Friday, April 30, 2010

John Besh, chef and restaurateur, on the effects of the river of oil in the Gulf on the fishing industry:
But for years these fishermen have been discounted by the government. Allowing the rampant importation of sub-quality shrimp into our country was a huge slap in the face. And this disaster is another: we're acting so slowly when this has been brewing for 10 days. It took the press to tell the story that has politicians up in arms. But it's been 10 days!

I understand that it takes the government time to mobilize. But I was in the Marine Corps, and I know that if we need to we can strike heavily anywhere in the world in 24 hours. Why aren't we using that kind of enthusiasm and drive to protect our coastland? I don't think half the people in Washington have a clue of what's at stake. This is a fragile ecosystem that has had to survive so much already. We've had the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers nearly destroy nearly a third of it by dredging various canals, and there have been the aftereffects of hurricane after hurricane.

Then there's the effect of the very powerful petroleum industry, which no one has wanted to comment on. I'm not against the oil companies—they're our biggest customers (even though I'm a little tired of hearing "BP," since last I heard it was British Petroleum). But we could very well lose this entire ecosystem down here, and it would be catastrophic for the country.

These are federal waters. It's not a natural disaster, whatever I hear people say on television. It's so frustrating. The Federal government has known about this for 10 days. It should have said, "We're going to act now," and not wait for BP to take action. This is unprecedented—not a little spill from a ship. We do want to hold these companies responsible. But first and foremost, we need to protect citizens. This is much more than about birds. It's about a culture, an economy, the livelihood of thousands and thousands of people—and wetlands that have been the most concentrated source of seafood production for our entire country.
It's no wonder the fishermen are lawyering up, and it will be even less of a surprise when seafood prices double. I look forward to seeing the film Dambala comes back with from the environmental killing fields...if I'm not still sick from just thinking about all of these goings-on.

Track the updates on Horizon Platform catastrophe through the NPR-created Twitter list.

Check Humid City for a call for 500 paid workers to help clean up the mess.

The very idea that we're taking any of this lightly is repulsive to me.

Deepwater Horizon Response site is here. Brace yourself for the Flickr slideshow.

Any other links & stuff? Leave 'em in the comments and I'll update as I get 'em.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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