The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill is set to be the biggest ecological disaster in history. Tripling the size of the devastation of the Exxon Valdez, the ocean slick has already reached Louisiana coasts. Upon arrival it blackened beaches and ruined a wildlife preserve. The slick is scheduled to reach Mississippi today, then Alabama, and then move on to Florida. This recent catastrophe, or as the Obama Administration is calling it, “National Emergency,” is the perfect example of man destroying his own living environment because it’s easier than putting in the effort needed to find a green alternative to our energy needs.
Now that science has advanced, we can no longer ignore the fact that we are destroying our environment, and by extension ourselves, through pollution. We, as a country, as citizens of the world, as human beings, need to end this suicide by pollution and embrace the green revolution before we destroy another ocean crucial to our survival. We must learn to live in symbiosis with our environment for the future of our existence.
People often say, “Save the planet” but, to be honest, that doesn’t reflect our current situation at all. The phrase should be “Save the people” because that’s the reality. The planet will be here long after we, “the people,” are gone. Whether we change our destructive practices or not, the only thing that’s going anywhere anytime soon is “the people.” We need to start acting accordingly. Earth has been through meteor hits, Ice Ages, drought, famine and just about anything else you can think of; it will be fine. We need to change our thinking. We are not killing the planet; we are killing ourselves.
Our only chance at long term survival on this planet is protecting the environment through regulation and green industries. Integrity and innovation made this country a world power during the Industrial Revolution–it’s time for us to employ these two qualities again, only this time it’s the Green Revolution.
Below are the six worst realities of the Gulf Coast oil spill: the result of turning the Gulf of Mexico into the world’s largest crude oil pool.
1. A seafood shortage: One-fifth of all the seafood in the United States comes from the Gulf of Mexico, including 75% of the country’s shrimp. Shrimpers, crabbers and all other commercial fisherman are completely ruined. The crude oil that is now entering the coastal estuaries is expected to cause a dramatic drop in seafood recruitment for years to come. Louisiana commercial shrimpers have already filed a class action lawsuit against BP.
2. Goodbye Wildlife: The oil slick has already rolled through Louisiana’s delicate wildlife preserves and is now en route to Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Each one of these states can expect the death and disease of wildlife due to their severely damaged habitats. Everything from herons to sperm whales are expected to be affected as the slick spreads through the Gulf and on to shore. The spill is set to be the worst ecological disaster in US history.
3. Death Blow for the Big Easy: New Orleans still isn’t back from Katrina and yet another disaster strikes the fragile state. Reporters have already been reporting a strong odor blanketing the state that is causing people to experience headaches, vomiting and nausea. Not to mention the striking blow to the tourism industry they have just started to get back. New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu, said the spill would devastate their economy.
4. Higher Gas Prices: With the spill not stopping anytime soon (some say at least three weeks to contain it). This could very well be the final thing that shoots US gas prices above 3 dollars a gallon forever. With heavy taxes in foreign countries on gas, it’s likely the US may adopt a similar policy to try to get us off our oil dependence. Especially since this is the first time this dependence has actually destroyed a part of our own country. Expect gas prices to go up indefinitely in the months following this disaster.
5. No More Coastal Drilling: With Obama already reviewing his stance on coastal drilling and the constant media coverage of the ecological disaster and oil covered sea creatures, it’s going to be very hard for the government to convince anyone that drilling off their states’ coast is a good idea. I know the last thing Florida residents want is an oil rig off their beaches. It’s important to note that prior to this, the Obama Administration had supported drilling off the Florida coast.
6. BP Losses Billions: The Exxon Valdez spill cost Exxon $4 billion dollars. This spill is bigger, the dollar is worth less, and it’s on our home turf. The ramifications for BP will be significant. If they survive all the lawsuits, government regulation, cleanup and fines, there is no guarantee the government will ever allow them to drill in the Gulf of Mexico again. BP will be lucky to survive the fallout. The company did, after all, destroy a body of water that is 1.5 million kilometers large and borders five US states and a handful of other countries.