New Orleans during the Gulf Disaster

I just returned from a brief trip to a conference in New Orleans. New Orleans is an amazing town; unique in its architecture, fine restaurants, and diverse population. I was interested to find that the city seemed to function normally, even though the natives liked to talk about their fears of how the oil spill will end up affecting the city. At the restaurants, both the guests and servers mentioned their concern that the sea food from the gulf will no longer be available, affecting the available seafood for tourists and locals and possibly necessitating having to ship seafood from Atlantic (vs. Gulf) locations. Several people I met mentioned family members who have already lost their jobs as fishermen and fisherwomen in the gulf.

On a more global scale, the disaster makes me ask, “What are we doing?”. Post Katrina, the last thing this healing city needs is another disaster. But this one’s origin is clearly man-made, caused by the drilling gone wrong. Obviously people are asking how we can allow deep water drilling if this can happen. There are other questions about our continued reliance on oil. Also, is the lack of preventing this crisis to begin with, actually a symptom of corporate greed avoiding the up front costs of effective disaster preparation technologies in off shore drilling?

There are a lot of questions regarding our respective relationships to our planet’s health and wellness. What are your thoughts?


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