Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bloggers Unite for the Gulf of Mexico: There's More to Be Done than Watch and Pray, but Send Prayers Too

What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded
has happened to me.
~~ Book of Job, 3:25

As I see Alex turn into the first hurricane of the season while oil still kills fish and wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, I think of Job, and hope we aren't tried as he was.

As we on the Gulf Coast brace for potential hurricanes this summer, which means we're praying major storm systems go away from the Gulf Coast completely while we load up on water, food, and batteries, we still watch the oil spill crisis with all its players and pitfalls. Right now we're keeping an eye on Hurricane Alex, which may or may not be out to get us. I wish all the storms vanished because not only do I think about us here but also the people of Haiti.

In the video you'll see that Alex is already causing trouble for clean-up workers. One of the challenges of this hurricane season will be how to evacuate people from the Gulf who are busy with remediation if a bad storm enters.

We hope that people who want to volunteer to clean oil off of beaches, save the wetlands, and protect our brown pelicans don't have to also see New Orleans and surrounding areas sitting in an oily lake between now and late November. With those concerns in mind, I am participating in the Bloggers Unite initiative today, June 30, that asks bloggers to post information about how to help the Gulf of Mexico. Organizers recommend the concerned sign this petition asking Congress to shift its focus from old energy models to renewable energy and to steer the nation away from dependence on fossil fuels.

I urge you to sign it, but I also caution you to read it before you sign it. Remember Van Jones, the former Green Czar who was hounded out of his White House position in part based on a petition he signed that he did not read carefully. This petition, however, is nothing like the one he did not read.

Furthermore, if you don't intend to run for office or anticipate you'll be appointed to the White House, then you have no need to worry about signing a petition that tells Congress "enough is enough." Buck up for the Gulf and for your children. Remember fossil fuels won't last forever. It's common sense to find an alternative. Oil may run out in your children's lifetime or the lifetimes of your nieces and nephews. If you're young, maybe in yours.

As for my post on how to help, I've been doing my part by writing consistently about this disaster, but there's more to be done than to offer words. Still, the right words help too, which is why I like this other project from Deb on the Rocks.

She launched the Love the Gulf blogging meme back in May. If all you can do is write a post about any good memories you associate with the Gulf of Mexico and coastal culture, then that love would be appreciated.

What I can add to that list of Love the Gulf posts is memories of growing up and visiting Waveland, Miss., a standard vacation with my family at one point in my life. I grew up in New Orleans, aware of both nearby coastal beauty and summer concern for storms swirling in the warm sea.

But you can't ignore coastal beauty. Even today, when I want to escape, I sometimes hop in my car and drive down Highway 90 to Bay St. Louis and Gulfport, Miss. just to remind myself that I am that close to the Gulf of Mexico, and prior to the spill, I wanted to visit Grand Isle, La., for a day trip. I may still do that, but I don't want to drive down only to be told turn back by BP security or state police.

In addition, I spent many days of my youth sitting on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain, a large body of water that could be contaminated by oil from the Gulf if it spreads more inland. I've always preferred living near water.

More tangible ways to help

At, a CE tells about the Hands Across the Sand event. Is it possible you could organize a similar event?

You may volunteer or donate to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. You may also take a look at this Sierra Club website which gives a list of ways to get involved, one of which is to host a Clean It Up local event for your community.

Our local paper has a post with this kind of information. Visit its list here, which includes a link to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.


msladyDeborah said...

You can tell that you are a daughter of NOLA in this post. There's a lot of love and conern for your hometown and the regions that surround it.

I hope and pray that Alex is turned around for the sake of the people in this region of the US.

Recycle4aCause said...

Thanks for sharing your love for the Gulf with us. Even though we work with nonprofits all over the country, it's nice to hear people who are truly passionate about things.

Barkha Dhar said...

Your post on BP is incredible. It speaks volumes about your passion for climate change. I feel a lot of what has been done over the years or is today happening in our society owes to our behavior and actions for Mother Earth. I am glad to have met a like minded person through Bloggers Unite. I honor your suggestions and views on this massive human disaster, which no more is just an environmental disaster.
Thanks for sharing
Barkha Dhar

irtiza104 said...


I thank bloggers unite for giving us the opportunity to do something as a blogger to show our compassion for this tragedy.

its a really sad thing thats happening out there. The oil spill has led a great danger for the environment especially for the marine and wild habitats of the gulf. I hope this issue gets resolved soon. As a blogger i have published two posts, one is about facts and another about how we can help the effected wildlife...

We have to spread awareness, offer help and also pray for the disaster.

best wishes.