RANGER AGAINST WAR: Happy Earth Day, Panhandle Style, 2012 <

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day, Panhandle Style, 2012

Virgil Caine is my name,
and I drove on the Danville train,

'Til so much cavalry came

and tore up the tracks again

--The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,

The Band

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one
--The Walrus and the Carpenter,
Lewis Carrol

In the morning laughing happy fish heads

In the evening floating in the soup

Ask a fish head anything you want to

they wont answer they cant talk

--Fish Heads, Barnes and Barnes

Happy Earth Day, 2012. This weekend marks the second anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. This will be a post of local concern, but the consequences ripple outwards.

The Panhandle of Florida doesn't have much to be proud of, but Apalachicola Bay oysters and scallops used to enjoy national renown; no more. A recent study showed 89 percent of post-spill specimens displayed the signs of metaplasia, a condition in which tissues are transformed in response to stress. Oysters suffering from the condition often have trouble reproducing, which could have detrimental repercussions for the species further up the food chain that depend on them (
Gulf Oysters Full of Heavy Metals.)

The government study group will tell you not to worry. Don't believe them.

Because you won't see the shrimp without eyes or eye sockets or decay on their heads because the restaurant will kindly remove it for you. You won't see the eyeless fish or their fin rot, or the festering sores, because we don't like fins and fish heads, anyway, and the purveyors will kindly fillet the rotting innards of certain seafood, which is also being found off of our Gulf Coast (2 years later, fish sick near BP oil spill site.)

Accommodation can be made for the crabs lacking claws; they can just be sold as lump crab meat and no one will be the wiser that they, too, lacked eyes as well.

The AP toes a bureaucratic line, saying, "[t]he illnesses are not believed to pose any health threat to humans", and the lead of the federally-funded team Murawski (and former government adviser) says, "It's not a people issue, and people should not be concerned about fish entering the market."
What does that final statement even mean? Of course it's a people issue, and of course we should be concerned if these fish enter the market!

How can they say "don't be concerned" with any certainty
when they follow with, ". . . the immune systems of the fish were impaired by an unknown environmental stress or contamination." In addition to the oil, the dispersant Corexit is mutagenic; several generations of shrimp and small fish have spawned since the environmental disaster and their terrible deformities are heritable. Worse, we do not know the effects farther up the food chain.

Dahr Jamail at Al Jazeera has the story (Gulf Seafood Deformities Alarm Scientists), and it would not do it justice to condense the reportage; read it, and weep for the once lively Gulf fisheries. The refrain of scientists and fishermen alike is, "We've never seen anything like it" when referring to the terrible blight of the sea creatures in the region. Daily KOS has also covered it here: We've never seen anything like It.

Independent journalist Greg Palast is one of the few who has actually gone deep into this story since it happened. (I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Palast briefly tonight on the radio program of South Florida activist Rick Spisak, and Palast said he was preparing to bring his findings before Attorney General Holder; thanks for the heads-up, Rick.)

Palast's latest post on 4.19.12 --
"BP Cover-up 'They Knew'" -- tells his story of finding the same blowout protector failure in a BP rig blow up in the Caspian Sea in '08, two years before the Deepwater Horizon blowout, and for the same reasons. He found some of his materials in Wikileaks, and he went to Azerbaijan himself to follow the story. Vultures Picnic is his latest book on the dirty dealings surrounding the tragedy.

Everyone can do something to help preserve the earth. Become your own advocate and voice your concerns. Get involved, and don't listen when they tell you it's a "fish problem", not a human one. Maybe the wealthy ones can just rattle their jewelry, to borrow from John Lennon.

Bottom line: Don't eat them oysters.

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Blogger basilbeast said...

Strange, isn't it, that the "jihadist" network is leading on this story?

Although it's been years since I've watched them regularly, and not at alll now since we've dropped our cable subscription, the Sunday talking heads didn't mention it either.


Monday, April 23, 2012 at 5:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

. . . . at least "I" couldn't find anything.

( wish we could edit :) )


Monday, April 23, 2012 at 5:42:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

Speaking of DK, their Puliitzer cartoonist



Monday, April 23, 2012 at 5:53:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

It is more than strange, bb, that this major event has been relegated to the marginal news outlets.

Sunday was the 2nd anniversary of the most profound environmental disaster off a U.S. coast -- it coincides with Earth Day for the irony angle -- and yet, we hear precisely nothing on the big news programs. I wonder why that might be?

Another site mentioned the big news that a study showed that human tissue acts a sponge for the dispersant Corexit.

Seems like the Truth is considered marginalia these days. Maybe they figure Ms. Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign will offset the effect of the toxins rolling around in our bodies.

Monday, April 23, 2012 at 7:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous tw said...

Dahr Jamail did a lot of really good reporting on this while it was happening. Pictures of the fish and wildlife kills, reports from locals, etc. The MSM bowed to the pressures of BP and the state tourist and fishing industries and ignored the story. You'd think that the fact that this dispersant was banned in most parts of the world would have sent up red flags for the MSM but no. I still get irate when I see the "We're open for business" state ads or the BP we're fixing it ads !

Monday, April 23, 2012 at 11:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Per the dispersant: We're Americans, y'know, not limp-wristed Europeans, ahem. A few decades down the line, after some more profits can be squeezed, we decide Bispehnol A might be dangerous; then we let it quietly slip away from products containing it.

Ditto Corexit. Of course, we have medicines for what ails us, and we won't call it what is when it manifests in the population, anyway, because we'll already be sick with so many other maladies linked or not to the environment. And anyway, the people who do manifest pathologies will be great Guinea pigs for science, no?

Monday, April 23, 2012 at 12:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...

Jim Hightower and the 2-headed trout of Idaho . . . .



Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 8:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger basilbeast said...


Of course, for some people we don't give an oily shit.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 9:17:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thank you for the Hightower leak. He's in the same category with Palast.

Per Nigeria: If we don't care about our own people's health, why that of anyone else?

Per why the jihadist network has the story: Because it shows us failing. The article states, 40% of the nation's seafood originates in the Gulf, so this could be a national disaster (their words).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 9:38:00 AM GMT-5  

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