Unbelievable

As a child, the only disaster familiar to me in Louisiana was a hurricane. I only remembered Hurricane Andrew, because we evacuated to my grandmother’s house, which was higher up, built like a fort and hardly ever flooded. I remember the wind, how fiercely it blew the branches of the oak trees in my grandmother’s front yard. I remember how loud the thunder was, and I remember the amount of times I watched Peter Pan, while we still had power, hoping and praying this would just go away. Andrew didn’t damage us that badly, but as an 8 year old, anything beyond a normal storm was scary.

Fast forward to 2005: Hurricane Katrina. I was actually taking a meteorology class that semester, because I originally wanted to become a broadcast meteorologist. I remember our professor lecturing us on the 3 worst case scenarios for New Orleans, and before LSU closed, it was looking like one of the 3: up the mouth of the Mississippi. I can’t tell you how scared I was, because my family lives right off of the Mississippi River. My Dad couldn’t evacuate, because of where he works and my mother evacuated to my dorm room, bringing my 3 siblings and a 90 lb. anxious yellow lab. It was bad news bears….very scary. By the way, 5 years later, things still aren’t back to normal, folks. My mom still teaches college level classes in a FEMA trailer.

Recently, in case you avoid the news, there was an oil spill. Better yet, I’m not calling it a spill. A spill is an oops…dropped a cup of milk. This thing is a fricking GEYSER a mile below the surface of the water, spewing non-stop into the Gulf of Mexico.

Ugh

I’m avoiding the use of foul language in this post, so you will see this equivalent frequently as I share my thoughts on this. Keep in mind, I really do not care/pay attention to politics. If you think I’m going to rag or praise on Obama, Vitter, Jindal, whoever–this isn’t the right blog. I just don’t pay attention to the politics. Sorry. This post will be solely on the impact this is having right now, and the possible impact it COULD have.

Let me tell you a little something about Louisiana. While we don’t have beautiful blue beaches or the richest people along the Gulf coast, we are a state. We still matter. However, the media seems to think otherwise. Coverage didn’t go crazy until it threatened the pretty beaches of Florida. Florida is HUNDREDS of miles away from where this happened. It took WEEKS for the media to go crazy. Yes, there was coverage, but national news coverage was slim. There were better things to talk about, like Justin Bieber, Lindsay Lohan, NBA Finals, etc. I mean, heaven forbid we miss Lindsay Lohan’s trial…who gives a crud about Lindsay Lohan anymore, anyway?

Back to this subject, on April 20th,  11 people died. 11 of them….these people had families and friends who live all around the state. You might say, oh, that’s not many, but to those families, those people were their WORLD. 

Ugh

This part is sore for me. My Dad works at a refinery, specifically in the part where they turn the crude into the stuff consumers use. Dangerous work. In the late 80s, there was an explosion. 8 people died…people my Dad knew and they were people my Dad was due to work with 2 short hours later. His office was destroyed from the explosion, and all that was left were oiled family pictures.

So, these 11 people died. This selfish BP exec, Tony Hayward, says he wants his life back.

Ugh

Oh wait a second? I’m sorry, you want your life back? Oh, poor poor  Hayward…WAKE THE HELL UP. 11 people died…they will never have their life back! Their families’ lives will NEVER be the same! You are selfish and you suck. It took him over a dang month to apologize to those families after April 20th happened. Oh, so sorry that you had to take an hour out of your life to apologize to those families. Go back to your golf course and 100 year old scotch. Whatever.

Let me throw some numbers your way for a second, which I’m sure you guys are fully aware of. MILLIONS of gallons are spewing out of this geyser into the Gulf every stinking day, and the number is actually GROWING the more they try to “fix” this geyser. Did you know that? The rate of oil spewing out of that dang thing is RISING daily! This crude oil is spewing into the habitats of wildlife, some of which were recently taken off the endangered species list.

Look here and here.

Can you imagine being helpless wildlife, recently having your nesting grounds inundated with this disgusting chemical goop containing God knows what, right now? Can you imagine living day to day in 105-110 degree weather (yes, this is our current heat index) coated in this non-breathable goop. Remember folks, this is oil, it’s slowly cooking these animals to death. These animals can no longer fly or swim away. They are weighed down by this thick crude oil. They will, unfortunately, die without help.

Side note: I wonder how the BP execs would feel inundated with crude oil and left to fend for themselves in the Louisiana sun for days. I’m sure a lot more effort would be put into solving this geyser.

So, these animals have limited help available. However, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WANT TO HELP, but it’s too hazardous apparently. Hmm..maybe we should have thought about this WEEKS ago, and appropriately protected their nesting grounds with booms. Oh wait, you aren’t going to use the hair or fur that are being  donating nationwide to make into booms either?? Oh, it’s because the booms you have are “doing their jobs”, riight….

 Ugh

Another thing, BP. This crude stinks! Some people in Louisiana SMELL that crude daily. I’m sure that’s completely healthy too, right? Oh, and don’t get me started on the industries you have destroyed in our state.

Louisiana is known for our seafood, but hey, you might as well forget about that! We probably won’t have decent Gulf seafood for years. I mean, yeah, we fry our seafood in oil, but we don’t want our seafood pre-oiled with crude. This geyser affected thousands of fishermen. This is their jobs. Not to mention, the bait shops, restaurants and other businesses in the areas where these fishermen worked, oh yeah, those businesses are dead now.

Also, there is now a 6 month offshore drilling ban. So, now the people who worked offshore don’t have jobs for 6 months, including the businesses that helped them out. Good job, BP. Good job. Slowly making Louisiana people broke, while you sit pretty, paying pennies (in comparison to your company’s worth) to help with this oil spill effort. These people affected won’t see settlements for years either.

Ugh

Also, here’s another thought. June 1st marked the beginning of hurricane season. Whatever Gulf state gets hit this season, they are going to get a storm surge full of this disgusting chemical goop. Do you want that at your front door? I didn’t think so. There are theories on what could happen with a storm, but no one really knows. Oil geysers and hurricanes have never personally met before. Should be a fun season, right folks? Not only will people who can’t evacuate be walking in disease-stricken water, oh no, they will be walking with streams of crude as well. Lovely thought….totally healthy.

I have a strange feeling that my children (who are still unfertilized eggs), as teenagers, are going to be dealing with the effects of this geyser. This completely sucks.

By the way, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment away. I promise I’ll comment back as I can.

Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Amazing post. I’m really proud to call you a friend and thankful to have this opportunity to read this perspective. Thank you.

  2. Thank you darlin!! Sometimes people from Louisiana don’t necessarily understand what’s going on, and you expressed everything wonderfully. Even though I’m not currently in LA, my grandfather lived on Grand Isle for over 20 years, so I am very familiar with that culture and those marshes being inundated with oil. One of those widows is even a sorority sister of mine, and I pray for all 11 of those families every day.

    The people of Louisiana have a very strong backbone, and I know they’ll be able to make the best pitcher of lemonade from these spoiled lemons BP has thrown at them. I just wish the flow could get stopped so we can begin our recovery.

    Thanks again for such a marvelous post.

    • Oh gosh. I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss. I can’t even imagine.

      Louisiana has been dealt bad hands before, and the pride in our state is no doubt, amazing. I just want them to stop too, so we can figure out what is going to happen. The unknown is scary.

  3. Thanks for writing that. Sometimes it’s so easy to forget about this travesty, especially since I’m in the mindset that “oh it’s so far away.” It takes the view of someone like you who is close by, and is passionate about the subject to remind us that this is simply unacceptable.

    Do you have any good resources on how we can lend a helping hand?

  4. Thank you for posting this. Although we have never met, I thought about you the other day when I was trimming my dog. I even told my husband about you and the efforts. This situation breaks my heart. I live in Southern California, and the only coverage I really ever hear is from my Google Reader. That’s astounding. Please let us know if there are ways we can help from so far away. I would like to do anything I can to help. However small that donation may be :)

  5. I can feel your pain in your words. This situation is despicable.

  6. This whole situation makes me angry and I live thousands of miles away. I can’t even imagine the anger you guys have down there living with this day in and day out.

  7. I feel the SAME way! I even reposted the blog on my facebook wall.

  8. great post! The other thing that really irks me is how the general public treats BP employees. Sometimes people have a hard time separating their anger for a company and it’s politics from it’s employees. Some of those employees are working around the clock trying to find safer cleaning methods via new chemicals and processes, being away from their families for weeks on end … only to leave their offices and be verbally attacked by protesters, etc. I know they would like their lives back too!

    • Great point..it’s hard for some who are angry to separate the business from the folks who are just doing their job.

      Also, I’m tired of people saying to boycott BP gas. Seriously, they are hurting small business owners who own a franchise, not BP. Also, chances are, they are buying BP gas anyway. BP gas is sold at numerous gas stations, not just ones with a green/yellow label.

  9. I understand that your response to the oil spill very much comes from an emotional spot. I drive past the BP headquarters everyday (in other words, I live in an area that is very heavily occurpied by oil companies). I also work as a contract employee for one of the companies involved in the congressional hearings surrounding the oil rig explosion. Because of this, I tend to look at the situation from a very differenent standpoint then most (mostly because my job can be effected). It upsets me that folks point directly at Tony Hayward. He was not on that rig the day it exploded. It was not his direct actions that caused the spill. Yes, his company does need to handle the cleanup and they have vowed to do that. I think right now BP is more worried about stopping any more oil from spilling into the ocean. We probably will never know exactly what caused this to happen. I think we need to try and understand that if we are going to continue to depend on oil and gas for our everyday conveniences that things like this are going to happen. No matter how many safety precautions are taken, these things cannot be completely eliminated. There are humans working on these rigs. Humans are not perfect. We make mistakes and unfortunately those mistakes can have a major impact. People quickly jerk and want things fixed NOW, when there are factors that simply are in the way. I just wanted to comment from a different standpoint. There are so many lives, both human and animal, involved in this so this is an emotionally charged subject. I hope that you welcome my comments. I thank you for taking the time to express your feelings on something that is so close to your home.

    • I point fingers at Hayward, due to his reactions after this disaster. If I owned a company and something went wrong, I’d be seriously apologizing like crazy and ensuring that I don’t make such inconsiderate comments in front of the nation.

      I’m aware that BP’s focus is on stopping the spill. It needs to be stopped, first and foremost, so we can start to figure out just how to “fix” things around here, if they will ever get any better.

      In response to the safety…yes, spills can happen, but wasn’t this preventable? Didn’t rig workers see an issue before this whole geyser happened? From what I’ve read, there was something wrong but BP wanted to meet a deadline. Selfish if you ask me. 11 people would still be alive.

      If I’m wrong, please write the editors of nola.com. This article explains it all: http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/workers_describe_failures_on_o.html

  10. Thank you for this perspective. I think it’s so heartbreaking, but I live far from where this is actually happening, so I don’t know what it’s really like for the people who live near this. There’s no other way to describe this situation than just totally heartbreaking for our gulf, shores, and animals.

  11. wow, you are an amazing writer. What’s happening there is a disgrace. I think someone should fill Haywards pool and bath tubs with the oil from the Gulf. See how it feels.
    Your passion shows what the leadership in this country and the media should be thinking about.
    Like you, it makes me sick to see all of the nonsense covered in the news. I say to the “stars” or lets just call them wealthy humans to lend a hand physically or monetarily. Make a difference! Then they have a right to get the media attention.
    Gods beautiful creatures should not be suffering from mans stupidity. Ban BP and Exxon who had a similar “spill” years back. I would walk my feet off to the bone before I will ever think about purchasing gas from either of these companies.
    Lorie

  12. I was surprised to read that the oil spill was not receiving much media coverage. We only use our TV for watching DVDs (no cable) and the only TV shows I watch regularly are The Colbert Report and The Daily Show (where the spill is heavily featured).

    • When did you start seeing the heavy media coverage? It’s only been pretty heavy as of late, since it’s threatening the “pretty” beaches.

  13. The other (well, one of the many other) things that frightens me about this is the impact that the oil is having that we can’t even see. It’s destroying entire eco-systems underneath the ocean, and we don’t even know what kind of effect that might have on how the entire earth functions as a biological organism.
    One of my friends in Houston told me stories about how her friends’ parents who worked at the BP refinery essentially had PTSD after the refinery explosion several years ago. They would freak out at loud noises and have terrible dreams. Scary, scary stuff.
    And believe me, God and I have had a few words about all this.

Trackbacks

  1. […] shrimp skewers, because we knew that shrimp prices would be shooting up any day now, because of the oil “spill”, and wanted to make sure we enjoyed Gulf shrimp at least one more time. This shrimp skewer was […]

Speak Your Mind

*