Friday, July 09, 2010

The BP Gulf Spill Disaster Three Months On: We Still Have Our Beach. So Far

I got a well-deserved spanking from a commenter earlier this week when I took a day off from blogging to head to our favorite Middle Atlantic beach to frolic with the dolphins, white pelicans and other shore birds.
"You still have your beach. The Gulf Coast is useless for the rest of my life," wrote the commenter.

He was right, of course, and if the projection in the map atop this post of the reach of the BP spill one year on is accurate, then the word catastrophe will take on a new meaning for those of us that have watched the spill and its consequences from afar without considering that we too may eventually be directly affected.

Long-term disasters have a way of losing their edge of awfulness for those not directly involved.

Once it became obvious that the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld axis was lying through their teeth about Iraq, there was considerable outrage. But it ebbed in time even though Americans by the thousands and Iraqis by the tens of thousands died, and now that fool's errand has conveniently become Barack Obama's war for the very Republicans who backed it. (Afghanistan, too.)

Once the extent of the Katrina disaster on New Orleans and the inept Bush administration response became obvious, there was considerable outrage. But it too ebbed in time even though tens of thousands of people were displaced, never to return to their own homes.

And so it too has been with the BP spill, which nearly three months on has become a sort of background noise to our lives.

Yup, the Spillcam is still showing torrents of oil gushing from the damaged well head. Yup, the spill continues to work its way across the gulf and in some cases inland. Yup, BP is still lying through its teeth and the government response still seems inadequate, but . . . ho-freaking-hum.

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