The range of reactions to the BP oil spill seem to spread like the slick itself — many miles wide, and, all too frequently, a fraction of an inch deep.
On one end of the spectrum is the no-nothing blather of Rush Limbaugh:
“The ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and left out there. It’s natural. It’s as natural as the ocean water is.”
On the other end are the Apocalyptic warnings from some blogs that the End is near.
“With the best technology available to man, the Deepwater Horizon rig popped a hole into that reserve and was overwhelmed. If this isn’t contained, it could poison all the oceans of the world.”
What we do know about the BP oil spill
One month out, damage reports from the Gulf are beginning to arrive. Writing for True/Slant ten days ago, I listed the top five websites for seeing images of the oil spill itself. For images and descriptions of the actual damages, I’d add the YouTube channel of the Ocean Futures Society.
The Ocean Futures Society is the work of Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the late-great ocean explorer, Jacques Cousteau. In the video above, Cousteau visits Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, where oil from the BP spill has already fouled wetlands. (See map below)
We haven’t learned much from our past catastrophes, but I believe that this one is so big that it is a wake-up call.
The video shows:
Globs of brown oil floating in marshlands…
…and creatures soaked in oil…
…and an interview with parish president Billy Nungesser who tells Cousteau that the potential for damage to an area that is the breeding ground for 80 percent of the fish in the entire Gulf of Mexico “ought to scare the hell out of us.”
Scary, yes. But watch this and other OFS videos to see what’s really at stake in the Gulf of Mexico because of the BP Deepwater oil disaster.
(Full disclosure – JM Cousteau wrote a very kind blurb for a book I wrote.)