The Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe will have a huge impact on the living ocean, and America is just beginning to experience the most obvious effects. We will see a global impact, not just in the gulf, or the Eastern seaboard. The shear quantity of volatile hydrocarbons will kill a substantial number of the tiny critters that ultimately feed the entire food chain. In addition, oxygen producing algae and sea plants will take a hit. Where this leads to, nobody knows.
However, in the gulf region, we will be dealing with a double whammy.
We were already dealing with a “dead zone” from effluent that flows from the Mississippi. Last year it was about the size of Massachusetts. Primarily nitrates and phosphates from fertilizer (to feed the vast genetically modified monoculture fields of corn cotton, and soy) and those green, green lawns (which provide our illusion of civility). And oh, btw, guess where some of the main ingredients for these fertilizers come from…natural gas.
Here is some solid information on the state of the Deepwater Horizon effort,and it is harrowing.
The Clean Caribbean and Americas site also has links to the Material Data Safety Sheets for three of the most widely used dispersants, and they are quite interesting.
In my next post, I will outline my vision for a strategic shift in how we produce and consume resources used to power our civilization. The topics will run the gamut, from energy sourcing, to changes our American way of life will need to embrace.
We should also be thinking about how the promise of computer technology has eluded many of its intended goals. Should we begin to think about a technology revolution in this country from a different perspective? What ever happened to telecommuting? How can we make the next phase of technology one that brings us closer together, yet allows us to work from afar? How much energy would that save for, say, 20 % of our workforce? No daily drive, no commute.
How much further can we regain the sense of community, through the intelligent use of social networking technology?
How can we integrate this into a more localized, community based self sufficiency?
The great author and pioneer in the self sufficiency movement, John Seymour, taught us remarkable things. Why doesn’t the software industry use this type of mind, this incredible movement (that of the return to the land, to sustainability, to self sufficiency) to help guide the design of our computer technology?