Monday, May 3, 2010

Feeling Helpless, but Not Hopeless

As you probably know by now, the oil spill has not been contained, and hopes are dimming for a solution to stop the leaks any time soon.  The short term solution will be to cover the leaks with containment vessels which are being built now but may take 6-8 days to deploy that will hold the leaking oil before it can be drained.  The longer term plan will be to build a relief well (takes 60-90 days) to relieve the pressure at the leak.  Obviously neither solution is perfect, nor does either address the problem now.  When every minute counts, 6-8 days is an eternity. 

I don't know about you, but before Katrina, it was so difficult for me to conceptualize mass tragedy.  While it never lessened my empathy for the people experiencing it, I just could not relate to tragedies on large scales.  It would take seeing a picture of someone invloved for it to sink in that behind every number, every statistic is a person just like me.  This article demonstrates this catastrophe on a very human and individual level.  It discusses the impact the spill has on the livelihoods of Gulf Coast fisherman.  In it one man states, "I made the mistake of looking at what happened in Alaska on the computer last night, then I couldn't even sleep," said Dean Blanchard of Grand Isle, one of the largest shrimp buyers and distributors on the Gulf Coast. "They've still got problems over there. If it takes me 20 years to recover, I'm out of business. That's my whole life down the drain."  When you make your living on our waters, it is all you do, and all you know.  These are good, hard-working people who have been through so much already in the wake of Katrina and Ivan.  They deserve better.

Chalmette fisherman being briefed on a spill update

 You can click HERE for comprehensive coverage.

Click HERE to see how you can help the Ritz Carlton collect items to make booms to prevent the oil from coming to shore.

In the market for new dish detergent, click HERE to learn how your purchase of Dawn dish soap can help save the wildlife of the Gulf Coast.

Getting a haircut?  Click HERE to learn how you and your favorite local salon can help the effort to absorb oil that makes its way onshore.

Here are two diagrams that address the impact of the leaks.

While things along the coast seem to be getting worse by the day, I find myself feeling much like I did after Katrina - helpless.  I want to feel involved, but how.  I want to feel like I can do something to keep this precious and irreplaceable ecosystem in one piece, but what.  And then that post-Katrina feeling emerges from the pit of my stomach.  It was something I hoped would not return, but seeing the faces of those men in the photo above brings it all right back.  Helplessness.

But in New Orleans today, we have something to be hopeful about.  Today marks the day when our new mayor will be innaugurated.  Mayor Mitch Landrieu - that has a pretty ring to it.  Who knows what the future will bring, but Mayor Landrieu has the opportunity to be the greatest mayor New Orleans has ever known.  There is hope in that.  I wish him much luck as he begins this journey.  We're all rooting for him!


  1. Hey girl!! I just wanted you to know how sorry I am that this has happened. I have been praying about this situation and I will continue to pray about it. Congrats on your new mayor!!

  2. Great post my NOLA friend, I'm going to link it on a new post of mine, if that's OK with you. Very eloquent yet factual. I, sadly, have sunk into another deep depression over all of this. I had prayed 2010 would be problem free, not the case.

    I'm going to attend some of the different classes being offered here for clean-up, etc. I've got to get out and do something. Did you see the stupid remarks that our local Congressman Gene Taylor made? I'm going to post about that also. Yea for Mayor Landrieu! Hope he serves NOLA well and brings this magnificent city to her rightfull staus and glory!


  3. I feel the same way. Living here on the Gulf Coast has its perks but it also has its share of tragedies (hurricanes, etc.).This accident will have such far reaching effects, on everyone from beach goers to fishermen. Hope they can find a solution and quickly!

  4. It is just so tragic. I truly hope they are able to minimize further impact. We're praying for all involved here in Florida! And congrats on the new mayor. I hope he does good things for your beloved city!

  5. i am praying so hard. was just there and could see it from the plane.

  6. I'm praying real hard friend. HUGS!!! xoxox

  7. I am with you on all of this! Waiting for my FIL to give us the 411 on helping with the animals (he's retired Wildlife & Fisheries)

    and THANK THE LORD for a new mayor- don't you think?

  8. Inspiring and true post my friend. I will post your link on my blog so that people can read and share!

  9. Thanks for making more people aware of this tragedy. Hope it clears up soon. I'm definitely getting some Dawn soon. So so sad about all the poor animals too.



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