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The BP oil spill scares me silly. Look a few years down the road (worst case scenario--or not?) [View All]

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DFW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-27-10 12:45 AM
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The BP oil spill scares me silly. Look a few years down the road (worst case scenario--or not?)
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Edited on Thu May-27-10 12:49 AM by DFW
Even if they plug it tomorrow, what do we face then? What are the intermediate-term consequences? What are the long-term
consequences? Oil has already shown up in shrimp catches of the Florida coast. It will very likely seep into the already
fragile Caribbean and into the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic.

The oil already covers an area of the ocean floor of unimaginable size. Much if not most of the eastern Gulf of Mexico is,
or soon will be ecologically dead. Much of our environmentally vital Gulf Coast wetlands and marshlands are already dead or dying.

This will mean that at a bare minimum hundreds of thousands of people in our Gulf States lose their livelihood, and many
hundreds of thousands more in poor Caribbean islands are staring the same fate in the face. Who will have to come to their
rescue? The rest of us? But that's just the start.

The Gulf of Mexico provided fish for millions of people. This is finished for years, maybe many decades, maybe permanently.
So? People still have to eat. No fish in the Gulf? Get it out of the North Atlantic. Uh-oh--parts of the North Atlantic will
be affected, too. OK, then those parts of the Atlantic that haven't been affected. But wait. The North Atlantic already suffers
from overfishing. The Russians, the Chinese and the EU all compete with us for the fish there. So--OK, then the Pacific? They
all compete with us for the fish there, too. The South Atlantic suffers from overfishing, too.

So? What can we do? Extend the limits of our territorial waters outward so as to protect our own fishing industry? The
Russians, Chinese and Europeans have to eat, too. The condensed answer is that we could be involved in potentially serious
maritime military conflicts over food, which will not be a subject for compromise. We will shoot at Russian and Chinese
fishing trawlers if we need to do it to survive. They will shoot back if they feel they need to do it to survive. That is
the short term. Long term is that we will end up over-fishing important species to the point of extinction to satisfy our
appetites. Hell, we were doing that to some species before the leak.

Climate change could be expedited, too. That is another story altogether, and had already been addressed here on DU.

Maybe I'm just seeing things too gloomily, here, but our suddenly devastated coast and its inhabitants will need to be
cared for, and the loss of food heretofore provided by the Gulf of Mexico will have to be compensated for elsewhere.

MAYBE it won't come to maritime food wars, MAYBE there will be some way for a million or more inhabitants of the Gulf
Coast and the Caribbean to make a living without leaving home, and MAYBE the climate of the eastern part of North
America won't be drastically affected by the oil already leaked, as well as the toxic chemicals BP has tossed into
the Gulf to try to hide/disperse it.

You see BP guys and government guys on TV saying they'll do everything in their power, blah, blah, blah. But, what
if everything in their power is insufficient to rectify this catastrophe? What if it's already too late?

MAYBE it'll all work out. I just doubt it for now, and the long-term ramifications of this disaster scare me like
nothing ever has. I REALLY hope I'm wrong about all this.

*on edit:

From "When The Music's Over" by the Doors:

What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences and dragged her down
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