What I Know for Sure – The Oil Spill Has My County Under a State of Emergency

Last week I posted a comment on Facebook about how horrible the oil spill is, and how I am against off shore oil drilling in the gulf.  A lot of people shy away from making political statements on Facebook because comments inflame people, angry words spill out, and sometimes friendships suffer. 

I only had one person disagree with me and our friendship has survived based on an agree to disagree position.  The offshore oil business is her “bread and butter” and  I understand that.   (Can you hear the but?)  But I lived in the poorest county in Florida for years, and I know that their “bread and butter” has possibly just become bread and water.  They won’t be able to afford the butter.  Their children are barely dressed,health insurance is not in their budget – they are the shrimpers and oystermen of Franklin County Florida.  We have a gulf ban on fishing all the way from the Panhandle through the Big Bend and continuing down to Sarasota.   That is an enormous amount of shore line with all that gulf water slick with oil.

My “bread and butter” was affected back in the 90’s when I lived on St. George Island.  I sold real estate – actually I did not sell much real estate because our beautiful beaches were a mess with tar balls and tar streaks from an oil spill.  The beaches looked like elephants were roaming the island – elephants with diarrhea that is. 

Worse than the unsightly beaches was the smell of rotting dead fish and the birds, the poor beautiful shore birds.  The balance of nature is so fragile.  Sea turtles hatch on the beaches, 1 in 1000 survive without environmental problems.

I did not sell much real estate for about 18 months.

Let’s talk dollars and maybe that will help people understand the impact this disaster is having on just Florida.

The statewide wildlife viewing activities generate more than $3 billion annually.

The impact on recreational fishing- $5 billion.

The impact on saltwater commercial fishing – $1 billion.

The dockside value of the fresh seafood harvested (the seafood that comes to tables all across the entire US) – $168 million.

The pounds of seafood harvested – $84 million.

These facts come from the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Tourism – well $65.2 billion is spent statewide.

82.5 million was spent by visitors in 2008.

$3.9 billion is in sales tax revenue from tourism.

Key West has a scuba diving business of about $45 million and a snorkeling business of $239 million.

IF let me stress this IF the spill gets caught in the powerful loop current of the gulf the oil could wind up on the beaches of the keys and then be swept north along the Atlantic Coast. 

We are a seafood and tourism based economy and many of us not only want a ban on offshore drilling in our gulf – we want a world-wide ban. Our oceans are going to die if this is allowed to continue.  How is that for everyone’s “bread and butter”?  You are all going to be affected by this.

I am hardly an oil expert, I just know that this spill, this disaster should be screaming for a ban and it should be coming out of many many mouths.

About 1/3 of Florida’s population lives in coastal counties along the gulf – it is what makes us an beautiful place a desireable place to live and now we are under a State of Emergency.  Vacationers are cancelling plans already and it is time to make those responsible pay.

Fishermen fish 7 days a week.  They don’t take weekends off.  There is a ban against fishing for the next 10 days -that’s two weeks of work for most other people.

When is the last time you took two weeks off without pay?  And did it affect your lifestyle when you did?  Most of us would suffer financially – try wrapping your head around this; it probably will go longer than 10 days. Who is going to reimburse these people or anyone else affected by a financial loss due to this huge oil spill?  And when?

2 Comments

  • isochroma says:

    What a beautiful leak – twenty thousand barrels of lovely lube a day. I love the oily mass that bulges outwards from a bent pipe. A brown Rorschach blot of the automobile culture. A creamy dreamy brown chocolatey nougat for the wildlife to absorb. Living towels soon to be buried by trowels.

    An endless orgasm of brown to win the King’s crown. The ejaculate of Hell sent by the wind-whipped swell.

    My most fervent hope is that all efforts to stop and mitigate this masterwork are failures. The incontinent flow of hydrocarbons shall continue for the decay of all.

    I would love to see a sea of greasy Devil’s blood flowing into the ocean forever more. The spew that flew right on through.

    Then the World can move on into its next phase, the Dark Phase of death, decline and destruction. Soon, all the works of humans will decay and so too will themselves be brought to the altar of slaughter, to account for their crimes of existence.

  • Lynn D. says:

    I would also love it if they would ban all offshore drilling but as a follower of Jesus Christ I can say that it probably won’t happen. The Book of Revelations speaks of all the oceans of the world becoming as the “blood of a dead man” (oil looks like the blood of a dead man) and every living thing dying in them so we can see that the wickedness and greed of mankind will not end until Christ comes back to “make all things new.” It’s really sad that a handful of greedy elite wealthy people are ruining our world (while manufacturing a lie called “global warming) in order to blame it all on the “little people” that they oppress, who just want to live our lives in relative peace and enjoy the natural beauty of God’s creation. But the wealthy have to steal all our resources for themselves, while trampling nature at every turn. However, God does anwer the heartfelt prayers of those of us who love Him and His creation and things do seem to be looking up as of today (May 8) on this oil catastrophe what with the cap in place and all the people working together to clean up this awful and completely unneccessary mess. If the Gulf Coast and Gulf of Mexico dodges this giganitic bullet, we all need to get on our knees and thank the Lord Jesus Christ, who created all this beauty and bounty and who is the Giver of Life. As for me, I’ve been praying FERVENTLY (with tears) for His mercy and divine intervention along with His guidance of all those sincerely trying to stop this thing and clean up this awful mess since I became aware of it. I’ve been praying that He spare and protect as many of His creatures as possible and to also protect the beautiful beaches and the livlihoods of the people who live off them. And I believe He is listening to and answering my prayers. “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” Gen 18:14
    Of course Psalm 66:18 also applies: “If I regard iniquity (sin) in my heart, the Lord will not hear “(prayers). He is full of compassion and mercy and He does answer the prayers of those of us who love Him.

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