Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Dead Begin To Wash Up

Bryan of Why Now? (the best single source on the web today for ongoing basic information about the oil spill and its consequences) tells us that first sea turtles, then dead dolphins have begun washing up onshore, quite possibly as a direct or indirect consequence of the awful stuff in the water. And he points out that BP and the government are deliberately blocking academic researchers' access to the spill response... water samples, known facts, etc.:
Researchers from universities across Florida claim they are being locked out of Gulf oil spill response efforts by BP and state and federal agencies.

Since the April 20 spill, BP and government agencies have hampered their efforts to secure information about the spill and scientific data, such as water oil samples, collected during response efforts, the academics said.
"Public access is a problem," [Florida state university Chancellor Frank T.] Brogan said. "The inability to acquire data from the organizations involved in this can be frustrating."
"They won't even tell us where they're sampling, none the less what they're sampling or testing for," [UWF center director Richard] Snyder said.
Got that? "It's not your coast. It's not your beach. It's not your marine populations dying and washing ashore. Just shut the fuck up and trust us."

I suppose it is the nature of our times that the people most likely to be able to assess the information and address the biological aspects of the problem are totally shut out of the process... hey, there's no profit for BP for what they do, and probably no votes for the pols in what they say. So BP and the government send a hearty "fuck you" to the public and the experts; their help is emphatically not wanted.


  1. Because there don't seem to be any good reasons for all the secrecy, it could be mainly the sense of self-importance that seems to overcome officials of all kinds whenever some catastrophe happens, and they feel they have the supreme authority over the events ever afterward. I can imagine the local police being as irked as they can be that they can't get out there with enough yellow tape to seal off the whole Gulf, instead of the orange floating barriers.

  2. Carl, there's certainly the self-importance, but I believe there's more to it: there's some sort of negligence, or maybe even malfeasance, being concealed. If all those professors had water samples from known locations, they might discover something the powers-that-be (both of BP and of the state of Florida) would strongly prefer to keep quiet. This is an attempt by somebody to get away with something.

    (Have I grown cynical? Naaaah, nothing like that!)

  3. Mad - what an understatement! But words fail me in describing my feeling of helplessness in the face of this thing. It was so completely unnecessary, so avoidable, but there's no purely political action... not just by us, but by anyone... that can make everything right again. There are events that are emphatically one-directional in time, beyond our abilities to remedy. This is such an event.



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