So, I know that I’ve posted about the Gulf Oil disaster at least once or twice. But… I am feeling compelled again today to speak again. You see today is the day that I learned about the turtles.
In the Gulf of Mexico, you can find five of the seven species of sea turtle on the entire planet. There are green, leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerheads. They are all beautiful, peaceful, and amazing creatures. However, there is one more – the Kemp’s Ridley. This sea turtle was placed on the endangered list back in the ’70s. In Mexico they realized the species problems in the ’60s and ordered them protected. They are the most endangered species of turtles out there… and folks – BP is burning them alive. Yes, yes, you read that. I thought my eyes would bleed when I did. It was first reported by a captain in Louisiana who was hired by BP to rescue aquatic life from the oil. However, BP stopped him from rescuing any turtles caught inside a boom (the large collection system used to gather the oil from the surface for the burns). Not only that – but they stopped the project – now he can go save any of the turtles.
Fox News reported on this, as did The Raw Story. The veracity of the reports has not yet been verified, but you know – given the circumstances behind all of this – and the greed of the oil executives, the sheer dirty, underhanded way in which this entire situation has been – I would not be surprised if this IS truly what’s happening.
I am devastated over this – I cannot believe that we are actually allowing this to happen. Something must be done, or this delicate ecosystem will die. We will lose these turtles forever – except those held in captivity. It could take centuries for the population to be restored to even today’s endangered numbers. If what this captain says is true, we cannot afford to sit back and allow them to do this unchecked. Just think, your great-grandchildren will have to learn about these majestic sea creatures from books or zoos.
The Gulf oil spill is disastrous on so many levels. It simply overwhelms me when I allow myself to think about it. I begin to dwell… and obsess. And today I cried. I cried for those gulf coast residents who have lost a way of life. I cry for the aquatic creatures suffering and dying in the oil. I cry for the beautiful white beaches, now stained and slimy with oil.
And you know what – the really, really sad part is – we could be doing more. You see – today I also found out that there happens to be an oil eating microbe that turns oil into fish food. Umm… wait… WHAT? WHY are we not implementing this? Why are we utilizing the devastating and risky burns – when we could just allow these lil guys to just do what they do.
While I know this is not the ultimate end all solution – we have to stop the oil before we can get rid of ALL the oil from the water. But it’s a start – and it could help control the crawl of the oil to the coral reefs. It could help keep the oil out of the manatee habitats. It could help keep the oil from killing the mangroves.
I understand BP’s reasoning – it’s the same reasoning that got us here in the first place. The oil is more important. The almighty dollar takes precedence over all. God FORBID we do something that makes sense ecologically.
We’ve got to stop sucking the teat of the oil industry – if we don’t we are doomed to a life without habitat after habitat. We see now that it can happen – and the effect is devastating. We need to realize that we only have limited resources on this planet. Each and every ecosystem is special, and necessary to life on this planet. If we wipe out entire species we are only hurting ourselves and future generations. Fossil fuel has had its day – we must move onward and upward – and we must learn how to be the best stewards possible of our planet.