Monday, June 7, 2010
Once again the state of Louisiana faces cultural extinction. We can be frustrated and angry at the response time, but with Katrina, Mother Nature still had the last word. This time it's different. Just as the gulf and it's ecology will never be the same, so to will BP never be the same.
As one creole fisherman said the other day, "the gulf the canary, and if you don't like what you see here then take heed, it's coming near you next."
The oil spill may have made a sludgy mess of the gulf waters, but in another way it has sent out a ripple clear and powerful as a Cajun fiddle.
Here's what we can expect now: Lots of critiques of the Obama administration. Even when he's angry, it's hard to see that the President is angry. So what's appropriate here for a head of state? We don't doubt that he is intelligent, that his emotions don't get in the way like they do for most politicians, but perhaps it's time to get righteously pissed.
What impact do Obama's corporate ties have on his ability to lead here? That ripple is certainly exposed now and should lead to some potentially uncomfortable findings in the next year.
Heads will roll somewhere, federal agencies, local politicians, Oil companies, oil engineers, and finally at the gas pumps.
There is also a particularly troubling conundrum that's surfaced along with the tar balls. Have you heard the calls from Louisiana residents who fear losing the oil rigs. Aside from tourism, which is certain to take a major hit for the next couple of years, oil drilling rigs make up the balance of the industry in the state. It is so. That's the real challenge here. What next? That just cannot be any more. That's a recipe for repeated disaster. Maybe the biggest ripple of them all will be the political will to bring back industries and occupations that don't strip the culture from our most vulnerable landscapes and our most vulnerable people.