I know there are a lot of people who don’t want to think about the repercussions of the BP Oil Spill of 2010. There’s lot of money at stake – there are generations of shrimpers who rely on the Gulf of Mexico’s bounty and, of course, at the core of the controversy is an oil conglomerate that’s already put billions into the problem but doing very little in terms of disclosure or owning up to its mistakes – including admitting to taking shortcuts that likely led to the loss of eleven men. It’s debatable over whether those billions of dollars were spent fixing the problem or ensuring the Gulf holds forever holds those problems and proof in the deep waters. There’s no denying the entire Gulf region was severely impacted and for many, it can still be felt.
It’s really tragic in that those of us raised along the Gulf Coast were forced to face a truth that things will never be the same. Our kids and grandchildren will never know the generosity of that body of water and the sense of safety that came with each shrimp haul. One of my son’s favorite memories is going “crabbing” off the piers in Pascagoula. He was a little thing, but he loved going and I loved taking him because those were days that were just ours. It was before cells and texting and girlfriends. He just loved pulling those nets up that we’d baited with chicken to lure the blue claw beauties. The more crabs in the cage, the more excited he’d get. I don’t know that he will ever get to experience that with his own child.
Now, we’re nearing the peak of hurricane season and all of the controversy has settled. Or, at least it’s temporarily settled until the right storm comes through the right area and is the right size to uncover all of those secrets oil companies and big governments are hoping the Gulf will never betray. Make no mistake – it’s just a matter of time.
It should also be noted there’s a new complication. An announcement by the Gulf Islands National Seashore less than two weeks ago that it would be closing part of the beautiful barrier islands due to the discovery of mustard gas is more than upsetting.
So is Isaac the tropical system to make that happen? Only if it gets bigger than a category 2 hurricane. It’s just not powerful enough to really churn those deep waters in the Gulf. Still, being on the east side has never been more dreaded. Most people in this region know that the east side of a tropical system is what brings all the water and storm surge. These systems turn counter-clockwise, so the winds are coming from the south – or some variation – southwest, south-southwest, etc. – depending on where one is in relation to the eye of the storm. Also, keep in mind, there hasn’t been a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico since the explosion and dumping of millions of barrels of oil. There were two hurricanes in 2010 that briefly were over the Bay of Campeche. By briefly, I mean mere hours – and both went into Mexico. One – Karl, I believe – didn’t hit hurricane status until it was coming ashore along the Mexican coast.
Of course, BP says all is fine and good in the Gulf of Mexico. Tests by many parties with no ulterior motives tell a different tale. And never underestimate the collective worthlessness of a nation’s government when monetary considerations are at stake. “Across the board, we are disappointed with Congress’s lack of action. Two years have passed since the explosion” and “Congress has yet to enact one piece of legislation to make drilling safer,” said Democrat Bob Graham, former co-chairman of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill created by President Obama in 2010.
And a final note – if you’ve seen any of those commercials that are little more than disgusting efforts to play on our sympathy with abused dogs and cats, you probably know how difficult they are to watch. These commercials break my heart; so much so that I either mute the volume or change channels. I won’t be posting any photos of the oil-drenched birds and fish, nor will I post any photos of the fish that should be nourishing us, but instead are washing ashore with burn holes and no eyes. They’re all available if you want to search them out, but for me, it would seem hypocritical to post any of these thousands of photos.
And now, I’m back to tracking Isaac and hoping he keeps south Mississippi out of his line of fire.