Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

01.21 The DeVos and the Defrauded [Corruption is now banal...]

01.20 A Swelling Tide of Major Teacher Strikes Is Shifting Our Politics Against the Charter Agenda

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

01.23 Pollutionwatch: transport's true cost to the environment [If it is killing us, stop doing it.]

01.22 How Orkney leads the way for sustainable energy

01.22 Greenland's ice melting faster than scientists previously thought – study

01.22 David Attenborough tells Davos: ‘The Garden of Eden is no more’ [2:21 video]

01.21 35,000 Hit Streets of Berlin to Demand Agricultural Revolution

01.20 Doctors are frightened by climate change. Their industry is a big part of the problem.

01.18 Learning From Cuba’s ‘Medicare for All’

01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists

01.17 Studies Show Ice Melting and Ocean Warming Both Happening Much Faster Than Previously Thought

01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic [charts]

01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]

01.15 Australia could hit 100% renewables sooner than most people think

01.15 Ion age: why the future will be battery powered

01.15 Barclays on wrong side of history with climate policy, says Greenpeace

01.15 'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory

01.15 Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

News Media Matters

01.19 How conservative media became a “safe space”

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

01.23 This Chart Shows the Coming Death of Small-Government Conservatism [The Young have a hairball problem and want to throw-up]

01.23 It’s Still Bernie

01.23 Progressives Warn Against Democrats Pushing 'Diluted' Half-Measures as Alternative to Medicare for All

01.22 'Medicare for All and Equal Rights Aren't Trends': Ocasio-Cortez Fires Back After Aaron Sorkin Lectures Young Progressives [Morality is not a trend, it is a state of being we should all aspire to]

01.22 'Literally What Jesus Told People to Do': In Arizona, Possible Prison Time for Leaving Food and Water for Migrants

01.22 White students in MAGA gear crashed the Indigenous Peoples March and harassed participants [3:44 video; we must stop growing/programming smirking sociopaths]

01.21 Trump’s One Legislative ‘Win’ Is Actually a Failure

01.21 TRUMP 'HAS ISOLATED AMERICA AND TAKEN US BACKWARDS,' FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE KERRY SAYS

01.21 The 'exhausting' work of factcheckers who track Trump's barrage of lies

01.20 REPUBLICAN SAYS TRUMP IS 'INCAPABLE' OF ARTICULATING A PLAN TO END GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

01.20 Institute Index: The Racial Injustice of the Government Shutdown

Justice Matters

01.19 Merkley Calls for FBI Perjury Probe into Homeland Secretary Nielsen After Child Detention Memo Leaked

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

01.23 Why Aren’t Hedge Funds Required to Fight Money Laundering?

01.23 UK has biggest fossil fuel subsidies in the EU, finds commission [Governments stupidly investing the public's money will more quickly end life on earth]

01.22 The System’s Falling Apart: Were the Dogmatic Marxists Right After All?

01.22 The shutdown has exposed the disaster that is Trumponomics

01.21 World's 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%, says Oxfam

01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]

International & Futurism

01.23 'Strategic Threat' To Israel - Progressives Lose Fear Of Speaking Out On Palestine

01.23 Putting Tax Rates and Billionaire 'Excess' in Moral Terms, Ocasio-Cortez Asks 'What Kind of Society Do We Want to Live In?' [4:38 video]

01.22 Labor promises to 'supercharge' hydrogen industry as green groups say 'no role for coal'

01.22 Who is more dangerous: El Chapo or Carlos Slim? [Like Drug Gangs, Mafias harm and kill the public too—but slowly and quietly like leeches]

01.22 Martin Luther King was no prophet of unity. He was a radical [He was—and We must be—passionate and pro-active for improving moral conduct in society!]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: America's Gulf: Ongoing Coverup and Denial
A CATASTROPHE THAT KEEPS ON HURTING, LIKE AGENT ORANGE IN VIETNAM:

America's Gulf: Ongoing Coverup and Denial

Millions will suffer and die from slow-motion development of cancers and auto-immune disease.

by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
People in the Gulf Coast area exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxins (especially Corexit) will suffer from unusual cancers and other chronic illness.

On October 22, AP reported that over 7,000 square miles of Gulf waters off Florida's Panhandle were declared oil-free and reopened to fishing. According the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 96% of Gulf waters are now safe and reopened, spokeswoman Jane Lubchenco saying, "Our tests continue to reveal seafood from the reopened areas is safe to eat." Others disagree. More on that below.

The newly opened area is about 60 miles east of the Macondo wellhead. About 9,400 square miles of fishing waters remain closed, 4% of federal waters, down from 37% earlier.

From the start, The New Times provided cover for BP and the administration, at first denying the existence of a spill, then minimizing the disaster. On May 3, writers John Broder and Tom Zeller Jr. headlined, "Gulf Oil Spill Is Bad, but How Bad?" saying "news analysis" indicates it's really not serious after all, when evidence showed the potential for disaster.

On August 4, writer Justin Gillis headlined, "US Finds Most Oil From Spill Poses Little Additional Risk," saying:

"The government is expected to announce....that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated - and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm."

This at a time, and later on, when independent research showed most oil remained. Corexit dispersants increased toxicity manyfold. Seafood was contaminated and unsafe. Vast areas of the Gulf and shorelines were (and continue to be) hazardous, and the risk to wildlife and human health was extreme. In other words, by downplaying the disaster, The Times defended government and BP lies, fearing the April 20 explosion provided "new fodder" for opponents.

Other Times reports highlighted the vanishing oil, low concentrations of deep sea toxic compounds, and conditions slowly returning to normal. In an October 12 update, The Times said:

"....evidence is increasing that through a combination of luck (a fortunate shift in ocean currents that kept much of the oil away from shore) and ecological circumstance (the relatively warm waters that increased the breakdown rate of the oil), the gulf region appears to have escaped the direst predictions of the spring."

"And preliminary reports (suggest) the damage already done (may) be significantly less than was feared - less, in fact, than the destruction from the much smaller Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989."

In fact, the truth is mirror opposite. BP and administration officials are responsible for the greatest environmental crime in history, an ongoing disaster, affecting vast parts of the Gulf, coastal waters from Texas to Florida, most or perhaps all wildlife, and the health of millions of residents, no longer safe since April.

Drill Baby Drill

On October 12, the May imposed moratorium was lifted, six weeks ahead of its scheduled November 30 date, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar declaring:

"We are open for business....We have made and continue to make significant progress in reducing the risks associated with deepwater drilling." (Therefore), I have decided that it is now appropriate to lift the suspension on deepwater drilling for those operators that are able to clear the higher bar that we have set."

In fact, so-called "new rules" mimic old ones. Drilling remains unregulated and unsafe, so it's just a matter of time before the next disaster strikes, besides natural seepage and annual hundreds of smaller, unreported spills. Cumulatively over time, their toxicity destroys global water and human health. Moreover, according to former NOAA supervisory researcher Jeff Short:

"Once you have a spill, you are pretty much screwed. That's because oil spreads on water at a rate of one-half football field per second. Recovery can take decades," so calling the coast clear and water safe is willfully deceptive, echoed by the dominant media, The New York Times in the lead.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Coverup

The level is staggering, numerous reports countering BP and administration claims. On September 3, Boston Chemical Data Corp. laboratory findings, commissioned by the United Commercial Fishermen's Association, revealed toxic Corexit levels in test samples, meaning, besides oil contamination, Gulf seafood is extremely hazardous and unsafe.

Moreover, though BP denies it, Corexit spraying continues, mostly at night but some during day time. Fishermen report seeing it, in some cases hit by its mist. Reports say BP hired out-of-state contractors using unregistered boats, besides nightly aerial spraying. The administration's response to the entire disaster remains firm - coverup and denial, helped by a major media blackout after BP reported sealing the Macondo well on September 19.

In early October, however, four working reports issued by investigators from the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling revealed systemic coverup and censorship to suppress the disaster's magnitude, one very much ongoing.

They explained that stonewalling began in April and continued, one report concluding:

"By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the gulf, the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem."

In fact, willful misinformation was released. In contrast, independent researchers produced accurate findings. BP, the administration, and major media accounts suppressed them, including evidence of criminal negligence.

Local Reports Exposing the Big Lie

On October 23, New Orleans Times-Picayune writer Bob Marshall headlined "Massive stretches of weathered oil spotted in Gulf of Mexico," saying:

"Just three days after (Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen, BP's front man) declared little recoverable surface oil remained in the Gulf of Mexico....Boat captains working the BP clean-up effort" reported seeing it, confirmed by Times-Picayune photojournalist Matt Hinton in a fly-over. In addition, "fishermen's groups....insist their members have" spotted it all along, refuting official claims that don't explain large fish kills, big enough to suggest widespread toxicity, affecting humans as well as wildlife.

On the six month anniversary of the disaster, marine biologist Riki Ott reported "people (are) now dropping dead," adding:

"I am dealing with about 3 - 4 autopsies right now....I know of people who's esophagus' are de-solving, disintegrating....I know of people with 4.75% of their lung capacity, with enlarged hearts....All of these people have oil (and dispersants) in their bodies."

She added that "4 to 5 million people in the Gulf were exposed to oil (and dispersants) at dangerous levels that is going to have incredible public health ramifications...and possibly force the President out of office for lies." In fact, he should be impeached and prosecuted for war crimes abroad and ones against humanity at home.

Deaths continue to be reported as well as people finding volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxins in their blood. According to one observer, corruption, coverup and poisoning are occurring in plain sight. The entire region is affected and will be for decades, the dirty secret BP, government officials, and major media won't explain.

Local accounts, however, are disturbing. On October 21, New Orleans WWL-TV reported:

"The oil is not evaporating. It's not dissipating. It's sitting there," according to PJ Hahn, Plaquemines Parish Coastal Zone Management Department head.

On October 20, AP reported Byron Encalade, president of the Louisiana Oystermen Association, saying "oyster beds are all dead or dying....I'm very pessimistic about it."

In early September, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources officials found 80 - 90% of oysters dead, citing no cause. Clearly oil and Corexit are responsible.

On October 21, Cynthia Sarthou, Gulf Restoration Network executive director, said:

"There is still so much oil and dispersant in the environment, and the Gulf has not yet begun to heal because we have yet to determine what the injury is that it has suffered," and its extent. For sure it's massive and destructive.

On October 16, the Louisiana Shrimp Association's Clint Guidry called using Corexit a "horrific mistake," adding:

"Potential ecosystem collapse caused by toxic dispersant use during this disaster will have immediate and long term effects on the Gulf's fishing communities' ability to sustain our culture and heritage."

On October 22, a pilot said he "was surprised (and saddened) to witness a seemingly unrelenting tide of oil hammering our beaches, bays, and estuaries."

Other recent reports included:

  • fishermen sprayed while sleeping in groups of boats tied together;
  • a boat captain, Lori DeAngelis, said her vagina and anus are bleeding, adding: "This thing is killing me;"
  • Lorrie Williams in Ocean Springs, MS said the oil sheen is "a lot worse" now than earlier, calling it an "absolute mess;"
  • tides keep washing up tar balls and sheen on coastal beaches and other areas;
  • large deposits are found buried in sand;
  • researchers found "vast volumes" of oil on the seafloor, including "thick raw crude;"
  • a massive shelf of exposed tar was found on Pensacola beaches;
  • fishermen said "we're starving; there are no fish in the waters" or not enough; and "any fish we would see, we would not eat;" and
  • various other reports were just as disturbing - clear evidence of an ongoing disaster because of the worst ever environmental crime.
A Final Comment

On June 14, as conditions worsened, AP reported that Obama "pronounce(d) Gulf seafood safe to eat....things are going to return to normal....I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before."

In fact, then, now, and for decades, contamination will remain, hazardous to wildlife and human health, what he knew yet lied and said otherwise, fronting for BP and other industry giants.

Oil and dispersants contaminate much, perhaps the entire Gulf. It's now poisoned and will remain potentially lethal for decades, maybe generations. Nothing in it should be ingested. Millions in the region are at risk. Families with small children should leave. No one should swim in coastal waters or eat any Gulf seafood, perhaps ever again. Responsible officials should ban it.

Instead, Obama, the Interior Department, NOAA, the Coast Guard, state governors, coastal mayors, regional health officials, BP, and major media reports gave the all-clear, saying conditions are nearly again normal, claiming the worst of the crisis was avoided.

In fact, a silent epidemic of cancers and other diseases will ravage coastal and inland areas for decades. The livelihoods of many residents are lost, and southern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida may never be the same again, at least not for those now living there.

Moreover, 4,000 Gulf oil platforms now operate, the deepest and most hazardous by a consortium of companies, including BP. In addition, about 50,000 old wells pockmark the seabed, thousands with temporary or failing plugs believed to be leaking oil, gas and other toxins.

Yet deepwater drilling continues. Oil and gas pipelines keep compromising Gulf marshes, causing 15,000 acres to be lost annually, eroding wetlands and other areas. According to experts, unless restorative changes are made, the entire ecosystem will be lost in a generation.

On November 2, consider that before voting. Remember Obama's complicity in the greatest ever environmental crime, but don't imagine Republicans or Tea Party extremists will fix things. They're all beholden to power, not popular interests at a time they're being systematically eroded to divert money for militarism, imperial wars, bankers, BP, and other corporate favorites, ordinary people and ecological considerations be damned.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on October 27, 2010.
 

Public Service Ads: