-originally posted on The Recovery Room 20 July 2010
I’ve finally succeeded in getting one of my articles published with a news organization. AlterNet has been kind enough to run this piece, Disaster on a Small Scale: How the Gulf Spill’s Devastation Works Its Way From Plankton to Pelicans. I’m currently working on another story for them that is slated to come out some time in the first week of August. I guess I’ve chosen the role of “journalist from afar” at this point but there are still some possibilities in the works of me getting back down to the Gulf.
Many of you may be aware that a cap has been placed on the severed wellhead. Not to diminish the positive nature of this development, but there are some major problems that may or may not be stemming from the pressure build up caused by the cap. The sea floor is showing signs of instability and seeps emanating from near the site have been linked to the pressure problem as well. Even if the flow is completely stopped with this maneuver, we still have somewhere around 100 million gallons of oil, 1.8 million gallons of dispersant , and the continuation of sub par oiled wildlife response efforts wreaking havoc on the ecosystem.
There are several toxic components to both crude oil and the dispersants being applied to the spill. When these components are combined, their synergistic effects are an order of magnitude more toxic than they ever were by themselves. One of the most important thing that we can do at this point is to put a stop to the use of dispersants in this disaster and to create a precedent that leads to a complete ban on future use of dispersants.