Monday, July 12, 2010
Above is all true.
And the media blackout is causing people to have no idea about the human scale of this catastrophe. It was abstract until I was literally on the beach. Then, from over a hundred miles away from the gusher site, I stood on a beach in Mississippi and saw oil as far as I could see in either direction. This was in Waveland, MS, where I planned to go BEFORE the beach was closed and people were still fishing and swimming... but oil showed up before me. Oil in all different forms was in the soil across the street from the beach, buried under the sand on the beach, on top of the sand, on everything that was on the beach, the booms, the docks, the seawalls; visible oil "patties" ranged from smaller than a dime and bigger than at least a yard across, oil was on top of the water with a visible sheen, oil was in the water showing up with bands of brown clouds. Oiled clouds of minute debris floated in the water and that looked black, as opposed to brown.
Clean up crews were working with no respirators. Photos can't describe the problem with this: they are picking up oil that's melting in the sun and there's oil in every direction. It's not like someone poured motor oil on the beach, there's many forms of oil and all the forms of oil are cooking in the heat. And the clean up crew is breathing that in. Now, maybe that's ok, what the hell do I know about breathing in hot oil... but it seemed to me like respirators should be standard for the people who are working on the beach all day.
All the the black on the sand is oil. The brown mass in the water is all oil. The dots on the seawall on the right are oil.
Posted by ZS at 2:08 PM