Friday, June 4, 2010

Requiem for a Coastline

After forty-odd days of increasingly horrible news coming out of the spill area of the Gulf of Mexico, today brought the first real glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, engineers might be getting the upper hand in controlling the undersea gusher of crude oil left over from an oil rig explosion. Spewing many thousands of gallons of oil each day into the sea, the resultant oil plume has begun the slow-motion, agonizing destruction of one of the most unique and productive seashores in the entire world.

I think most people still don't understand the enormity of the unmitigated catastrophe unfolding in front of the world. The extremely painful videos and photographs of pelicans and sea birds saturated with thick, greasy, brown oil are so very hard to watch, but maybe that is what is needed to shock people into understanding the real tragedy and impact that the carelessness of humans has wrought on an epic scale.

Nor is there a lot of appreciation of the staggeringly difficult task that plugging the oil vent presents. All this is going on under nearly a mile of water, and there are very few environments on earth that are more hostile. The enormous water pressure, low temperature, currents and visibility issues all come together to make any activities especially difficult. Some idiots continue to say brainless things like, "if we can put a man on the moon, why can't we stop this leak?" Well, morons, putting a man on the moon was an incredibly difficult task, too. The lunar landing didn't just happen, it was the culmination of a decade of planning, engineering and just plain courage. Likewise, stopping this leak will entail a bit more than sending down a giant cork and hoping to be done by lunchtime.

Speaking of idiots, that intellectual pile of sludge known as Sarah Palin for some reason finds it necessary to open her big obnoxious yap about this subject, and predictably a torrent of stupidity rivaling the undersea oil leak blows out. She wrote some kind of incredibly dumb blather on Twitter addressed to "ExtremeGreenies," which I guess is her pet name for environmentalists, and tried to make the point that every time she stupidly repeated her dimwitted catchphrase "drill baby drill" over and over again like a retarded mynah bird she wasn't really yammering about drilling for oil offshore, but rather in places that she regards as environmentally safe drill areas like ANWR (Alaska National Wildlife Refuge). And somehow, she feels the Gulf oil spill proves she was right all along. Excuse me???

I guess this incredibly stupid, sad political hack thinks that an oil spill on pristine Alaskan tundra is preferable to an undersea oil spill. Sarah Palin is a gigantic, infected pimple on the ass of society and continues to redefine the outer boundaries of incompetence and stupidity with everything she bleats out in her annoying trailer-trash Barbie doll voice. Apparently at one point they tried to clog up the leaking oil pipes by stuffing it with cement and garbage like golf balls and shredded tires. What they should have done was stuffed the hole with Sarah Palin and BP executives. It just might have solved a lot of obnoxious problems at once.

It is so baffling trying to understand why that beautiful, serene part of the world is victimized repeatedly by disasters, both natural and man-made. A whole string of destructive hurricanes, topped by Katrina, have ravaged that area in recent years. Oil spills both large and small, continued pollution of the sea and air, the draining of natural wetlands to facilitate human development, and the construction over many years of a haphazard, crazy-quilt system of levees, dikes and dams have forever negatively altered the fragile interplay of sun, wind and ocean that make up the coast. Like watching a terminal cancer patient lose their battle with the disease, the death of the Louisiana coast is a supremely painful and unparalleled tragedy for America, made all the worse by the slow, inexorable and deliberate pace of its demise.

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