Saturday, May 1, 2010

From Earth Day to May Day

(Or perhaps, “Mayday!”)

For people who invest their time, creativity and effort in conservation, the recent (and continuing) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is very difficult to watch. (For those who have not seen enough, I offer an Associated Press video below, which I found at the Washington Post.) The event began as a human tragedy, of course, including the loss of many human lives in a still-unexplained explosion and fire (the leading assumption is that drilling ruptured a pocket of flammable gas much earlier than anticipated). We shouldn’t forget that for many families, there will be an empty chair at the dinner table tonight. Those families deserve our prayers.

To overstate the obvious, the scope of this environmental tragedy is also immense. (Perspective is available through these Washington Post photos.)

On the high seas, “Mayday” is known the world over as a signal of distress. Until now, I have not written about the BP oil spill. But on May first, as the consequences wash ashore along the coastline of the Gulf near the mouth of the Mississippi River, May Day seemed both an appropriate time and term for it. Each of the three rivers I’ve personally focused on over the past few years are part of the Mississippi watershed. But rather than be discouraged, I think it’s a good time to realize the waterways need more help than ever.

The next time I stop for gas, I will remind myself that the price we’re paying for petroleum is far higher than its price per gallon.

The AP video is available immediately below.

© Mike D. Anderson, St. Michael, MN. All rights reserved.

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