gulf oil spill
From CNN yesterday:
"This (oil disaster) is something that's not going to affect just the Gulf coastal areas," [Jessica Maholm, wife of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm] said. "It's going to affect the whole country with the seafood, the animals and the ecosystem."
[On Tuesday, Maholm and others from the Baseball Wives Cheritable Foundation toured regions of southern Louisiana affected by the spill.]
Ever heard of National Sugar Cookie Day? (No, Iâ€™m not making it up.) Itâ€™s July 9th, this Friday, and this year it marks the kick-off of The Great Bake for Oceansâ€™ Sake.
Casey Sokolovic, 12, and Alexa BeMent, 10, are organizing The Great Bake to help save wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. The two budding activists were searching for a way to help in the Gulf (and to get everyone else involved) and they have found the tastiest way to do so.
Well, itâ€™s official: oil has now made land in every Gulf Coast state.
With the sight of oil on a Texas beach, itâ€™s clear that this spill is a full-out assault on the Gulf Coast.
And the news just keeps getting grimmer in Louisiana. Over the weekend, tar balls were sighted in Lake Pontchartrain, which borders New Orleans. That spells trouble for the regionâ€™s remaining working fishermen, many of whom have taken their boats to the lake since fishing in the Gulf came to a halt.
More than 115,000 people have signed our petition to stop offshore drilling. Will you?
From yesterday's Washington Post:
"The high tide came in and left a deep, black line of oil on the rocks," [Craig] Morse says. "As the tide went down, the oil bled down the rocks. It looked like a murder scene. You could see the hermit crabs trying to find refuge outside of the water, away from the oil."
From yesterday's New York Times:
"Itâ€™s not just fishermen,â€ť said Captain Pete [Lacombe, dive master in the Florida Keys], who is 45. â€śItâ€™s dive boat operators, instructors, mates, the guys who fill up our tanks. This [oil spill] could be potentially devastating for all of us.â€ť
Pearl Jam, celebrated for decades of rock music and activism, have launched a new effort in response to the oil spill, and itâ€™s all about -- you guessed it -- protecting the oceans.
Oceana is a partner in the effort, and their new website, http://pearljam.com/oceans, includes information about what you can do to live blue, including how to eat sustainable seafood, support clean energy, and help with the Gulf clean-up and restoration effort.
From yesterday's CNN.com:
"Until the weather subsides, all we can do is have everything ready to attack and remove this oil once we have weather that's more conducive," said Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft, who delivered a briefing for the Coast Guard on Wednesday.
"We've been held hostage for the last two days due to the prevailing weather," he said.
"When seas get over 3 feet high, the skimmers become ineffective. They wind up gathering water and not oil," he said.
Like many of the messages at Monday's TEDxOilSpill conference, John Francisâ€™s was one of hope. Francis, who hasn't used a motorized vehicle since the 1970s and undertook a 17-year vow of silence, gave one of the funniest and most moving talks of the day, underscoring the crucial role that listening plays in activism.
In the early 1970s, Francis stopped riding in vehicles after witnessing an oil spill in San Francisco Bay. He later decided to take a vow of silence, initially for just one day, "because," he said, "I was talking too much." It was more than 6,000 days later before he spoke again. During that time he went on a pilgrimage by foot across America on behalf of the environment and world peace.
Francis finally spoke at the Washington, DC celebration of the 20th anniversary of Earth Day in 1990 to â€śspeak for the environmentâ€ť and to thank the audience for their participation at the event.
At Monday's conference, he urged the audience to not just listen, but act. â€śWeâ€™re going to have to do something," he said. "This is our moment. We are going to have to change our lives. Iâ€™m inviting us to change our lifestyle. We have such responsibility and such power that we can really make a big difference.â€ť
Here's a short video I took of Francis (he played banjo briefly before he spoke), and to learn more, you can watch his full TED talk from 2008.
From yesterday's Examiner:
â€śThe spill was tragically timed for sea turtles that are nesting in the Gulf right now,â€ť said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director for the Center [for Biological Diversity]. â€śNewly hatched sea turtles are swimming out to sea and finding themselves in a mucky, oily mess. News that BP has blocked efforts to rescue trapped sea turtles before theyâ€™re burned alive in controlled burns is unacceptable.â€ť
At yesterdayâ€™s TedxOilSpill, I spoke to the crowd about the questions I hear most from people who donâ€™t see eye to eye with me on why the disaster in the Gulf is our call to action.
Here are my responses to the naysayers -- feel free to use these with any clean energy skeptic you come across.
1) Isn't the Deepwater drilling disaster just like an airplane crash? We don't shut down aviation when a plane crashes.
No. In an airplane crash, most of the victims are those who were on the airplane. In this case, most of the victims are the millions of people living in the Gulf. This is more like the guy who built a campfire in the dry season, against regulations, and burned down the national forest and all the towns and cities alongside it. That's why we have regulations against building campfires during the dry season: Not because every camper burns down his campsite, but because all we need is one. We have laws against dry season campfires, and we should have laws against ocean oil drilling.
2) There are 3600 drilling platforms in the gulf. Are you going to shut them all down?
We're not calling for a shutdown of the platforms, just of drilling. Once the wells are drilled, the risks go down. The pumping can continue, but the drilling has to stop.
3) So then isn't this just a deep-water problem? Can't we continue in the shallow water?
Ocean drilling in shallow water is also very risky. One of the top three oil drilling disasters of all time, Ixtoc 1, was in 160 feet of water. And last August, the Montara rig blow-out near Australia, which took 11 weeks to control, was in just 250 feet of water.