What you can do to help clean up the Gulf

It’s official – oil has been spewing into our Gulf for a month now.

I have been keeping pretty up-to-date with the news, from domes and top hats to siphoning and the Gulf Loop current. But I haven’t really done anything except worry, something that I do often and that is less than productive.

On the radio this morning, the hosts were saying that the oil spill is even worse than disasters like hurricanes and bombs because the world feels helpless – we can’t stop the leak ourselves, not all of us have the resources to make a trip to the coast to help in cleaning efforts and we can’t just flat-out stop using gas. (Although we CAN stop using gas from BP. It may not be a permanent fix but it sure makes me feel great when I pass a BP station that is completely empty.)

So I researched some ways that people like me (poor and too far away to help with clean-up) can help with the efforts going on along the Gulf coast.

Here’s what I came up with:

  • There is a program called Matter of Trust that is collecting hair and pantyhose to make oil booms. So maybe get a hair cut! (It’s free if you do it at home.) You can talk to hair salons and barbers near your home or workplace to see if they will get involved with the program. Schools, businesses and organizations are also great places to get people involved with this program.

***Update: STOP sending hair booms — unfortunately they’re ineffective.***

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2 Comments

Filed under Florida, New Orleans, Random praises and condemnations

2 responses to “What you can do to help clean up the Gulf

  1. The Destructionist

    While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.

    http://www.calculateme.com/Volume/Barrels(Petroleum)/ToGallons.htm

    http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/05/17/latest-news-from-the-oil-spill-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-is-grim/

    http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2010/05/20/scientist-says-oil-spill-is-leaking-100000-barrels-of-oil-a-day-not-bps-estimate-of-5000/

    • michellestuckey

      Thanks for your comment! The possibility of the oil leak never stopping is something to think about. But honestly, I just have to focus on being positive (as much as I can) and helping those who are working to contain and clean-up the oil. I live in Nola now and grew up on a Florida panhandle beach, so I just can’t give up hope that this thing will be stopped and cleaned so that one day my children can enjoy La. and Fla. the way I have.

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