Monday, June 7, 2010


There is a definite limit to how much bad news a body can absorb over a given period of time. The steady drumbeat of bad news coming out of the BP Gulf Oil Spill has become numbing; an overload of information; too much video of oil gushing out of the gaping wound along with the failure to just "plug the damn hole!" as Prez Obama has ordered in frustration. As of the writing of today's blog, the damn hole has not yet been fully plugged, although, according to BP, some progress has been made in siphoning off a percentage of the leak (we have to take BP's word for this). The video pictures continues to show billowing clouds of effluent pouring from the spout, seemingly as thick as ever.

The grim truth is that a goodly amount of oil is going to continue to flow from the source until a relief well can be drilled to intercept the flow from the original pipeline. This relief well is not expected to be completed until mid August at the earliest. Again, we have only BP's word on this. In the meantime a whole slew of anti-spill measures are being undertaken from cleaning up oil soaked wildlife to building giant sand berms to intercept and absord as much of the splilled oil as possible. We are told by BP and the Coast Guard that cleaning up the damage from the spill could well take several years perhaps as much as a decade. So ask not what the spill has done to you; rather ask what you can do to help clean up the spill. This work will provide many spring break college students with something else to do other than guzzling beer and smearing each other with sun block for years to come.

As for me, I am oversaturated with following the torrent of bad news. I have to start tuning out a good portion of the daily download, even though I have always been something of a news and politics junkie. I need to turn off the the evening news reports and maybe just read a good book instead. I need to find good news items that give me hope for the future. I have grand children now and I have to have hope that they will inherit a world that still offers clean air and clean water with habitats of animals that can sustain life in all of its magnificent diversity. Perhaps some lasting good will come from this calamity after all if we can marshall the political will to make preservation of the environment job number one as our gift to posterity. If we fail in this endeavor, there will be no posterity to pass anything to and the vision expressed in Rachel Carson's "Silient Spring", one of the most prophetic books ever written, will have become humanity's reality.

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