Unless you live under a massive rock in a series of tunnels with earmuffs on, you have probably heard of this “oil spill” in the Gulf. This “spill” is in fact a leak and it is leaking a whole, whole lot. This situation seems virtually unfixable at this point and the scariest part is.. no one knows what to do. Those that have the means and the power to do something substantial don’t really seem to care that much. I think the whole world agrees with the fact that the blatant disregard for life and our entire planet for the sake of monetary gain is absolutely sickening. I hear a revolution calling.
Some scary facts
- Since April 20, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, the Interior Department has approved 27 new permits for offshore drilling sites. Two of these permits are for BP. (source)
- Transocean Ltd., the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP, insured the rig for about twice what it was worth. They have made a $270 million profit from insurance payouts after the disaster. (source)
- If the problem is never solved and the oil continues to gush, it could potentially leak over 1 billion barrels of oil. (source)
- Hurricane season (late summer, early fall) creates a powerful gulf stream that sends hurricanes -as well as water from the Gulf – up the east coast and out into the Atlantic. This will absolutely ruin containment efforts and spread the effect of the leak across a good portion of the US and other countries. (source and source)
- Fishermen and volunteers aiding with cleanup have been reported to be getting incredibly ill. This could be from the chemical dispersant used to “clean” the leak or the oil itself. Or a combination of both. (source)
- The incredibly toxic and ineffective dispersant that BP is spraying on the spill causes worse environmental and physical damage than the oil itself. (source)
- Even if BP eventually finds a method of cleanup that works, experts say the best scenario is to recover 20 percent of the spilled oil. (But only 8 percent of the crude oil deposited in the ocean and coastlines off Alaska was recovered in the Exxon-Valdez cleanup, and that spill was far less devastating) (source)
- BP Chief, Tony Hayward cashed in about a third of his holding in the company one month before a well on the Deepwater Horizon rig burst. (source) Goldman Sachs also sold $250 million of BP stock right before the accident. (source)
- When the 2010 BP oil leak first occurred, it was estimated that roughly 1,000 barrels of crude oil were leaking into the ocean per day. The estimate has risen and is currently 5,000 barrels a day. That is roughly 210,000 gallons per day. At this point it is probably much more, but BP and the government refuse to release exact information. (source)
- Hundreds, maybe even thousands of animals are dead and dying from the oil that has wrecked their home. This includes fish, birds, turtles and dolphins. Some of which are endangered or soon will be. (source)
- BP’s approved “Plan of Action” is a complete and total joke. A man who died in 2005 is listed as the “national wildlife expert” and walruses are listed as one of the animals effected by the spill. (source)
How you can help
At this point the situation may seem bleak and hopeless, but I beg you to remain positive! Anything can be fixed if we have enough committed human beings, hungry for a change. Here are some things you can do to make a difference.
- Stop supporting big oil. I realize this is an entirely separate post in itself! Drive less, eat local, avoid plastics, and of course if you absolutely need to fuel up.. boycott BP, Aral and Arco stations. Also avoid buying Castrol brand products.
- Stay educated. Stay on top of all news about the oil leak. Research the history of the oil industry and their corrupt practices. Try to avoid mainstream (US) media, it has become apparent that they are being fed propaganda! Independent news sites like the Huffington Post, Examiner, and even blogs like this one can be a wealth of information
- Speak up. A lot of people think that letter writing, petition signing, and phone calls are a waste of time. But truthfully, there is nothing scarier to a corrupt politician or corporate honcho than a huge revolt of the (angry, enlightened) masses. After all, our support is what ultimately lines their pockets. Let your voice be heard! Write you local politicians who have supported offshore drilling. Write congress to demand stricter regulations on big business. Get a soapbox and stand on it at the foot of your driveway and preach to your neighbors about the environmental repercussions of this disaster. Do something!
- Volunteer or Donate. If you have the time and the means, volunteering can be one of the best experiences in your life. There are so many organizations seeking help that it shouldn’t be hard to find a gig. If you are not able to commit to volunteering, a donation seriously helps all those who are. Here is a great list of volunteer and donation opportunities.
- Become an advocate of renewable energy. Start converting to a sustainable life. Run your house/office off of solar panels, buy products made of sustainable material, and support local business. This may take years, but it will be worth it! Show everyone you encounter that living this way is entirely attainable and very rewarding!
- Take photos. Word on the street has it that photos being taken of the damage caused by this disaster are being blocked by BP and the Coast Guard. This is your opportunity to be a renegade and exercise your freedom of speech. Even if your photos are taken with an old point and shoot and published on your own personal blog, you will help to spread the truth.
- Spread the word. If you have a blog, write a post like this one! Actually… you can have this post – republish it wherever you like. Share news links via social media. Hand out pamphlets on street corners. Don’t let jaded America continue to think that this is not a big problem.