I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
— T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Detail, WPA or “New Deal” Art- Tile Installation, 1937, Coral Way Elementary School, Miami, FL. My alma mater, my siblings’, and our Father’s before us.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.
— Teaching, Oglala Sioux Tribe
WPA Art Tile Installation, Coral Way Elementary, Detail
Few of the more than 2,000 people on board [the Titanic] actually saw the iceberg as it went by, but the quartermaster, one of the few, said it resembled a windjammer, sails set, passing along the starboard side.” A passenger who had leapt over his bed when he felt a bump and run over to the porthole observed “a wall of ice gliding by.” In other starboard cabins, passengers with their portholes open found chunks of ice on their floors… Some passengers in the third-class recreation space, where several tons of loose ice landed, threw scraps of it at each other, and in steerage, men played soccer with ice chunks.
Below deck, there was no such frivolity, however.
– – Marianna Gosnell, Ice: the Nature, History and Uses of an Astonishing Substance
“When you look at it, it’s hard to believe this hunk of ice was behind the tragedy of the Titanic. This photo of the iceberg as well as 2 others in existence was snapped by a passenger on the Carpathia, the ship that answered the Titanic’s SOS call. As far as I have been able to tell, this was the first because the scrap of Titanic hull paint is the largest. The berg stood about 100 feet over the water and even threw some chunks onto Titanic’s deck as it passed, which some passengers played soccer with, believing they were safe. It’s now thought that substandard steel used in making the Titanic’s rivets was so brittle that pressure caused them to snap, making the plates push apart. The berg, which was seen to melt away and change while in visual range, it drifted off during the recovery of victims’ bodies and unlike the Titanic, was never to be seen again.”
(Both image and text used by kind courtesy of Rahni, who single-handedly runs a truly extraordinary web site, http://www.anomalies-unlimited.com/. Please check it out; if you haven’t seen the site there’s really no describing it.)
Detail, WPA Art, Coral Way Elementary
It seems appropriate enough to begin with the ending of the Titanic, because from that fateful evening in 1912 until (possibly) late last month, April 20 to be exact, the ship and its fate stood out as a singular and wonderfully dramatic illustration of the damage that can result when man’s unbridled hubris slams with full impact into the real world.
Yet for all the dread consequence of the Captains’ choice to run his ship full throttle through the dark of night on that frosty April evening, that decision does not seem to me to even approach in its spirit of naked hubris and wanton recklessness that displayed by the oil drilling operation, last month. The focus of its operations a full mile below, under the immense atmospheric pressures of that depth, it proceeded every day as if both the Gulf seas churning above and the ancient and mighty Earth itself far below had somehow been “tamed” to man’s providential dominance. It poked and prodded, freely and according to its whim, presuming to pluck and extract exactly what it would, and that alone, from among the vastly powerful and ancient forces at play just under the sea’s bottom.
Considering the known, probable and certainly devastating consequences of error, how could it not have seemed utter folly to dispense with safeguards that were not only well-known and available to prevent or mitigate the disaster, but actually in common use by the Company in other jurisdictions, that had the sense to require them? Truth is, BP was a little punch-drunk, high as a kite on the stellar profits going up, up and up every year. And the corporation, despite its obscene wealth, has earned a famous reputation among its peers as a notoriously “cheapskate.” It does not like to spend money, thank you very much. It much prefers making it. As much as possible, please. And again.
And besides: the Company could do no wrong, really. Like the tobacco companies in days of old, it enjoyed a certain swagger that had much to do with standing in the favorable negotiating position of “dealers” with respect to “using addicts:” the former holding a supply much needed by the latter. That unfortunate latter group would include you, and me, the people at work and your neighbors, and several million more around the world. We all damned well need our cars, other machines, etc., etc.
“BRAVO,” said the stockholders. No longer. No amount of money will ever make it right, unless you feel a price tag can be put on the planet Earth. Because that might just be what has been lost.
Do I sensationalize? Read on.
I. Mind-Boggling Disasters Make for Devilishly Hard Writing.
Never before have I struggled so mightily with a posting. Thank God. Generally, all I need to see me through from first word to the last period is some sense of my message, and (if I’m lucky) a general idea of how I plan to get there. I will start this one with a prayer.
Why? Because we need one. I hope that you, in your own way, might join me. The exact words you use, or whomever you might or might not choose to “address” it, are no one’s real business but your own and those with whom you choose to share. I suppose I refer here to the focusing of sacred intention, and I do believe that there is a Power in it. Individually, and somehow especially, collectively.
And if I have ever felt that a Great and Fateful Hour has arrived, and that we will very shortly need every bit of help we can get, in whatever form it might come, that hour has arrived.
The time is now.
This posting has been different, in a most agonizing way. I keep trying, because really I have no choice. At least seven or eight times now, nearly a full week, and all I’ve to show for it thus far are a few selected images stuffed in a virtual folder somewhere on this damned computer, some rambling paragraphs, and a state of agitation that allows me no lasting peace. Call me melodramatic, I do not care. But in the whistle of the winds that have been strangely gusting outside my windows for the last several hours, swaying the palms about, I have felt the Earth weeping. “She is bleeding,” I thought, seeing ancient black oil pouring forth where it has no business, in quantities too vast for the Earth to mount an effective immune response.
Stop for a moment, and think. Has not the Earth been good to us? Despite every manner of assault, insult, and wholesale destruction of her natural finery, have we not time after time received from her mercy, and not justice?
Where would any of us be without her? Where will any of us be?
Detail, WPA Art, Coral Way Elementary
Before pursuing our relentless inquiry right down into the ocean’s depths, let’s pause for a moment to consider Carl Sagan’s vision of this “pale blue dot”we call home. The man was most certainly a scientist with a wonderful imagination, and thus a pure poet. In 1990, as the Voyager spacecraft took its leave of our solar system, he had made request of NASA that the ship be directed to turn its lens back towards Earth one last time, to snap a picture of “home.” The picture is below, and the planet we all call home the tiny blue dot marked by the arrow, seen from a distance of nearly four billion miles. The words, and the boundless imagination behind them, are classic Sagan.
And even now, as if on cue, the rain starts to fall. She will give us all she has, until she has nothing left and can do no more. God bless Mother Earth.
They will say, “As it once was.”
A real heartbreaker. A “pod,” or family, of Dolphins, this weekend. What have we done? My God, where are they to go? As of this point the waters pictured are only oil-slicked, and the fish kill well underway even though their atmosphere is now only partially poisonous. The deep, dark sea of solid oil is coming. Like us, these are mammals that live and travel through their lives together as families. We lack the intelligence to measure theirs. They do exhibit attributes of playfulness, and of love. Say a prayer for them. And if you don’t feel that in your heart, stop instead to pray for your family. We are not far behind. We will all of us have to do something, and it may not always be clear exactly what is to be done. We share one home.
II. Exactly What Am I Writing About?
On one level, it’s simple.
Answer: an oil hemorrhage of unprecedented size in open seas, close to home. A disaster of epic and unimaginable proportions. A quickly moving target, its ripple effects widening into ever-larger concentric circles as it continues to grow mindlessly, and shape-shift by the hour, day, and week. In many ways, a mass of crude oil floating upon the open sea defies many of the laws of nature as we know and understand them to be. To quote the inspirational statement made by the CEO of BP Oil with regard to the cleanup efforts, “We are learning as we go along.” Fine, folksy approach. Kudos to the P.R. department. Now, if only our planet were not your classroom sample.
Generally, ripple effects weaken in their outward spread, weakening as attenuating links of an expanding chain. Not so with the ongoing ruin inflicted by an oil mass, especially one of this magnitude. It only gets worse. Exact effects are unpredictable, but they never, ever bring any good news.
One certainty we do have is exactly where the problem began, and the ongoing source of the continuing damage:
The real challenge becomes simply keeping up. Not only does oil never sleeps, it never stops moving. It is the oil of nature to engage all that it encounters. It knows neither hostility, hunger, nor mercy. It is ancient, and has been dead so long it remembers not its source. A truly awful enemy: without intention yet without exception, it will smother, glom on to, and finally kill every living thing in its path.
And then there are the wild cards of corporate malfeasance and deceit, governmental obfuscation, understandable Human denial, and an ongoing “soft-pedaling” by the media. A couple of days ago, I noted a front-page headline in the Miami Herald: Uncertainty Shrouds Oil Threat to South Florida.
People, we wish.
Uncertainty can indeed provide some comfort when facing the truly unthinkable, but here provides false comfort. There is no uncertainty on the question of if, only when. And about even that, barely any. The answers are awful. I am no fatalist, and would never counsel “giving up.” But…
We are facing a war against an enemy without a face and without arms, yet we’ve never imagined a force so hugely destructive. It bothers me that we, the People, have been lied to. The Government must remember that we might be worthy of trust, because they/ we have no one but one another with which to join arms. Lies and important “omissions” tend to aggravate any serious harm already inflicted. I am already so disturbed and angry, in various turn, much more so than I can ever recall feeling in response to any event outside the immediate sphere of my own day-to-day life.
I am desperately seeking redemption, here, so I have my work cut out for me.
Everywhere I turn, looking for hope, the view only grows more dim, and my toes slip a little deeper into the bog of despair.
In a way, wrestling with this post, and its message, has been such a struggle that at times I have devoutly wished that I’d not begun writing it. Whatever I come up with just is not likely to be worth the cost. But then again, damn it, it wasn’t exactly as if I had a choice. I had to do some work, here. And some hard thinking.
Even if no one listened at all; even if I knew for a fact that each and every of my readers were to turn away, for any reason or none at all (and I cannot honestly say that I’d blame them), I’d still have to try to express what I am feeling. And in the process, explore that very question in the hope of finding some answers. I find myself surrounded by reasons for despair, close at hand, while the glow of the shining beacons of hope I can make out only vaguely, on some promising but distant shore.
And so I am praying for Hope, for you and for me, and for those that we hold as treasure in our hearts. You are reading my prayer, here. That is why I truly do appreciate your taking the time to read, and consider. I try to take nothing for granted.
I write in an effort to try and “feel out” some answers. Hell, at this point I might be satisfied with a few good questions. Whatever might lead us in the direction of truth, no matter how awful, I’ll take it. For our benefit and that of all succeeding generations, we have critical work to do. We cannot even begin to strategize until the truth has been told, the cobwebs of corporate manipulation swept from our eyes, and our volcanic anger honored somehow, hopefully channeled in some expression that will not only make things worse.
So, for example, if it is indeed correct that any real “repair” is unlikely, we can stop living in fear of that very possibility, and figure out how to move forward. Whatever we do, and wherever we go, I feel that we might have a chance, so long as we go there together. Yet we are so damaged. Obama was voted into office, I believe, not so much for the “change” he promised, but because the American people had grown weary to the bone of the withering political cynicism that ran like a river of corrosive acid through nearly every decision, priority, and choice made by the previous administration. Nothing was safe; even our revered Constitution was a grievous casualty. We have surrendered to a world in which daily color-coded “states of alert” told us what level of cold fear might be prudent, in response to imagined threats, and yet survived. This threat is no phantom, and beyond resolution by any form of national or global diplomacy.
It is safe to say, I believe, that never before in all of history has Humankind been called upon to face the challenge now before us. As noted in the ancient Chinese proverb, we have been cursed to live “in interesting times.”
We need not give up our political differences, but can no longer afford to grant them the power to divide us and govern our relations. Diversity of thought is very much an American tradition, and to be honored. We must try to leave behind the tone of insult, personal insensitivity, and attack that have become part of political discourse; none of it necessarily belongs there.
If we cannot join together in one spirit as we get to work, I am not sure that we will make it. We must extend a hand to one another, and mean it, exactly as if the world depended upon it.
OH, Little Bird. You were innocent. May you again take wing in a cleaner, better place.
If it means anything, Little One, I will say “I am sorry, so very sorry, that it had to end this way.” I am sorry that you have been so thoughtlessly robbed of all that was,
and ever would be, yours. Most of all, your right to spread your fine little wings, and fly.
“On my own behalf, and that of all of my fellow Human Beings around the world, I apologize.” Rest in peace.
Detail, WPA Art, Coral Way Elementary
I SOUND a madman, I know, and hope to God that is all this turns out to be: misplaced, over-hyped rantings. I would be utterly elated to be proven the alarmist fool. If any of what I am feeling and starting to read might be true, however, the hour has arrived for what Jeanne Houston called “Leap Time.” If our species is to survive, she said, it will not be by sticking close to the path that we walk, and know. If we are to remain viable in a world that knows only constant adaptation and change, we will have to join together in taking a leap, possibly in a manner and towards a direction beyond our present conception.If we do not, she said, we shall all perish.
As a matter of survival, we the People must set aside our differences and once again focus upon our common humanity. So let us focus, if we must, on our children, nieces or nephews, and their children. We need to think bigger, and start acting in concert.
We are facing the battle of our lives. Forget Rush Limbaugh, forget Nancy Pelosi. And for Christ’s sake, stop trying to make the President an issue here. You may admire him, loathe him, or find yourself deeply distrustful of everything he does. I am not one to tell people what or how to think. But I will say, to the extent you actually believe the President responsible for the causation of this disaster, you are embracing and holding tight to an outright delusion.
If that feels to you an attack, think again. I am speaking in a very intentional manner, and do not want to lose you. Look: this great country, as the larger world of which it is a part, is fueled by a breathtaking and interlocking mosaic of delusion. One person’s delusion might touch very near to the heart of another’s most sacred dreams. That’s a philosophical conversation, a luxury in which we can indulge another time, when we have time. But even as you read these words the clock is ticking, and we are facing a crisis of a scale and immediacy that we have never known before, or perhaps even imagined.
So: my specific problem with indulgence in delusional thinking, in the here and now, is that you thereby render yourself more or less completely irrelevant in a time of crisis. And some of us will be very much needing the rest of us, if we are to somehow pull off the miraculous feat of finding a way to catch this swelling tsunami and ride it out, on top.
So I address this question to all of the American people, and I mean ALL:
Can we please start sticking to the point? Can we commit to keep our shared focus on any path that might lead us somewhere? Can we find it within ourselves to remember that we are each of us entitled to respect, and have feelings? Can we cultivate a sense of active pride in the fact that we are one people?
I need a “Yes” from you, there. Honestly. Because without you, I have no hope. Together, we stand a chance. Divided and isolated, we are going down in flames. Let’s not do that.
Key Biscayne Trail P. Crockett
There is no shame in it, needing one another. And not just as a preposterous proposition offered in this web log posting ,or for a moment, but as a way of proceeding into our future. So that we might each have a future; a luxury of time to spend with those we love, in the kind of world we have known and loved.
And so it begins: off the coastline of Mobile, Alabama, a few days ago now.
The sharing of simple beach time together, for example, without thought that a tar clean-up will be needed before getting back in the car. That is, if we are still able to go to the beaches, at all. (I read that the beaches of the State of Louisiana are “closed?” And that worse still, the closures are unnecessary, strictly speaking, because who in the Hell wants to be anywhere near an oil-smeared beach?)
Louisiana, beautiful Louisiana, you are only the first. Know that your people are held in the hearts of your countrymen, with pride, and as one.
Beach Rapture (Pass-a-grille) P. Crockett
One of countless sweet, simple days i have been privileged to hang out on the beach, in this case captured on canvas as I sat in the sand. The painting was done at Pass-a-Grille Beach in St. Petersburg, on the Gulf of Mexico. In retrospect, I suppose such times were so much a part of me that I took them for granted. Or, put another way, they have been too close to me to see. Now, I know a little better. I hope I get another chance.
Oh, what luxury: to pack up and head out for yet another glorious few hours on the beach, instead of having to stay home, or go to yet another movie at that awful mall. But it will be harder when the breezes on the shore have come to smell overwhelmingly of oil (as they will), that awfully strong chemical smell, and nothing like that clean salt spray we never really even bothered to think about. Looking back on it, we will realize that It’s the small things that make a life, and give it sweetness.
And the time may come when we will all swear that we’ll just scream right out loud, together and all at once (who really cares if everybody thinks we’re gone nuts, is what Dad will say) if we come across even one more baby or Momma sea turtle gone all stiff and covered in black washed up on the shore, so dead it’s hard to imagine it had ever known life. Or maybe even more so, another dolphin (its worse when a whole family tumbles in, sort of glued together like… bowling pins. But they’re not.) That is awful because they’ve just gone so still, and we remember how they used to play out in the surf, delighting us with the graceful arc of their dive. Plus, they always looked like they were smiling.
Even another shark washed up, sharp teeth and all. It’s just not the same ocean without them. Nothing out there really even knows if you bleed, anymore.
Come to think, it would be awful nice to think that anything was still out there, living carefree and beautiful like the fish always used to. As we imagined that they always would. The sea horses, the star fish, the stingrays, even the jellyfish. The sea was so alive.
And meanwhile the thick roiling clouds of black crude continue to gush out and upwards into the once-clean sea at ungodly rates, exactly as they have for 28 days and nights as of this writing, along with an unknown quantity of gases not at all fully understood, and themselves quite likely to pose a serious threat. Possibly sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, I have seen as of yet only the “business as usual” effort of each governmental agency and oil interest involved in the fiasco to “look busy” and cover their own behinds, not necessarily in that order.
If I seem unkind to some of the good people that are working heroically around the clock to do whatever they can, even as we still await the ominous and inevitable arrival of this new black and deadly sea that will forever despoil our shores, I regret that.
I have been thinking: it is in the People alone—that is you and that is me, to somehow work our way out of this.
Longer-term projection based upon volume of oil released and oceanic current patterns. WE did NOT ask for this.
III. Life In a Slippery New World: Reality Check.
This is an extremely dangerous time in which to make assumptions. We have not even begun to take the tally of that which has been destroyed, even in the very short-term. I am no expert, but I know enough to say with some certainty that the damage to be done will be exponentially worse than the worst you could imagine. There has never, ever been such a huge quantity of oil released into the sea, and that would be true even if the gusher will not still vomiting forth its dark poison exactly as if it had an intention to destroy.
As if life were not enough of a demanding struggle before this news broke. Now, on top of the white-knuckled struggle to keep roofs over our heads, deal with rapacious lenders and their credit cards, etc., etc., we stand together on the threshold of a whole other kind of nightmare. Hyperbole, or literary extravagance? Hardly. Think about it: even the most horrific of bad dreams reach their end upon our awakening. Not so here.
I’ve a feeling that coming to terms with a disaster of this magnitude is like grief; it cannot be done all at once, or (necessarily) according to any specific schedule. It may be like peeling the layers of an onion. It will not be easy, and many tears will be shed. Each new realization will be a small awakening, deeper into a bad dream.
My God, how I hope I am dead wrong. My Lord, how I fear that I am not.
And who have we to turn to, really? Who to even tell us the truth?
Honest to God: with corporate citizens of this disastrous caliber, who in the Hell needs Al Qaeda (or any other imported radical group) to bring down our country, and fast? Not even the most ingenious terrorist plot could have inflicted such severe, ongoing, and lasting damage, on so many fronts.
By all means: clue us in, please. A Giant evil squid? An 8-armed octopus, armed with 8 secret tools of sabotage? What??
Meanwhile, about a mile beneath the sea, a different kind of gaseous slime flows outward even more constantly. The blather above, that makes a sound, only seems as if it will never stop. The flow below, tragically, neither stops nor even pauses.
Even now, nearly a month in and the oil moving in our direction, we have no real idea of what is actually happening out in the Gulf of Mexico, nor any sense of scale to inform our response to whatever might start washing up on our shores. We have no information , and so cannot prepare. What is wrong with this picture?
I was disturbed by this headline, two weeks ago:
They should choose important words more carefully, I thought. We all know what a spill is, and we reach for that term “by default” when we hear of crude oil accidentally hitting water. “Spill” implies just that: a vessel emptied, or even the outflow from a pipe temporarily damaged. A spill, even when “fresh,” signifies to the public damage done in the recent past tense. In every such event we have ever had to deal with, the amount of oil released is not itself in question. There might be a substantial mess, but no mystery. That becomes helpful as the focus shifts to cleanup. In an important sense, it is much more of a noun than any sort of verb, or process unfolding.
I found myself blurting out loud to the newspaper, as if it could hear, or care, “This is NOT a spill.” The use of the term just did not square with what I’d heard, that the “leak” was still very much an open wound, and flowing. Crude oil was still being actively released into the Gulf of Mexico, exactly as it had from the moment of first rupture.
If the leak is serious, I thought, and oil is still pouring out, it’s no simple “spill,” and use of the word is flat-out misleading. If the damage is still being done, I thought, we’ve got an entirely different kind of problem on our hands, and definitely one that deserves to be addressed as such.
This headline might be closer to the truth:
I must say: the idea that the Government apparently does not want us to know the scope of the problem is itself highly disturbing. The idea is no paranoiac fancy, but an official policy documented abundantly both expressly and through conspicuous omission in reporting on this event. I can imagine a few reasons why it would prefer that the information not become public, but I find none of them satisfying, or even vaguely comforting.
if the world is actually going up in flames, for example, I’d rather not be handed a lemonade and advised to sit out the heat wave, Thank You Very Much
But maybe that’s just me.
I believe that we have a right to know. An inalienable, fundamental sort of right that should require no justification or reason. I believe that the rights of any corporation should be subservient to the Laws of out Nation. In turn, it is my belief that the proper purpose of any government is to serve its people. I believe it better that the government abide with a healthy fear of its citizenry, rather than the other way around.
Apparently others, in positions of much greater power, disagree.
1921. Amoco eventually absorbed by BP.
We are learning that much , much more oil has been released from the site, by tens of millions of gallons, than was ever reported to us by anyone. It will soon become clear that the “news” we have been spoon-fed, at the pleasure of BP Oil, or the USA GOV, disturbing though it might have been, may boil down only to a meringue mish-mash of omissions, statistics, lies, and damn lies intended to pacify more than inform. The American people, and indeed the citizens of the world, have been consistently lied to, “handled,” and tossed every imaginable shred of distraction since this crisis began.
The perennial question of governmental credibility, however, will soon be the least of our problems. The more we know, the greater will be our outrage. And with sound reason. The important question will become,What are we to do with it?
Take a look at this video:
IV. Coming Soon to a Shoreline Near You!
The monster is coming to Florida. As sure as the charted oceanic currents remain in motion, it is coming:
As of today, the damned oil slick was more than twice the size of New Jersey, yet only day before yesterday was only (only?) the size of Maryland. (Just for the record, I must note that this trend of gauging the size of oil slicks so very close to our coastline with reference to the size of states is highly disturbing. In a very short time, however, we will be seeing any number of things turn utterly freaky. As of yet, we’ve no real idea exactly how much so.
It’s bound to be a heart breaker.
Even as the slick grows, various novel formations of oil have begun coning and spiraling outwards, under the sea’s surface, in different directions. It is a novel experience, observations of such “pluming,” , since oil is lighter than water and thus tends to rise to the surface and form “slicks.”. Here, for the first time, we have sufficient quantities loose in the sea to displace huge volumes of water. Not good.
Upon reflection, the slick might bear a disturbing resemblance to an iceberg, in the sense that most of “the action” is happening inexorably, with great stealth, beneath the water and thus outside of our field of vision. There is much more to the oil than even the monstrous slick alone would suggest.
And, just in time for Hurricane season. Think about storm surge in a sea of oil, and you will soon long for the good old days, when driving winds and smashing walls of water simply tore to shreds all within their path. Utter destruction, but at least it was clean. Add an unknown quantity of crude oil into that ruinous equation, and you’ve got a different kind of clean-up required. One that we would have no clue how to undertake, even if we could begin to afford it. Not only everything upon the land, but the Earth itself there could quite easily become uninhabitable. For generations.
Utterly poisoned. A desert wasteland.
I’m just saying.
The odds of a hurricane hitting land somewhere among the coastal shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico this year are extremely high, possibly 100%.
And unfortunately, the oil will be everywhere. In quantities and patterns of dispersal even the experts can only now begin to guess about. My questions are many, and simple. I wonder: If a shoreline is already saturated, will the oil just keep piling on atop itself? Or will the field of ever-incoming oil in effectively extend the shoreline, forming a black scrim changing the very shape of our beloved land? Will the waves become sluggish, having become somewhat more solid than liquid? Will there still be foam? If so, will it still be white in color? Will the sand become hard? Will all beaches be closed for the rest of our lives, for reasons of public health?
Will the seagulls survive? And if so, how? I hate these questions. I don’t wanna know. I do NOT want to know.
But what I want, what any of us would really want, no longer makes any difference.
Maybe now you understand why I am feeling a little crazy.
Quite honestly, I find myself longing already for the good old days.
Why, time was, even a poor mountaineer who could barely keep his family fed was as likely as not to strike oil as he was shootin’ up some food, equipped only with the technology of his rifle (and company of his faithful dog):
And up through the ground came a bubblin’ crude. Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.
And here was the extent of the environmental damage:
Sigh. But that was then.
V. Now, the Bad News.
The worst part of the present scenario, by far, is that we don’t know how to fix the leak. A growing number of experts are beginning to whisk aside the “spin,” and publicly opine that, in light of the the present mess still precariously perched on the sea floor at “Ground Zero,” and the intense atmospheric pressures involved and the sheer depth of the site, there is no known way to “plug the leak.”
A monstrous door of destruction has been opened that no science fiction writer could have imagined,just like that. And we don’t know how to close it. Wait a minute, you say, They opened it. You are telling me that THEY CANNOT FIX IT?
Right. Look: I have no interest in alarming anyone, but that does appear to be the case. At this time, we lack the technological skill to stop this leak, nor will that necessarily change within the foreseeable future. It might be YEARS, and it might be NEVER. In any event, either possibility might add up to the same result, a grand sum of zero.
I hope to God that I am wrong.
Listen “between the lines” to this story from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, reporting on the take of Janet Napolitano, the Head of our country’s Homeland Security Administration, on the subject. (Why has the very idea of a bureaucracy for “homeland security”always sounded so alien to me, so far from home, and left me feeling so insecure?)
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who declared a Gulf of Mexico oil spill an event of “national significance” nine days after a deadly oil-rig explosion, on Monday said that the Obama administration had showed an “all hands on deck” response “since day one.”
Napolitano also said that the response to the disaster could be far from winding down. “Worst-case scenario is we’ll be at this for quite a while,” Napolitano told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. “We’re not at the beginning–we’ve been at it a month almost–but we’re not near the end as well.”
So, that is where we stand. I have marginal faith only in the Government, and obviously none in BP or any of the Big Oil concerns, but I do believe in you. I am speaking as seriously as I know how, so I need for you to listen. Please. It is in us that I’d put my money, and in that prospect alone can I scout out hope.
Morningside by the Bay P. Crockett
I thought a color-filled reminder that Biscayne Bay is not yet blackened and dead might be called for, as a question of balance. It’s not here yet.
Thank God for our Bay.
And with that touch of gratitude I leave off for now, because I am at last spent.
Thank you for lending me your ear. God bless and keep you and yours.