Thursday, June 17, 2010

My $0.02 to go with BP's $20 billion

When I was sitting around the closing table, waiting for the papers to arrive that would render me in debt forever, the real estate agents, myself and the seller of my house were making small talk. After discussing the weather, restaurants and dogs, one of the agents finally brought up the oil spill. It had been going on for over two weeks, and we all lamented about what a travesty this is to the Gulf region.

At one point the seller addresses the group and says, "I don't think this is going to affect us."

I don't usually like making other people feel stupid, especially when I just met them, but I really hope this person feels like a complete douche lord for ever thinking that an oil spill in the Gulf would not affect us.

Even back then, I explained to him how the millions of gallons of crude oil is now in our ecosystem, and especially for those of us who are on the seafood diet, it will eventually end up in our system. I can tell you in the last two weeks I've had fish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, crawfish, and if someone offered, I would eat a turtle.

Now 59 days later, with an estimated 1.47 to 2.52 million gallons of oil spilling into our ocean every day, we have much more to worry about than just what's going on my po-boy. And let me just say "spill" just doesn't seem to portray the enormity of this situation. I can say I "spilled" yogurt, because a spill is something you can wipe or clean up. This is more like a ginormous gushing, spewing, projectile oil spout that can never be cleaned up in its entirety.

How could people think an oil spill will not affect us?

Remember when Mufasa is showing Simba the kingdom he will inherit as king?

Mufasa: Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.

Simba: But dad, don't we eat the antelope? 

Mufasa: Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great circle of life. 

It's the Circle of Life... and it moves us all...

Okay, so on this particular part of the circle of life, we have coastal wetlands. According to, the wetlands are important because of its "commercial values, recreational values, wildlife habitats, water quality management, storm buffers, erosion control, and flood control."

Before this BP eff-up occurred, our wetlands were already vulnerable and vanishing partially because of oil and shipping companies that created canals through the wetlands that have allowed for subsidence, saltwater intrusion and wave erosion. Fast forward a few decades and we have Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Ike & Gustav. You [should] know what happens next.

I wrote this in an email to some colleagues this week, "Last Friday, we went on an eco-tour to look at healthy and unhealthy marshland. It was bittersweet to be in our wetlands and to see the variety of species and how purposeful God has been in planning our region. It's so unfortunate how vulnerable we've made ourselves through our shortcuts and exploitation of land and its indigenous people. Prayers for the people affected by the spill."

The last living cypress swamp in Terrebonne Parish

Prayers are wonderful and powerful. I also pray that we are moved to action. 

Buddhist monk, author and activist, Thích Nhất Hạnh, says, "Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature." 

You know how annoying it is when you're using a ball point pen that breaks? You end up with ink all over your hands and somehow it manages to get on your face and clothes, and it's the worst when you don't even notice it until the end of the day. Well, we have one big broken ink well in our Gulf. It's all over our marshes, boats, animals. It's time to do something. 

    Catholic Charities need people to collect information from clients and distribute food. 
    Second Harvest Food Bank needs people to sort and distribute emergency food supplies. 

    Write, email, call, tweet, poke your congressional representatives. Signing your name to an email always seems like a drop in a bucket, but think about where you'd like your signature to be in this circle of life. 

Louisianians -- Sen. David Vitter has been all over the news demanding support for our region and our ecosystem and economy. In the past he has consistently voted against laws the would prohibit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. *Cough* Hypocrite *Cough* 

The Environmental Defense Fund will email your Senator. They have also put together this video that incorporates two things I love right now: Mr. Schuester [from Glee] singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and oily pelicans. 

1 comment:

  1. Maybe if you had explained the circle of life in Lion King terms he would have gotten it.