The never-ending catastrophe caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout receives minimal coverage by the mainstream media. An onslaught of awful news continues to flow out from the Gulf of Corexit, although interested citizens seeking to access that information need to do a little “drilling” of their own find it. As I noted just before November’s mid-term elections, the BP-sponsored, lamestream media seem more than happy with the claim of “mission accomplished” voiced by Coast Guard Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft (the man in charge of the federal response to the disaster) and his top science adviser, Steve Lehmann. Last July, I discussed the rather peculiar and questionable response to the crisis provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). I focused on NOAA’s bizarre program of using “human canaries” to perform smell and taste tests on Gulf fish to ascertain the presence of contaminants. No kidding.
Since last summer, I have been keeping up with the Gulf of Corexit tragedy by checking in on Washington’s Blog, which has done a diligent job of keeping the spotlight on everything that has been going on with the cover-up investigation of the events that have transpired both before and after the blowout event. This posting from October 23 provided some links to a number of genuinely scary stories concerning some awful physiological consequences experienced by those who have been immersed in that toxic environment. More recently, Washington’s Blog discussed a proposal by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to “force the good men and women in our armed services” to eat Gulf coast seafood.
While our government persists in contriving grizzly science fair projects involving human consumption of seafood from the Gulf of Corexit, the concerned people at the Florida Oil Spill Law website continue to provide a number of important revelations that will come as quite a surprise to those who have been preoccupied with Christina Aguilera’s divorce. A visit to that site provides links to stories such as this report by Randy Kistner of the Natural Resources Defense Council:
It all started on a warm spring night last May in the fertile fishing grounds near Barataria Bay. BP’s busted undersea well was in its early days of eruption, spewing more than two million gallons of Louisiana crude into the sea each day. Todd and Darla were trawling at night near the Gulf in Four Bayou Pass, trying to capture as many shrimp as they could before the offshore oil finally made its way to the coast. Unknown to Todd and Darla, that night would be the first time the massive oil and chemical dispersant mix began pouring into the Barataria Bay.
Darla remembers what it felt that night after she was doused with water that she believes was full of oil and dispersants. It was like being covered in stinging jellyfish, she says, except there were no jellyfish to be found.
“My husband shook the nets and water went on me. I didn’t have a menstrual period for four months. I had rash, itching irritated skin, something similar to bronchitis which I’ve never had. It lasted for three or four months. Eye irritations, heart pains, heart palpitations, involuntary muscles jumping all over my body, and continuous headaches day and night … all I would get is a about a 15 minute to a 20 minute break from pain relievers that are specifically designed to get rid of headaches, that’s the only break I would get. And I had to eat those 24 hours a day, seven days a week for three to four months … And they want to tell me to eat the seafood? Why don’t they eat the seafood. I’ll go catch them and I’ll throw BP a big old boil … I’m not eating it.”
“Still in shock”: Alabama shrimpers find catch “coated in oil” at area open for fishing — Boat to be decontaminated
Meanwhile, those who rely on the mainstream media for information about the current situation in the Gulf can expect to find reports such as this passage from a December 9 piece appearing in The Miami Herald:
Claims have come from all types of South Florida businesses and residents. They include commercial fishermen, marinas, restaurants, hotels, dive watering holes, real estate agents, waterfront property owners, lobster trap makers, municipalities and even Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Key West.
Some find it hard to believe these claims. After all, the spill occurred hundreds of miles away and not one drop of oil has reached South Florida’s waters, shorelines or beaches.
“It wasn’t the reality. It was the perception that hurt us, and is still affecting us,” said Harold Wheeler, executive director of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. “Many people think we got the oil — and still have it.”
On the other hand, some find it hard to believe the information they are being fed by the mainstream media, NOAA and other government agencies. Of course, there is never a shortage of people anxious to jump on the bandwagon to file bogus claims in the wake of a disaster. Nevertheless, the concern held by many of us in South Florida is that if there are potentially harmful levels of contaminants presently in the waters off the Florida Keys – it could be a long time before we find out about them.