Dede Rector

We are blessed by Mother Nature to offer us the home we call Earth. And I am personally blessed to know smart, caring people who are willing to share critical information at a much deeper level than the ordinary person. Please welcome back Dede Rector, a Central Floridian, a friend, and a woman we should all be listening to. Take it away Dede.

“Drill Baby Drill” has become “Kill Baby Kill”

Our Oceans comprise 75% of the Earth’s surface. They sustain us: providing >95% of all of Earth’s water, serve critical roles as engines of weather, yield a dwindling abundance of their edible bounty and diverse importance in the world’s foodchain  (salt, fish, shellfish, planktons/krill, seaweeds, etc.); they intrigue us as the last earthly frontier left unexplored. They have been a source of “ReCreation” for so many of us, too. And, until recently, they enticed us with their potential to serve humankind’s unquenchable desire for petroleum.

Now, out of a horrible catastrophe – and do not allow yourself for one moment to think that this gushering gash in the Gulf of Mexico is anything less than catastrophic  – I seek from our oceans some hope: Hope that humankind finally will be motivated to AGGRESSIVELY pursue alternatives to petro-fuels and -chemical products (like all the plastics we use). It’s the only thing that helps me rein in the impotent rage and revulsion that overcomes me when I see the petro-holocaust being wrought upon our precious Gulf of Mexico:

I become physically ill considering the Gulf’s fishing grounds and estuaries (where the seafood larvae hatch) being drenched with this poison; knowing that those that survive will become food somewhere else in the food chain and pass along the poison – or the mutations caused by ingesting petro-toxins.

As I write this, I cannot hold back the tears for the suffering of the sea birds, turtles, and other animals who will be mired in this noxious effluent, or for the hidden damage that will be wrought after marine mammals and creatures eat an affected oiled food source.

I lie awake at night, praying the Gulf Loop current doesn’t whip this toxic goo around the tip of Florida, across our already fragile barrier reef system, where corals presently suffer but are sustaining. Oiled corals mean certain death. And dead reefs mean another line of protection is gone for our shores against storm surge and hurricanes. Dead reefs also mean a huge die-off in both inshore and pelagic marine species of fishes, crustaceans, etc. that depend upon the inshore ecosystems for hatching and juvenile growth.

I have hundreds of friends and colleagues in marine-related tourism jobs – beyond the fisheries – whose lives are beginning to feel the pain of this. And it’s just beginning. And it’s not exactly the best economy to have your livelihood “oiled up,” so to speak.

I was dumbstruck to read that this platform sits on the edge of a munitions dump full of live rounds jettisoned into the trash-heap of the Gulf of Mexico post-WWII and Vietnam. It sits there with >100 others. Think about it: any one of those munitions – or all – could go off, and set off another “accident.”

And I cannot fathom how BP, Haliburton, and TransOcean can play “Hot Potato” in not accepting responsibility today – nor, how they routinely practiced falsifying reports in checking the blowout preventer tolerances of the equipment in question rather than taking the FIVE MINUTES per unit to do the tests correctly.

I cringe at the use of surfactants and dispersants whose potential for harm in the foodchain has also been ignored  – even when greener solutions were being proffered in the aftermath.

I guess I am just too dependent upon the Ocean to sustain me. I thought She would always be there for me – even when it was apparent that we weren’t really there for Her. So, one more time, I am looking to Her resources and seeking Hope. And I pray that this time, We can help Her out.

Ok, back to my words.

We (individually and as a human race) get one chance to make a difference before it’s too late.  Heaven forbid we create catastrophic and irreversible damage. Truth is, it will be reversible after humans are extinct, or sufficiently unable to inflict damage.

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.