr. Obama is not a god, you know.  His job is to preserve the union of our United States, not clean up the Gulf of Mexico.
The trashing of the Gulf of Oil is BP’s responsibility; everyone in the USA knows that. If BP can shift some of the blame onto Transocean and Halliburton, then that’s an issue for them to settle between the three of them. Their combined assets will not clean up the massive extent of oily mess.
I know our President and his administration, and we the people of the United States, are going to hold BP et al accountable for the destruction they have inflicted.

On the right, of course there’s plenty of criticism of our President. Rand Paul says the President is too critical of BP.  Mr. Paul is wrong about that. Whoever this libertarian Kentuckian is, and whatever he’s up to I don’t know, but I hope the guy is not a closet racist, because he’s assuming a serious leadership role in the emerging conservative backlash
Meanwhile, back in other issues of the heartland, the senator wannabe from Kentucky did make a very timely point when he said we need to “get OSHA out of our small businesses. We need to restrain government to let small businesses create jobs,”

Small business and Big business have become two very different entities in the USA, with totally different issues. The teaparty crowd hasn’t figured that out yet. A little instruction from the left, instead of same-old same-old kneejerk vindictive politics, could be helpful.

It’s time for us to muzzle the big dogs so the little one can eat.

You go, Mr. President!  Keep this embattled ship of state on a steady course.

“Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left”      Isaiah 30:21