8 Reasons Why The Pain From The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Is Going To Be Felt For Decades

As oil continues to pour into the Gulf of Mexico at a staggering rate, many are now starting to realize that the pain from this oil spill will be felt not just for months or years – but for decades.  At least 4.2 million gallons of oil (and some estimates put the total at far higher than that) are already in the Gulf of Mexico causing untold damage to the ecologically fragile Louisiana coast.  The oil has already made contact with the Chandeleur Islands off of the coast of Louisiana, and over the next few days more areas are expected to see oil come ashore.  But just because this disaster is unfolding in slow-motion does not mean that this is not going to be a complete and utter tragedy for the Gulf Coast region.  In fact, many of those living along the Gulf Coast now fear that this oil spill is going to do far more damage to the region than Hurricane Katrina did.  And after Hurricane Katrina and everything else that folks living down there have been through over the past several years, the thought of weathering another massive tragedy is almost too much.

It certainly doesn’t help that those attempting to stop the leak don’t really seem to know what they are doing.  After failing to contain the oil spill with a giant concrete and steel dome, BP announced on Monday that it will make a second attempt this week using a smaller version of the dome dubbed the “Top Hat”.

“Top Hat”?

If BP was as good at stopping oil leaks as they are at coming up with cute little code names for their operations perhaps this crisis would be over by now.

But the truth is that attempting to do anything at depths of up to one mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico is extremely difficult.

It kind of makes you wonder what in the world we were doing drilling for oil down there in the first place.

In any event, BP is not just relying on the “Top Hat” to stop the leak.

BP is also considering plugging the damaged blowout preventer on the underwater well by pumping debris into it at high pressure.  This technique is known as a “junk shot”.

Or, in other words, BP would be plugging the leak by shooting a bunch of garbage into it.  One official recently described this method to CBS News this way….

“They are actually going to take a bunch of debris — some shredded up tires, golf balls and things like that — and under very high pressure shoot it into the preventer itself and see if they can clog it up to stop the leak.”

But what many media outlets are not admitting is that the “junk shot” procedure is extremely risky.  In fact, some experts are warning that tinkering with the damaged blowout preventer could make the leak much worse.

But something has got to be done.  Even members of the U.S. Congress are admitting that this oil could end up getting into the Loop Current and going up the east coast of the United States….

“If this gusher continues for several months, it’s going to cover up the Gulf Coast and it’s going to get down into the Loop Current and that’s going to take it down into the Florida Keys and up the east coast of Florida,” Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson told CNN.

To get an idea of just how devastating the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is already, check out the aerial footage in the video below.  As you watch this video, just try to imagine how horrific this crisis is going to be if oil continues to gush into the Gulf for weeks or months….

The truth is that this has the potential to be one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the United States.  The following are 8 of the reasons why the pain from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is going to be felt for decades to come….

#1) The Fishing, Shrimping And Oyster Industries In The Gulf Are Being Destroyed

Seafood is a 2.4 billion dollar industry in the state of Louisiana.  In fact, Louisiana produces more than 30 percent of the seafood originating in the continental United States.

But that is about to dramatically change.  As the waters off Louisiana are being progressively poisoned by all the oil, fishermen and shrimpers are starting to realize that their lives will never be the same.

In fact, some local shrimpers in Louisiana are already predicting that it will be seven years before they can set to sea again.

So are they being overly dramatic?

No, especially when you consider the fact that fishermen in Cordova, Alaska are still struggling 21 years after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill devastated the fishing industry in that region.

#2) The Damage To The Environment And Wildlife In the Gulf Is Going To Be Unprecedented

Already, environmentalists are warning that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could absolutely devastate the bird population of the region.  You see, nearly 75 percent of all U.S. waterfowl use Louisiana’s three million acres of wetlands to rest or nest.  Once the oil spill gets into those wetlands it is going to be an absolute nightmare for those waterfowl.

But it isn’t just waterfowl that are at risk.  Literally hundreds of different species that inhabit the coastal areas surrounding the Gulf of Mexico will soon be facing an oily nightmare that they don’t even know is coming.  Entire ecosystems are going to be permanently altered.  Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently put it this way….

“Florida is currently preparing for what we all know is an environmental disaster of unprecedented proportions for our state and Gulf of Mexico partner states.”

In fact, Richard Charter of the Defenders of Wildlife says that we are looking at an environmental impact that is going to last for decades….

“It is so big and expanding so fast that it’s pretty much beyond human response that can be effective. … You’re looking at a long-term poisoning of the area. Ultimately, this will have a multidecade impact.”

#3) The Natural Beauty Of The Gulf Coast Region Will Never Be The Same

Anyone who has ever been to the Gulf Coast knows how amazingly beautiful that it can be.  But once it is covered with millions of gallons of oil it will never be the same.

Brenda Prosser of Mobile, Alabama said that she wept when she saw the workers attempting to try to prevent the oil spill from spreading….

“I just started crying. I couldn’t quit crying. I’m shaking now.  To know that our beach may be black or brown, or that we can’t get in the water, it’s so sad.”

And it is a great tragedy.  This didn’t have to happen.  But now the great natural beauty of our coasts is being destroyed and we aren’t going to be able to get it back for a long, long time as Public Service Commissioner Benjamin Stevens recently explained….

“You get hit by a hurricane and you can rebuild. But when that stuff washes up on the white sands of Pensacola Beach, you can’t just go and get more white sand.”

Louis Miller of the Mississippi Sierra Club was a bit more dramatic in describing what this oil spill means for the region….

“This is going to destroy the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast as we know it.”

#4) Tourism Along The Gulf Coast Is Now Dead

Needless to say, very few people are going to want to vacation along the Gulf Coast for quite a long time.

Hotel Owner Dodie Vegas put it this way….

“It’s just going to kill us. It’s going to destroy us.”

#5) The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Is Going To Greatly Contribute To The Ongoing Poisoning Of The World’s Water Supply

Over the past twenty years, the world has witnessed 30 oil spills larger than the Exxon Valdez tragedy.  Both the global food chain and the world’s waters are being progressively poisoned by all of this oil.  In fact, nature can simply not keep up with how fast we are poisoning the water all over the world.  This current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not going to help things at all.

#6) This Oil Spill Is Going To Have A Dramatic Chilling Effect On Oil Exploration

The head of the International Energy Agency is warning that this disaster will slow the exploration and development of offshore oil projects worldwide.  Now that the danger of offshore drilling has become more apparent, approval of new projects is going to be much more difficult around the world, and oil companies are going to be less inclined to invest in such projects.

#7) Oil Prices Around The Globe Are Going To Rise

Oil prices have already gone up as a result of this oil spill, and they are likely to stay high for the long-term as demand continues to increase while supplies grow less quickly.  As noted in point #6, this crisis is going to have a chilling effect on oil exploration, and that is going to mean less oil as we move forward.  Less oil and increasing demand means that prices are going to rise, and that is not good news for the U.S. economy.

#8) The Economy Of The Gulf Coast Region Is Going To Be Devastated

Two of the major industries in the Gulf region, seafood and tourism, are going to be pretty much wiped out in the short-term.  Many areas along the Gulf, particularly in Louisiana, were already economic disaster areas even before this oil spill.  The truth is that economic conditions down there are simply not strong enough to weather another major tragedy.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is essentially “a slow-motion Katrina” which is going to alter the economy of the Gulf region permanently.

One anonymous Louisiana resident put it this way….

“A hurricane is like closing your bank account for a few days, but this here has the capacity to destroy our bank accounts.”

It is hard to even imagine the despair that those living along the Gulf Coast are feeling right now.  Let’s pray for them and assist them in any way that we can, and let us hope that they get that darn leak stopped as quickly as possible.

Austin Coins

 

Why Do So Many Bad Things Keep Happening To The United States?

At a time when the American economy is already reeling like a drunken sailor, the United States is being hit by what seems like an endless parade of horrible disasters that threaten to push the fragile financial system over the edge.  The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is now destroying not only the the entire economy of the Gulf Coast but also the entire way of life for hundreds of thousands of people is getting all the headlines right now, but it is far from the only major crisis that has hit the United States recently.  The old saying, “when it rains it pours”, is certainly applicable to the United States right now.  Already faced with some of the biggest economic problems in a generation, America is also being forced to deal with horrifying natural disasters, rapidly growing environmental nightmares and agricultural problems that could end up being absolutely unprecedented.  So why do so many bad things keep happening to the United States?  Does there come a point when the economic damage from all of these disasters just becomes too much?  After all, how many body blows can the “biggest economy in the world” take and still remain standing?  

Consider just a few of the major disasters that the U.S. is having to deal with….

*The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill

Industry experts are now saying that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could be increasing at a rate of 25,000 barrels a day – five times the U.S. government’s current estimate.  In fact, Barack Obama is calling the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico a potentially unprecedented environmental disaster.

So how much is this disaster going to cost?

Well, estimates vary at this point, but it is being reported that some analysts are already projecting that the costs related to the oil spill drifting toward Louisiana from a well operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico could exceed 14 billion dollars.

The cost to the fishing industry in Louisiana alone could top 3 billion dollars, and it is being projected that the tourism industry in Florida could lose even more than that. 

This is rapidly shaping up as one of the biggest environmental nightmares (perhaps the biggest) that the United States has ever had to face.  In fact, there are some who are saying that this incident has already eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident as the worst U.S. oil disaster in history.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is warning that the oil spill in the Gulf threatens the very way of life of people in his state.  As bad as Hurricane Katrina was, there are those who are already claiming that this disaster will be worse than Hurricane Katrina for the region, because it will literally take years for this mess to be cleaned up.  In fact, there is a very real possibility that the fishing industry may be crippled for generations by this disaster.

*The Disappearance Of The Honeybees

For the fourth year in a row in the United States, more than a third of all bee colonies have failed to survive the winter.

To be more precise, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the U.S. government’s Agricultural Research Service, the number of managed honeybee colonies in the United States fell by 33.8% last winter.

Needless to say, this is not a good trend.

In fact, it could quickly turn into an unmitigated disaster as it is estimated that a third of all that we eat depends upon honeybee pollination.

Are you starting to get the picture?

Most flowering plants require insects for pollination.  The most effective insect for pollination is the honeybee.

Without honeybees, we are going to be in a world of hurt.

According to WorldNetDaily, the following is a list of just some of the crops that depend on honeybees: almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, citrus fruits, cranberries, grapes, kiwi, loganberries, macadamia nuts, nectarines, olives, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, onions, pumpkins, squash, watermelon, alfalfa hay and seed, cotton lint, cotton seed, legume seed, peanuts, rapeseed, soybeans, sugar beets and sunflowers.

In fact, Ohio State University’s honeybee specialist, James Tew, recently told the following to the Dayton Daily News….

“The average person should care. Bees of all species are fundamental to the operation of our ecosystem.”

So what happens if they all die off?

You don’t even want to think about that.

But certainly our scientists can find a solution, right?

Well, the World Organization for Animal Health announced on Wednesday that the huge die off of bees worldwide is not due to any one single factor.

Some of the factors for the honeybee deaths the World Organization for Animal Health included in its report include parasites, viral and bacterial infections, pesticides, and poor nutrition.

Other researchers claim that genetically modified crops and cell phone transmissions are also playing a role in the disappearance of the honeybees.

But the truth is that a “solution” seems to be very far away right now and we are running out of time.

*The Deadly Tornadoes Which Have Ravaged The Southeast

Last Sunday saw an unprecedented outbreak of tornadoes across the southeast United States.  Officials said 61 tornadoes erupted as a massive storm marched across states such as Mississippi, Florida and South Carolina. 

Winds inside some of the tornadoes were clocked as high as 160 mph, and one of the tornadoes had a base one and a half miles wide.

The tornadoes killed at least 12 people, and it is estimated that the damage that they caused could reach into the billions of dollars.

*The Drying Up Of The Ogallala Aquifer

Most Americans have never heard of the Ogallala Aquifer, but it is absolutely critical to food production in many areas of the United States.

The water from this massive underground lake is used to irrigate much of America’s Great Plains.  But it is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute and it is starting to dry up.  

So why is that a bad thing?

Well, the Ogallala Aquifer is a gigantic underground lake that stretches from southern South Dakota all the way through northern Texas, covering approximately 174,000 square miles.

If it gets depleted, the era of “pivot irrigation” in the region will be over.  That would mean that the Great Plains could quickly turn into the Great American Desert. 

America could very well see a return to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.

Are you prepared for that?

Even if agricultural production continues to grow normally, scientists are telling us that the world is heading for a massive global food shortage.  So what happens if our food production does not increase or is even reduced?

Sadly, the United States has only enough grain stored up to give about a half a loaf of bread to every man, woman and child in the United States.

How long do you think that is going to last in the event of a major emergency?

The truth is that “the good times” we have all grown up with are not going to last forever.  The United States is in big trouble economically, and all of these natural disasters and environmental problems are not helping things one bit. 

We are not entitled to endless wealth and prosperity just because we are Americans.  In fact, we have recklessly squandered the wealth that prior generations have left for us. 

But even as the economy crumbles around them, millions of Americans will remain in denial until the day they have to cook a dinner of “mouse soup” for their starving family.

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