Letter from the Panhandle

Connie May Fowler’s piece about the Gulf is the best I have read yet (& which was pointed out to me by Alexandria Jaeger).

But what’s happening in the Gulf is different; it’s apocalyptic. We’re talking entire species being wiped away in one blink of BP’s greedy eye. Amid the occasional debate over whether we’re imagining a faint stench of oil, there’s a sense of hopelessness and finality in the air. New phrases have slipped into our everyday lexicon : HAZMAT training, oiled seabirds, sea turtle autopsies, oil-spill trajectory forecasts, deep water oil plumes, Corexit dispersant, dead zones.

We watch hyphenated lines of pelicans cruise overhead and are stricken with the sickening fear of what the future might hold for them and us. We’ve seen the photos and videos of wildlife mired in oil, struggling to move, struggling to breath, struggling to fly, gazing into the lens with frightened, hopeless–or are they accusing?–eyes.

We weep. We get angry. We freak out. We despair. And we wonder, to what end?

For now, our oyster reefs are open, fishing is unaffected, and the beaches remain pristine. But we fear we may have only a few oil-free days left. We don’t have reliable data. We’re all guessing, hedging our bets. All we know for sure is that the sheen is out there, to our south and west. Emails from local agencies advising us to be prepared pile up like virtual butterflies blown asunder by a foul wind.

The US federal government has approved 27 new offshore drilling projects since the start of this toxic nightmare. & So ends my love affair with Obama.

There is a list of orgs who are trying to do whatever can be done at the bottom of her piece, which I’ll reprint here.

God/Gaia/Greens save us. We’re the only ones who need oil, and why should we consider all of the other lives, but ours, at stake?

“Louisiana isn’t the only place that has shrimp.” said British Petroleum rep Randy Prescott. His office phone number is (713) 323-4093 (in Houston). Email is randy.prescott@bp.com. Give him a call or send an email. & In the meanwhile, take your bike to work and send what you save on gas to the Audubon Society.