Friday, May 28, 2010

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

This video was made by the daughter of the editor in chief of the Saponifier magazine. Tamara and her family also live in South Florida. Her daughter did a great job of putting this video together. It speaks volumes in a creative and moving clip. I encourage you to watch it.

I'm sure I am not the only one outraged by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I am sure I am not the only one that gets sick to my stomach thinking about the massive amount of marine life that will be destroyed by this, not to mention the human lives already lost. I am sure I am not the only one disgusted with the blase attitude of people in this world.

If I sound angry and upset, it's because I am. Let's look at this situation. We have a corrupt industry with unethical behaviors from inspectors and officials. We have people that turn their cheek to the daily wrong doings of others, all for a little cash. I see now that Facebook has a group lobbying for boycotting BP. Well, I've got news for you people. You better be boycotting more than just BP if you want to make a difference because the oil industry is full of corruption, as are many other industries. Corruption is a global epidemic, and it's not just the executives that are the problem. It goes right down to one inspector, one builder, one technician.

Why is it that people think it's OK to cut corners, take bribes, and not care about others and our earth? It's time for a change. It's time to make a stand, and it starts with YOU - the individual. Are you living ethically? Are you following standards and making sure the job is done right? Are you working for a better tomorrow? These are the questions every individual needs to be asking themselves. Oil is not the only catastrophe we need to be worrying about. Bridges collapse, buildings crumble, dams fail, machinery breaks, mines collapse, oil spills, and 99.9% of the time we find out about the shoddy workmanship and the bribes that were given as lives are taken and ecosystems are destroyed. In a previous post, I showed a picture of a boa constrictor I took in the Everglades. Someone let that animal loose, and they have wiped out rabbits and otters native to the Everglades. All careless, selfish actions by man.

What can you do to help the oil spill? Donate to the National Wildlife Federation or other wildlife organization. BP will be paying to clean up the mess, but these organizations always need your help. There is no reason to come to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida. You will not be permitted to come in contact with oil or with any animals injured by oil. Only trained people will be doing that. BP has also pledged to hire LOCALS for the clean-up effort. We have many unemployed workers that are getting trained and hired by BP for the cleanup and they will turn you away if you show up to help.

I think the bigger picture is how will you help society? And that's an easy one. Think of others and live ethically and sustainably.

When I was a teenager, an Exxon Valdez exhibit came to the South Florida Science Museum. My mother and I visited the exhibit and the scene was nothing less than shocking. Photos of the mess, the animals, oil covered sand - it was atrocious. They had equipment used in the cleanup, audio clips from the boat and stuffed wildlife that had not survived. I'm not sensitive (I'm very tough skinned), but I left that exhibit in tears and a mark was left on me permanently. This BP spill in the Gulf has surpassed the Exxon Valdez as the worst oil spill. Now , do you know what the worst part is? Disastrous oil spills only account for about 10% of the oil in the oceans. Most come from the run-off of our roads.

Now here are some points that have not been discussed. Hurricane season starts June 1st. This year is predicted to be one of the worst seasons. While I hope they are wrong, things aren't looking good. The temps in S. FL are already in the 90s and the water temperature, which feeds hurricanes is getting very warm very quickly. So what happens when (and I say when not if) a hurricane comes through the Gulf? The answer - it will be very bad.

Forget just the coast of the four states at most risk. Now think about Texas, Mexico, and all of the other countries and islands lining the Gulf. They all should be doing beach cleanups to prepare for this oil. I can't imagine the oily mess that will be washed inland and over homes when at least one hurricane crosses the Gulf and dumps the mess inland. Several hurricanes have crossed my area in recent years, and they suck the waters of one body of water while they span across Florida and simultaneously touch another body of water.

While I am on the southeast coast of FL, we are also preparing our beaches for the mess that will eventually work its way around through various currents. Local marine life organizations have begun to prepare their facilities for animals in distress. Gumbo Limbo, right up the street from my house, is preparing to take on sick sea turtles, many of which are already very endangered. The Palm Beach Zoo, which has won numerous awards for its recent greening, has a state of the art hospital to work in conjunction with Gumbo Limbo. While not advertised, I am sure Miami Seaquarium, the Dolphin Research Center in the Keys and Sea World are also on high alert for the marine mammals that will be fighting to survive this mess. Not only that but many coastal residents rely on tourism and fishing. I've already seen many small towns go under with the economy in this state alone. Now our coastal towns will struggle more.

So again I ask, are you part of the problem or part of the solution? What are you doing to improve your own industry? What are you doing to protect your local ecosystem or residents in your neck of the woods? What are you doing to live ethically? Now is the time to make a difference.

The Bonnie Bath Co.
Natural, handmade bath and body products


  1. Congratulations on a wonderful post Erica, if more people in the world felt as strongly as you do, we'd be in a much better place.

    I agree totally, if makes me feel sick when I see and think of the destruction this total disaster has and will continue to cause.

    We all need to start pulling together to try and turn around the terrible things that are happening to our planet.

  2. I definitely get a bit emotional and frustrated when we (the human race) don't take care of our earth and the creatures on it.


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