Update – 1:31PM(CST)
Follow the question and answer stage of the White House press conference on C-Span or CNN (in and out coverage). Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, National Incident Commander Thad Allen, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, and Obama advisor Carol Browner are discussing the current state of the oil spill and its effects in the Gulf. A lot of good stuff being said, but a number of very puzzling and confusing statements as well. Check back later in the day for a comprehensive recap and dissection of today’s discussions.
August 4th – 10:38AM
New Orleans, LA – As we left the community room of a small Episcopal church in Biloxi, Mississippi last night, where we attended a meeting of fisherman and residents of the region, I collected my thoughts and came away confused, yet focused. This spill is a tragedy, a crisis of epic proportions. The amount of toxic chemicals in the Gulf will undoubtedly take their toll on those who live, work, and play in its waters. Toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor Riki Ott attended and participated significantly in this afternoon’s discussion and noted the host of symptoms found amongst fisherman and cleanup workers in Cordova, Alaska, many of whom are now dead. The same symptoms have and continue to be reported along the Gulf Coast, sore throat, headache, nausea, etc. They seem innocuous enough though, and it’s understandable that one might conclude that they are short term symptoms of short terms problems. The reality, however, is that these are the symptoms of chemical poisoning, something much more dangerous and insidious than the symptoms might suggest. The toll on marine life and the Gulf ecosystem is likely impossible to calculate. April 20th, 2010 will not forever live as a day of infamy in the Gulf, rather, every day since.
Every day, BP continues to neglect their promises and assurances and the U.S. government continues to neglect the health and well-being of their people. The people of the Gulf we’re dealt a bad card on that day, but the real crime is that the people in charge keep dealing them that same bad card, again and again. And so the residents and communities of the Gulf are left with a pair of twos while BP sits with a stack of aces up their sleeve. As if the millions of gallons of oil contaminating the Gulf weren’t enough of an obstacle, BP has emerged and solidified themselves as an adversary of these people. How can they be expected to stand a chance when they face one of the large corporations in the world, when their own government can barely back them up? We’re talking about millions of individuals, hundreds of communities, one BP. You might think, strength in numbers? That strength can only truly be harnassed when those numbers are united, and when our government, the United States of America, can’t do that for its only people, it is a sad and scary day.
Nicholas Stone Schearer
(check back for here updates and at our Media Gallery for more photos)
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