Friday, July 23, 2010

More thoughts on the spill

I've been doing a lot of thinking since Tuesday's discussion on on the oil disaster, and as the first raindrops of Tropical Storm Bonnie start falling outside, I can't help but think of it more.

We're not expected to get much from this storm here in Tampa because the bulk of the wind is headed straight toward the spill and no one knows exactly what that means. Or at least not many are speculating on record.

And that's the sort of thing I learned from Tuesday's call--this is an unmitigated disaster, meaning no one really knows what is going on. While the focus has been on capping it (as it should) and getting billboard money for tourism (ridiculous at this point) much of what is going on remains unexamined.

We spoke to an official from the NWF, Jaime Matyas, who is helping with the efforts to save the wildlife. Remember when I said that while we were on Palm Island we saw much more wildlife in the water than ever? That wasn't my imagination-- the methane in the water is sucking up all of the oxygen making it impossible for sealife to survive in these "dead zones" and pushing many species inland.

A blogger that I have met in real life, Trisha Haas from took these photos around Pensacola Beach a few weeks ago. While the tar balls are frightening, to me that mysterious algae is more troubling. Is it from the dispersants? A by-product of something? Is it helpful or harmful and what happens when a fish eats it?

There are others trying to document the wetlands and mainstream publications trying to document BP's corporate recklessness.

But I think it's our job to document, report, talk, write and help as well.

There isn't an anchor organization that is leading up the clean-up efforts. There are just a lot of individuals and small charities working on a great big problem.

For me, I will be volunteering for the NWF's Coastal Volunteer Surveillance Team. At first I didn't think I was qualified, but I have eyes and I care--the only qualifications that matter.

And I will also be writing and posting and sharing and yelling.

Because the more information we get out there, the better.

(If you missed the talk, you can read the transcript here.)

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