Oil has been gushing from the sea floor into the Gulf of Mexico for seventy-five days now. That’s 75 days too long.
Last time I wrote about the spill, tarballs had just started washing ashore on Florida’s panhandle. Since then, the oil slick has spread farther east and Hurricane Alex, which made landfall on the Texas-Mexico border, has hampered clean-up efforts. President Barack Obama has addressed the nation and BP CEO Tony Hayward has gone yachting.
So what has changed in the Gulf? From the looks of it, not too much. The BP Gulf Oil Spill is now the largest accidental oil spill in history. According to a recent ABC World News Tonight broadcast, the oil slicking across the water’s surface now covers an area roughly the size of Tennessee. Tennessee!
The media isn’t covering the spill with the same sense of urgency it was a couple weeks ago. Maybe the story’s gotten a bit stale for reporters and audiences alike. (Same goes for the Haiti earthquake- do you think Port Au Prince has been rebuilt?) It doesn’t help that there’s been no real signs of progress, and most citizens can’t do much to help. To make matters worse, there have been reports that the media has been restricted access to the site of the spill.
This by no means makes the Gulf oil spill any less important. We need to keep in mind what is happening in the Gulf. There is so much suffering. Consider this a reminder: