• rebellious-grrl

    Great article. For me the BP oil spill is apocalyptic. The effects on the environment, wildlife, and humans will last for decades and will surely have a devastating impact on our health.

    There is a great video about this issue by AlJazeera, Fault Lines. Avi Lewis travels to the drill zone, and learns about the erosion in the wetlands from industry canals and pipelines, the health problems blamed on contaminated air and water from petrochemical refineries.


  • wanderer

    You’ve synthesized the essence of the problem… it is chemical, but it is mostly political. I can recall the national media decending on Nitro, WV in the wake of the Union Carbide “accident” in Bhopal, India. Turns out there was the same compound, methyl isocyanate (MIC), being manufactured in the heart of the highly populated Kanawha Valley of West Virginia that killed so many in India in 1984.  The workers neighboring the UC Plant were relatively poor and politically powerlessness. Ultimately dependent on the plant for employment. With automation in the coal fields displacing so many coal miners, jobs in the chemical plants represented the traditional Hobson’s Choice for the poor– this job or none! Scrambling to spin the concerns of the media, local Carbide spokespersons were trotted out to provide assurance. The media, after all, had asked the inconvenient question: “Can it happen here?” Efforts to address the potential for an accident took the form of “Shelter in Place” advisories — where you are told, “Close the windows and doors,” and… effectively,  “Kiss your a- – goodbye!” It was believed, that shortly after all the hubbub, the MIC facility was quietly shut down. So many parallels to the story you tell of the people of the Gulf Region. Nice work. Continue to shine the light!

  • carolrhill814

    This horrible “accident” will effect all of us for many many years to come that is if we recover and that is BIG IF.


    This was bound to happen and all of us are responsible because none of us really didn’t want to understand about the poison that is everywhere I try to help myself and MOTHER EARTH everyday by using Shaklee Products that don’t have poison in them and that are wonderful but when I go to the grocery store and see all of the poison that other people are using I get really ill.

    But the poison is everywhere no matter where you look it is there and we keep getting and using things from Japan or China that have all kinds of poison in them and instead of rejecting them and sending back we use them and that is JUST SO WRONG.

  • inallsincerity

    This was a fantastic piece of science journalism!


    I received a Fulbright to study aquatic environmental biology in Denmark and am now in a graduate program for ecotoxicology at Uppsala University in Sweden. Here there are much more intense regulations of chemicals and I’ve been trained to do the type of chemical risk assessments and environmental remediation that this article is calling for. This work involves an intense and long scientific education. The United States is not exactly know for fantastic science curriculums in public schools or basic science understanding at all in the general public. So many people say “I don’t do science” and pretend it doesn’t exist or doesn’t effect them. The US can no longer afford to be so complacent and apathetic toward science education. It’s all good to demand tougher regulation, but where are you going to find the scientists to do it? And how are they going to pay for college?


    I was one of the few with the brains, motivation and ambition to pursue exactly this career and I left the United States. I’m an atheist, gay and will soon be married to my Swedish partner. You think I want to move to Lousiana and help fix this mess? Absolutely not. First of all, the residents would be much too concerned about my soul than the skills I can actually offer their community. And this is pretty true of huge sections of the States. Secondly, the US will not give my husband a visa to come with me since there is no federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Thirdly, hell if I’m going to raise my kids in a shitty American public schools when I could raise them in fully-funded state-of-the-art Swedish ones.

    My point is that social issues and environmental issues  (humanities vs science) cannot be treated as two separate entities. You can’t fix one without fixing the other.

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