Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On the Gulf

I don't have much comment on the President's speech except that he's right to use it to start shifting the discourse, a discourse that has long ago shifted for those who care about the environment but is coming late or maybe never to those who don't question the destruction of our planet through the pillaging of its very finite fossil fuels.

On this other hand, this moving piece by David Kurtz in Talking Points Memo lays bare the reality about the Gulf of Mexico, that it's been under assault and ruination long before this endless nightmare spill:
The Gulf is not a pristine environment. If your only exposure to the Gulf has been on the beaches of Florida, you might convince yourself that the Gulf is a deep blue aquatic wilderness. But as you travel west, the beaches give way to the marshes of the Mississippi delta, which are crisscrossed by oil and gas pipelines, manmade canals, and flood control levees. Further west, in Texas, the beaches reemerge, but shipping canals, giant refineries, and petrochemical factories persist. Over the horizon, in the Gulf itself, thousands of oil and gas wells pump night and day.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster is as organic a product of human processes in the Gulf as Hurricane Katrina was a product of natural processes. Shipping, flood control, and natural resource extraction have taken a nearly century-long toll on the coast. The Gulf has been abused, exploited, fouled and taken for granted for so long and with such consistency that the shock and horror over this one incident becomes in its own way a salve for our consciences.
LinkCan our Earth ever be made right?

While we're still on it?

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