Breaking News: Starring the Gulf of Mexico and the Oil Who Shagged It
Tropical Storm Bonnie spares the Gulf, Hayward's out (well, almost), and donations are in!
The gulf was starting to feel like that friend who just can’t seem to catch a break. You know, the one who every time you see her, you just want to give a big hug, or lend her the $500 she needs, except you know that won’t actually solve her problems.
Well this weekend the Gulf was finally cut a break as Tropical Storm Bonnie decided to spare the oil abundant body of water. Despite the hysteria surrounding Bonnie’s prospective arrival, Admiral Thad Allen was confident that the recently closed well could have been left unattended for several days without any complications. Luckily, this theory did not have to be tested.
As for how the storm could have affected the spill, Reuters claimed the tropical storm would have possibly been both “a blessing and a curse for the oil spill.” Scientists and experts could only speculate as to what the potential effects of the storm would have been since thankfully such a (insert four letter word) storm is unprecedented in recent history. It was believed the storm could have sped up degradation of the spill, breaking down the oil at an accelerated rate, while the 40 mph winds could have also blown more oil ashore into sensitive marshlands, further complicating cleanup efforts.
In other gulf news, rumour has it that everyone’s favourite BP executive Tony Hayward is going to step down any minute now. The BP exec was widely criticized for his handling of the crisis in the Gulf since the explosion on the BP oil rig on April 20th, and it said that the board has effectively made up it’s mind and is just in the process of sorting out the details of Hayward’s departure.
Lastly, the other day, I came across a heartbreaking anecdote about a fisherman in the gulf that I wanted to share with the Four Green Steps readers. In a TED talk delivered by ocean expert Carl Safina in June 2010, Safina retells the story of a recreational fishing guide’s encounter with a bottlenose dolphin. The dolphin came right up beside the fisherman’s boat on his last fishing trip in the gulf, and was “splattering oil out it’s blowhole.” The fisherman then moved away from the dolphin, since they are known to scare off fish, only to turn around a few minutes later and discover that the dolphin was still there right by his side. The fisherman recounted that never in thirty years had he ever seen a dolphin act in this way, and he believed this was the marine animal’s way of asking for help.
As Safina told this story, he almost broke down into tears, reflecting a fact we too often forget. Thousands of aquatic and human lives have been affected by this environmental disaster. The media has been so engulfed (no pun intended) in a frenzy of blame while many animals have been submerged in the fight for their lives. While it is important to hold those responsible for the spill (like Hayward) accountable, it is more important to remember the countless lives that have been ruined in this disaster and try our best to help.
To donate money to Gulf Aid for the relief effort in the Gulf text “GULFAID 10” to 27138. Feel free to replace “10” with the number of USD you would like to pledge towards the effort. Don’t forget, every little bit counts. And hey, maybe Hayward can pledge half of his expected £11 million payout (that's $17,034,238 USD, making only half of that a cool 8.5 mill).
Until next time,
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