Blessed Assurance Is Suspended Indefinitely

May 10th, 2010 | 1 Comment
Climate Change, Fish, Fishing & Fishermen, Gulf of Mexico Oil Blow-Out, News

I am now bouncing around the southern Louisiana delta region, through the mixture of poverty and affluence (mostly poverty) and the many visible scars and reminders of Katrina.  Sensing the spirit of people who’d been rebounding post-Katrina, but now feel truly scared that their economy and their future is ruined forever, is quietly horrifying.

photo by carl safina

The oil has not yet really hit shore.  In fact, yesterday I went out about 20 miles in a boat, well within an area (and to a specific island) that media maps showed fully within part of the slick, yet saw no oil in the water at all.

photo by carl safina

But because fishing is already closed, the spill’s effects on the coastal economy have arrived in full.  Many feel that they are suddenly off the water for life, with no alternatives.  Though I’ve been a critic of overfishing in the Gulf, I certainly hope that somehow the oil and its aftermath turn out not so catastrophic that an entire economy and way of life—and ecosystem—are all permanently spoiled.  At the moment we are all clinging to a vague hope that somehow it won’t turn out so catastrophic.  Some regions have recovered from other oil blowouts.  Some have not.

photo by carl safina

To see families in small boats, old local people crabbing in the canals, and the enormous pride with which people rebuilt waterside fishing retreats that Katrina had wholly swept away, is to sense many connections between the people here and my own loves.

photo by carl safina

Of course, they don’t need me to justify their existence.  Human dignity is its own justification, and many people here, citizens of our imperfectly united country, feel that they may have just lost theirs.  They could always depend on the marshes and waters and fishes and shellfish, no matter what.  But now that blessed assurance is suspended indefinitely.

photo by carl safina

One Response to “Blessed Assurance Is Suspended Indefinitely”

  1. Gail Selleg says:

    Is there anyway that one of you can put out an address to send all of our hair to in order to soak up all of the oil in the Gulf. Maybe it can all be sent to the White House, then to the Coast Guard to be put in the Gulf to sop up the oil. Then BP can find some way to get it out of the hair. :)

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