Georgianne Nienaber: Toxic poisons are stalking the dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, and no one is discussing or reporting the fact that the oiled mammals are struggling in the waters near Grand Terre Island. There are no published photos or videos that we have been able to find, and no stories that describe the oil-encrusted dorsal fins and odd behavior that suggest an under-reported or deliberately hidden environmental catastrophe.
Dick Price: The reason we’ve got oil rigs drilling a mile deep into the ocean and fouling Alaska’s wilderness is because you and I insist on filling up our car’s gas tank anytime we want, right to the top, at a fraction of the cost others around the world pay, almost as an inalienable right. It’s why we’ve got soldiers dying in Afghanistan and Iraq these many years down the road, too, you know.
Robert Reich: Tuesday night, President Obama did not call for a tax on carbon. He didn’t even ask the Senate to pass the cap-and-trade legislation that emerged from the House. Instead, he said there were lots of good ideas out there and he’s willing to consider any of them — which seemed more like a way of declaring cap-and-trade dead.
Georgianne Nienaber: There is a deep distrust of anything British Petroleum has to say here in south Louisiana, and the President’s claim that 90 percent of the flow will be stopped by the middle of July is being roundly criticized. If the number came from BP, there is good reason to be incredulous.
Georgianne Nienaber: The boom material used by British Petroleum to contain the massive river of oil that it flowing into the Gulf of Mexico is not working. So, ask yourself why BP is unwilling to use a product that seems far superior to the bloated, filthy, broken “sausage” absorbent boom that is washing up along miles of sensitive marshlands on the Louisiana Coast.
Adam Eran: The acute problem of the Gulf oil spill makes the cost of corruption-afflicted government front page news. Lax Federal offshore drilling oversight under Bush 43 has cost us dearly. However, our society’s vulnerability to any trouble with this critical resource should also remind us of the chronic problem: peak oil.
Georgianne Nienaber: Dawn offered a grand sunrise, and as our skiff skimmed over relatively flat seas, the endless sky was a counterpoint to the sickening sheen on the water’s surface, blobs of red-orange light crude, and worse yet, bubbles of foam and oil that indicated controversial dispersants had done their job, suspending oil in the water column, making the water opaque and denying sunlight to the organisms below.
Robert Reich: Friday’s job report was awful. For most new high school and college grads finding a job is harder than ever. Meanwhile, states are cutting summer jobs for disadvantaged young people. What to do with this army of young unemployed? Send them to the Gulf to clean up beaches and wetlands, and send the bill to BP.
Robert Reich: But confusion over who’s in charge – BP or the White House – continues to reign. Questioned about whether BP can successfully shear off the well pipe in order to fit a cap over it, Allen answered “I don’t think the issue is whether or not we can make the second cut. It’s about how fine we can make it, how smooth we can make it.”
Tina Dupuy: The BP spill exposed that we’re still commuting in eight-cylinder singly occupied vehicles, hopped up on plastic goods and scoffing at high-speed rail projects. Our government is representative – we haven’t clamored to get off oil. If anything we’ve threatened to riot for having to pay too much at the pump.
Steve Ybarra: Let us get serious here. If BP was interested in doing the right thing, it wouldn’t take them over a month to get started fixing the damage caused by their greed. Meanwhile they have allowed the continuous destruction of the entire East Coast and Gulf Coast, including all fishing and sea-related industries. Indirectly, I am impacted, because the price of California fish just went up through the roof.
Lydia Howell: The nesting place for migrating birds and the womb for shrimp and oysters is being destroyed. No one — not British Petroleum or the Coast Guard — was there trying to prevent or clean up the silent horror. CNN’s Anderson Cooper dipped his rubber-gloved hand into the Gulf water and it came up coated with oil. Phillipe Cousteau, son of famous oceanographe Jacques Cousteau, dove into the toxic soup of oil particles and dispersant, a dead sea emptied of creatures.
Joseph Palermo: The spectacle of British Petroleum literally killing off the Gulf of Mexico before our eyes while the Obama Administration apparently believes that BP is honorable enough to be trusted to dutifully clean it up is depressing beyond belief. Hearing Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal complain about the lagging federal response after he built his political career trashing the federal government is just too pathetic and stupid to even bother to ridicule.
Georgianne Nienaber: Amidst additional news that British Petroleum has been slow or negligent in the release of flow data and videos of the catastrophic rupture of the Transocean/Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico, there is another story that is crying for attention. A revered Chief of the Chahta Indians, the youngest brother of the Neville Brothers Band, and a Catholic nun know the stories of the dispossessed Indians, shrimpers, fishermen and women, oysterers and business owners deep in the wetlands and bayous of south Louisiana. They want to be heard.
Tracy Emblem: California allows cities and counties to purchase electricity or develop it locally through an energy provider of their choice. Currently, 68 percent of California’s electricity is generated by investor-owned utilities. Proposition 16, on the June 8 primary ballot, would alter local government’s ability to develop electricity service and is bad for California’s residents and businesses.
Georgianne Nienaber: The Institute for Southern Studies (ISS) features a compelling video on its website that documents an overflight at ground zero of the British Petroleum oil catastrophe resulting from the explosion of the Transocean/Deepwater Horizon well platform on April 20. This is the view that cannot be seen from sanitized satellite photos and composite maps depicting the direction and extent of the massive river of oil threatening entire ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. Tar balls have already been reported on pristine Dauphin Island, and the damage is escalating daily.
Johnny Townsend: I feel a sense of injustice whenever I read of someone logging unprotected redwoods, trees that have been fighting the odds for 500 years or more to live out their lives. What kind of person could kill a 500-year-old tree? For that matter, just logging in an “average” old-growth forest, with trees merely 100 or 150 or 200 years old still seems to me a crime.
K. Danielle Edwards: I have coworkers and even a relative who have likely lost their homes. Most Tennesseans, as this article outlines, do not have flood insurance. As a result, most of us will be denied by our insurance companies for not having coverage we were either prohibited from purchasing (if one does not live in an official flood plain) or were told we did not need.
Joseph Palermo: So that’s what our political discourse has sunk to? Discredited figures like Brownie are on TV jockeying for partisan gain, milking a national tragedy that is probably going to change forever the ecosystem of the Gulf Coast? Brownie uses a catastrophe that threatens many of the nation’s most important waterways and will probably be a grave setback to any national economic recovery to score pitiful political points against the Democrats? Who are these people?
Georgianne Nienaber: Social networking may turn out to be the first line of defense against public relations spin by providing real time gathering of data on the massive river of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the Transocean/Deepwater Horizon well explosion. Maps generated by satellite and “predictions” are only so valuable. One of the tenets of remote sensing is that “ground truthing” be a mandatory part of the equation. Truth is the operative word here as Gulf Coast residents face an unprecedented environmental disaster.
Tracy Emblem: Fortunately, President Obama showed common sense by placing a hold on newly proposed off shore-drilling plans while an investigation into the disaster is underway. Congress should reconsider the lifting the currently proposed offshore drilling ban and protect our coastal waters for our future generations.
Tom Degan: How ever will they justify continued off-shore drilling in light of what is now happening in the Gulf of Mexico? In just a few short days we’ve gone from a tragedy to a disaster to a full blown catastrophe. It will be more than interesting to see the depths to which the right wing will now stoop in order to trivialize this hideous event. Rush Limbaugh is already floating the idea out to his half-witted “Dittoheads” that this was sabotage on the part of the “eco-nazis”; that some unnamed environmental organization plotted this disaster in order to further their evil socialist agenda.
Walter Moss: As we face the simultaneous challenges of creating more jobs and a more sustainable environment for our children and grandchildren, are we not capable of new thinking? Are we not capable of demonstrating that yes, we can evolve toward an economy that evidences more of what Schumacher thought it should — Beauty, Truth, and Goodness?
Emily Spence: With the current peak-oil interval, we have a grace period when oil is still fairly inexpensive and abundant. At the same time, we cannot expect our government leaders to help society transition off of heavy oil dependence on account of their being controlled by “big business” interests. Therefore, it is up to average citizens to create the reforms that lead into localized economic and social development.
Adam Eran: Appropriately for April Fool’s, Republican California Assemblyman Roger Niello’s editorial appears in the Sacramento Bee protesting California’s public policy response to climate change (AB32). As evidence that AB32 is misguided, he cites the discredited Varshney study and the similiarly biased California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) oil-industry-funded study of AB32.
Jane Baek: Upon reading scientific studies that showed animals that were given GMO food on a regular basis developed cancer, tumors, lesions, obesity, and infertility problems, I was left shocked. I also discovered that GMO food was contaminating our environment affecting natural plants and killing insects and animals.