Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Difference Between A Hurricane & An Oil Spill...(Beach Bum Rant Coming)

Happy Tuesday, Shopaholics! Yesterday I took the day "off" from blogging, after a weekend packed with Mother's Day activities! Hope you're all having a great start to the week!

Living on (or even NEAR) the coast, we spend plenty of time and effort preparing for potential tropical weather or hurricanes. During hurricane season, we watch the news and weather updates with great interest and a bit of nervousness. We watch the water temperature, as hot water is extremely favorable for development of tropical weather. As nerve wracking as all this sounds, it's just a part of life on the coast. The other 350 or so days of the year, life is grand and immensely pleasant.

Here's how it works - you watch a tropical system develop - generally around the Lesser Antilles, Bay of Campiche or south of Cuba. At that point, the system is about 5-7 days from the Northern Gulf Coast. And the good news, it's so early you have no idea where it will hit. You just "keep an eye out" for the updates. You don't stress yet. A few days after the tropical systems enter the Gulf of Mexico, and mixes with warmer water temperatures, THEN you stress. You fill up the cars with gas, buy canned goods, stock up on bottled water, make sure you have plenty of cash $$ on hand, stockpile propane or charcoal so you can grill, secure all patio furniture/outdoor objects, decide whether to evacuate, etc. Get your business done and move on. Tropical storm or God forbid, hurricane, then hits land and in 24 hours, the weather is gorgeous again. The day after a hurricane is one of the most beautiful days you'll ever see on the coast. Then....the real fun - the cleanup - begins. But hey, at least it's over then. No more worrying, stressing, watching the news like a crazy person. Your biggest fight then is with the insurance company, and while that is no fun, you can handle it.

Here we are today - May 11, 2010. It's not even hurricane season yet (that fun begins on June 1, 2010). However, Since April 20, 2010, we've had the pleasure (not) of watching the oil spill drama unfold. That's 22 DAYS you guys!!! We've been watching the news like crazy and surfing 100's of sites on the internet in an attempt to know "What is going to happen"? The sad truth - no one knows. The oil continues to gush - approximately 210,000 gallons a day. As of my writing this post, 4,320,000+ gallons of oil have gushed into the Gulf of Mexico. BP continues to try all sorts of things, to stop the leak. None have been successful. We have an "oil spill forecast" daily now - you know, what's the temperature outside and where is the oil going today? It's unbelievable to me that in the year 2010, with all the technology that is available in this world, THE FOURTH LARGEST COMPANY IN THE WORLD - BP - can't figure out how to stop this gushing of oil into our Gulf. That's right- OUR Gulf. MY Gulf. It's right across the street. I get up every morning, look out the bedroom window and say "whew - I don't see any oil today. this is a good day." I go for my 4 mile walk and look at all the birds (even the seagulls, which I normally loathe) and hope they aren't ingesting oil south of MY beach. I haven't seen a sea turtle or dolphin (dolphin sightings are very common across the street) since the oil spill. I hope they are swimming somewhere safe. Another bad thing - animals have a "sense" about the tropical weather. When it's headed this way, they know. They go somewhere else. In this case, they have no built in radar that says "Oil spill ahead - swim south please".

Another item of huge concern to me - BP is using a "chemical dispersant" at the oil spill source (underwater via remote controlled submarine, not like you can send a diver into 5,000 feet of water). The EPA had halted this dispersant use two times previously, but apparently the third time was a charm and yesterday, they began to use it again. The EPA was concerned about potential impacts to sea life, water quality and health concerns for coastal residents. Is this dispersant safe??? Does anyone really know at this point? Nope, it isn't. That's what I'm hearing and reading. Who is going to tell us the truth? Seriously? BP? The EPA? I'm getting concerned, my friends.

Just some numbers for you:

4,325,311 gallons now spilled in the Gulf (notice how it's gone up since I started this post)
11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon Rig (leased by BP for oil production) killed/lost at sea in the oil rig explosion
$2.6 BILLION DOLLARS - BP Profit - 1st quarter, 2010
$16.58 BILLION DOLLARS - BP Profit - 2009
$350 MILLION Dollars - what BP has paid so far to clean up spill
$25 MILLION Dollars - BP has given to each state - LA, MS, AL and FL - to pay for their efforts related to the oil spill
$75 MILLION Dollars - BP's "liability" for this spill, according to federal law

Fisherman are out of work, no shrimping, no crabbing, no oystering, nothing is happening right now. I'm going to try to post a video - this was taken on a fly over of the oil spill by a local reporter from WALA-Fox 10 TV in Mobile, AL. It's absolutely heartbreaking. DH and I both had tears in our eyes when we watched it last night. It's probably the most comprehensive view of the oil that is heading to someone's coast - likely to LA, MS, and AL - and maybe a small amount to the FL panhandle.

I'm starting to get MAD now - until Sunday night, I've mostly "just" been sad. Almost a depressive state of sorts, but now my mood is changing. I'm ticked off, and you should be also. Whether you live in Maine or Mississippi, Alabama or Alaska, Florida or California, you will be impacted by this awful disaster. The gas prices, the economy, the seafood supply (and the impact on pricing). You name it.

I leave today (tonight) with one question: if this spill isn't stopped soon (some are now speculating it could be weeks or MONTHS for BP to drill a relief well)............


By the way, my "oil spill counter"....

Gallons spilled are now at 4,328,239......see how fast that number adds up???

Please say a prayer for the Gulf Coast. We need it.


  1. I think the most frustrating part must be that this could have been prevented. A hurricane cannot be prevented although you can plan and prepare for that. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers!

  2. I am so frustrated as well. What is the impact going to be on all of us? It is a true disaster. Thank you for this post. I am praying. But BP needs to DO something.

  3. Saying a prayer now.

    By the way, did you see that image of the child playing in the water, with the men in hazmat suits behind him. Nice parenting, right?

  4. It's scary- my folks live on the gulf coast of FL and nobody there really knows when or what is going to happen, I'm just hoping for the best..

  5. My heart goes out to those living on the Gulf Coast. They are also saying it could impact all of the Florida coast and possibly up the Atlantic side...depending on the Gulf Stream. Horrible! I'm a Georgia coast girl and can totally understand how upset you are. God Bless.

  6. You said it! It is almost too frustrating to think about. Almost. It's actually all I think about. Hoping for some kind of solution, and soon!

  7. It's just heartbreaking! And if this is not a wake up call to seriously focus on other energy sources than what is!? And what will happen during a hurricane..., I can't even imagine.

    Maya @ Daily Vitamin Sea

  8. I'm hoping and praying they find a solution to at least stop the oil from flowing SOON. It's maddening to hear how much is coming out and how long it's been coming out for and that they still can't stop it.

    I saw this the other day and thought it was interesting (helps put the situaion in perspective for those of us who don't live in the area): http://paulrademacher.com/oilspill/
    Not a pleasant thing to see at all, but I know it's good for me to be aware!

  9. Oh Lori. This is horrible! And it may spread with the Gulf Stream everywhere. I can't even imagine what's going to happen next.

  10. Thank you for posting this Lori, you help make it hit home. And for putting it in a visual perspective, the link you posted is just remarkable, absolutely one of the best reports I have seen.

    Sending you a hug,

  11. Hugs Lori... Hurricanes are natural. Oil spills are not. That's the difference. My heart goes out to you and all those on the coast... my heart goes out to all the fishermen and everyone else who makes a living on the coast... I pray there is an end to this soon.

  12. Thank you for posting all this information. And a great video piece. I feel I know so much more now. We all need to know the impact, and how it effects so many lives. We do need to pray...

  13. I know how much you have on your mind right now...Sending you lots of loving thoughts and prayers sweetie. xoxox

  14. Just heartbreaking. All that innocent sea life...XXOO


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