The Scope of the Oil Spill is “Beyond Belief”…
July 1, 2010

Oil spill workers on the Biloxi beach.....

Since I got back from down South, the first thing people ask me after the polite “Did you have a good time“, is “Did you see any oil?” The answer to that is… a little. We were in Biloxi that has, so far, not been too impacted by the BP oil spill. But I took a walk on the beach there to see what was going on….and something that wasn’t going on, was fun and games on the beach. Only one family getting ready for a day at the seaside(and this was a Saturday)…I guess everyone else was busy losing money at the casinos, which have pretty much gobbled up this little seaside town.

Dead fish....plenty of them....

But I did see lots of dead fish on the beach….that can’t be the norm. And there were workers picking up the black stuff you see in the pictures and taking it in baggies for analysis…the head guy said it was oil, but they test it anyway.

Oil at the water's edge....

But if you want to see what really happening out on the gulf that no one can see from the beach(hello, network reporters)…check out the video from Alabama conservationist John Wathen..here’s a link. Quite simply, it is devastating. He’s been filming on flights out over the gulf, ever since the spill began, and what he is now seeing, is so much more widespread and horrifying than anything shown on network news, with pods of dolphins dead and in distress. He says on the video, “The scope of the oil spill is beyond belief.  Why aren’t the networks  out flying themselves over the Gulf  to see what’s going on… they seem pretty content with talking heads and a reporter on the beach. Get out there. Go see for yourselves what’s happening to this beautiful body of water and the creatures that live in it and around it. Please?

little bits of crude start to wash up in Biloxi...these will be tested...

I heard this morning an NBC  reporter say that BP had done testing on the oil and the dispersants, and found that the dispersants, while toxic, aren’t as toxic as the oil. How lovely. But adding millions of gallons of something that’s a little less toxic, to the millions of gallons of toxic oil=more toxicity…..doesn’t it?  Am I missing something? The math sounds a little hinky. And some experts say the big problem with the dispersants is that it is just hides the problem and is killing the oxygen in the water…yeah, that’s oxygen the fish need to live.  My brother-in-law George lives in Gulf Shores, Alabama….he tells me he has personally seen for the first time in his lifetime, huge schools of fish at the surface of the water, like a feeding frenzy, only they’re not eating anything….they’re trying to breathe. If that doesn’t hit you in the gut, then you’re tougher than me.

And I understand the  frustration of the people who live in the area seeing their way of life possibly spoiled forever….it’s an area that for the most part, did not vote for President Obama, and I can tell him that many of them feel, mistakenly I think, that he doesn’t really care. They just want to see definitively, that EVERYTHING  that can be done, IS being done. So let’s do it. Again, a plea for cutting the red tape…use all available help…now.

Back from vacation!!
June 28, 2010

Strange bar we went to in NOLA.....

I have a lot to share with you…which I will dutifully do this week…but today is a busy day..hundreds of emails to sort through and eventually trash. And all the stuff that had been under my desk I came to find piled on TOP of my desk….I am surmising a thorough vaccuming was going on, or it’s a not so subtle sign to get rid of this stuff, which I did. I must admit, it does look better.

Let’s see, I hopped around a  bit on this holiday…two days in New Orleans, two days in Biloxi(for a wedding) and a week at my family’s place on  Smith Lake north of Birmingham, with my sisters and their husbands, though my baby sister left a couple of days in for a trip to Africa to see her son who’s on a mission trip there. And it was very interesting seeing a little of what’s going on at the Gulf Coast. I read just this morning, oil has washed up at in Mississippi in Ocean Springs, a darling little town right next door to Biloxi. Not happy news.

Fresh shucked oysters....a NOLA tradition....

But in New Orleans, I didn’t find people obsessed with the situation…sure they talk about it and worry about what it will mean, but life rolls on in the Big Easy…they’ve already seen a lot of suffering after Katrina, and while there were signs in a few restaurants that they weren’t serving Gulf seafood(makes some people nervous I guess)…..we went to an oyster bar in the quarter for some fabulous oysters on the half shell. I asked the bartender where they were getting their oysters these days. He said, “Oh, they’re still from Louisiana, so far…some of the beds are closed, but some are still open. We have to go a little farther sometimes, to Mississippi or Texas, but we can still get  ’em.” I don’t know how long that will last, but I enjoyed them while I could…Gulf oysters are  fabulously salty bivalves.

And the food there….if you’ve been to New Orleans you know of what I speak…it’s just amazing , though I didn’t have dinner in the Quarter, believe it or not. Tomorrow we’ll take a little food trip to NOLA….Ok?  It’s good to be home.