The extensive devastation to marine and wildlife, caused by the oil hemorrhage in the Gulf of Mexico, intensifies. It has been compounded by the use of one of the most toxic and least effective chemical dispersants available. Corexit is banned in Europe, including the U.K., where BP is based. The myriad of seen and unseen life that dwells above and below the ocean surface suffers as currents carry poisonous chemicals throughout the water column. Many species spawn, nest and try to nurture their young amidst the contaminants surrounding them. Scientists don’t know the long-term nor wide-ranging effects of these substances being absorbed by tiny, delicate organisms and accumulating up the food chain or on the larger atmospheric patterns all life depend on. The Gulf is a crucial and major center of marine animal and bird migration from distant areas of the world. The pollution-saturated waters can be carried far and wide within and beyond the region by complex current systems. The magnitude of the destruction is difficult to fathom.
Sylvia Earle, oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and former Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, testified before the U.S. Congress on May 19, 2010, on the impact of the oil spill on the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico. She stated that the Gulf plays a “vital role in generating oxygen, taking and holding carbon, distributing nutrients, stabilizing temperature, yielding fresh water to the skies that returns as rain – contributing to the ocean’s planetary role as Earth’s life support system.” She has affirmed that the air and water needed for life comes from healthy oceans. “Life in the sea, after all, supports the basic processes that we all take for granted - the water cycle, the oxygen cycle, the carbon cycle and much more. With every breath we take, every drop of water we drink, we are dependent on the existence of Earth’s living ocean.” According to Dr. Earle, nearly everyone on the planet will be affected by this oil spill one way or another.
BP has a history of negligence and was unprepared to deal with the explosion of its Deepwater Horizon oilrig on April 20th. Its reckless irresponsibility and multiple attempts to cover up the catastrophe, effectively thwarting response efforts, could have profound ramifications for the future of life on our precious planet. BP has proven to lack integrity and cannot be trusted to equitably pay for its blatant disregard for the safety of its workers, the community and the environment. Protests have taken place around the country to hold BP accountable for the consequences of its careless actions on human lives lost, the ravaged Gulf communities, the degradation of the environment and the animals. The next Los Angeles area demonstration will take place on Saturday, July 3, 1:00 p.m. at BP Industries, 5300 Concours, Ontario, CA 91764. For more information on demonstrations, the campaign and the petition to seize BP’s assets to compensate affected people and clean up the environment, please visit http://www.seizebp.org/.