Over the last week or so I have been watching the media coverage on the Louisiana Oil Spill and today, almost 10 days after the “spill”, this ongoing ecological disaster is finally getting the media attention, as well as the government attention, it warrants. So my question to everyone in the media and the government, what the fuck took you so long? And seriously: why are you still calling it a “spill?” Doesn’t the word “spill” normally refer to a quantitative mass of liquid that has been, you know, spilled? What is going on in the Gulf of Mexico is not a “spill” it is a major, ongoing toxic oil leak! Let me put it even more bluntly, this “leak” of an approximate 5000 barrels of crude oil a day (most likely more) is a major human induced disaster of biblical proportions. Get it? The entire fishery in that region is at risk for decades to come. If the oil reaches some of the estuaries and coral reefs in the region it will have a devastating effect on one of the most productive fisheries in the world. But so far most media outlets are reporting on what effect the oil slick will have on shrimp and oyster farming? Really, is that all they are worried about? How about we start worrying about the entire food chain, including us humans? What we are witnessing right now is something we have never witnessed before. Unless that leak is plugged very soon and the coast guard can keep the massive oil slick from spreading, I would go so far as to say that we will witness the collapse of an entire ecosystem.
So media folks, why are you still calling it a “spill?” Is the news of something so horrific somehow conflicting with the, “Drill Baby Drill?” narrative that you have been peddling? Or is the “spill” just bad timing, since the Obama administration finally conceded to expand off shore drilling for political reasons. Did you really believe that an oil rig that is oozing oil like a volcano on crack is an everyday occurrence? Did you in the media seriously believe the PR guy from BP who claims they have it under control? Whatever the reason for your lack of urgency, I am glad you are finally giving the matter the attention it deserves, but it is not enough. And as for the government, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Bring out any and all the resources you have at your disposal. Get the brightest minds and engineers in the oil industry together and do whatever you can do to stop this leak, even if it means you need to park a nuclear sub to plug that hole … you get the idea.
To all the people in the gulf region, my heart goes out to you all. Especially to all the fly fishing guides and fishing related businesses that will be adversely hit by this disaster.
So even if you don’t live in the area, here are some thoughts on how this catastrophe will impact all of us.
- Fish prices will go up, in some areas skyrocket — good for McDonald’s I guess, bad for fish lovers.
- The areas hit by the spill will see their tourism economy collapse, requiring more bail-outs and unemployment checks to be written. Even though one could make the argument that the clean-up effort will produce a lot of “clean-up” jobs.
- Commercial fishermen will either loose their livelihood or will move into other fishing grounds, putting more fishing pressure on areas that are already are over-fished.
- The media will be inundating us with the political fallout of all of this for weeks to come, oh boy! Can’t wait.
- On a positive note, off-shore drilling in California will most likely be dead.