REALITY: A NOW SERIES
By Liz Colado
The Gulf oil disaster is estimated to cost $7.7 billion. But consider this—what is the cost in human lives? Before you eat the seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, think twice. The large fish are ingesting the smaller species and building up toxins in their bodies. You might already know not to eat the oysters from the seabeds or the shrimp, but until further testing is done, years down the road–avoid the fish as well.
Gina Solomon, Senior Scientist at NRDC holds her position in San Francisco because she sounds an alarm about toxic chemicals. “I’ve worked on preventing mercury and lead poisoning, researching levels of diesel exhaust inside school buses, working to ban the most dangerous pesticides….” Ms. Solomon also focuses on the effects of global warming on our health and she tested the air, water, and soil after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
As of last month, shrimpers in Louisiana speak of the layer of oil on the bottom of the bays, “a layer that keeps getting churned up by waves and tides.”
Jane Wardell of the Canadian Press writes, “More than six months after the spill, tar balls continue to wash up on some beaches across the coast.”
Gina Solomon notes that the Federal government has reopened 2,927 square miles of the Gulf for fishing and shrimping, just South of the Mississippi Delta. However, she has many doubts about the safety of eating the seafood.
“The Feds confirmed that the area was safe for shrimping by performing a “sniff test” for oil odors on five shrimp samples. They confirmed the sniff test with three composite samples of shrimp sent for chemical testing from an approximately 1,000 square mile area. No information was provided to the public on the size or location of the shrimping grounds or why so few chemical analyses were performed. This does not seem sufficient to assess the safety of the seafood coming out of the Gulf right now.”
A JAMA study has found that the oil spill is still a threat to seafood. (Aug 2010) Fred Tasker of The Miami Herald writes that “Federal officials disputed the new report and said ongoing testing is aggressive and sufficient to protect public health.”
Yet, Gina Solomon states that the testing is insufficient, and local fisherman note the ongoing pollution of seabeds two months after the feds disputed the JAMA study. Tasker quotes Gina Solomon himself in regard to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)—chemicals that invertebrates cannot clear from their systems. As these creatures are eaten by the larger predators on the food chain, (not just humans, but larger fish eating shrimp, oysters, and crab)—the mercury from the oil “might” increase over time. Who disagrees with this? The FDA.
If you have followed my writing, you’ll know that I am a dreamer, which is a spiritual gift, given from God. I have “seen” these large fish in my dreams, specifically oarfish in the depths of the Gulf. In fact, they have been observed under oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. These creatures are rarely seen because they live in depths of up to 1,000 meters. Oarfish eat zooplankton, shrimp and other crustaceans, small fish, jellyfish, and squid. Right now is the end of their spawning season. And they are dying.
They are dying because the Gulf is dying. The Gulf of Mexico has been polluted by oil and by the run off from ethanol into the dead zone at the base of the Mississippi. The food chain begins with the tiniest creatures, rising as each animal eats the smaller. The oarfish live in the depths where they are unlikely to be seen. They eat the little invertebrates in larger quantities. The poison is killing them.
Slurped down a raw oyster recently? Over time, what will these toxins do to the human body? Crabs and oysters take a long time to test, and we eat the whole creature—including the liver, where toxins build up. The Natural Resources Defense Council writes that, “Eating fish contaminated with mercury, a poison that interferes with the brain and nervous system, can cause serious health problems, especially for children and pregnant women.” PAHs are linked to asthma, lower IQs after prenatal exposure, heart malformations, DNA damage, and cancer.
Looking back at a similar spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we can see what’s coming our way: In June, 1979, the Ixtoc I (an exploratory oil well) was being drilled in the Bay of Campeche and suffered a blowout. It was one of the largest spills in history.
It took 10 months to cap the well and 10 to 30,000 barrels of oil were discharged daily.
About 25% of the oil sank to the bottom of the Gulf, some landed on Mexican beaches.
The after effects: Estuaries and coastal lagoons around the bay were polluted, affecting the breeding and growth of fish. Populations of crabs were almost eliminated.
Kemp Ridley turtles lost a generation as nesting grounds were hit by oil. Octopuses were covered in oil. Large species of fish took YEARS to recover. Most interesting to note, Mexican authorities banned or restricted fishing in contaminated areas north and south of the well.
A 1984 study was completed on the oil’s effects on the Gulf environment. The problem is this: unless there is evidence of a massive kill (dead animals) there’s almost no clear indication of a Gulf bottom kill.
“Oil spills have produced measurable effects on ecosystems that have not been readily predictable from laboratory studies on isolated organisms. However, ecosystem level interactions are poorly understood even without the complications resulting from effects of pollution. These generalizations emerge: oil regularly reaches sediments after a spill; oil in anoxic sediments is persistent; oil regularly contaminates Zooplankton and benthic invertebrates; fish are also contaminated, but to a lesser extent; oil contamination decreases the abundance and diversity of benthic communities.”
Who can see these massive kills? SERPENT can. They are the Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership Using Existing Industrial Technology. SERPENT is a global project which seeks to share knowledge and deep sea research with the world’s science community. Previously, it was their organization which saw and filmed the oarfish.
Many of SERPENT’s partners are oil companies, including BP (a founding partner). Their April 2010 statement, “During the night of April 20, 2010, the Transocean rig Deepwater Horizon underwent a catastrophic accident that resulted in an explosion and fire that left 11 crew members missing and others severely injured.
Deepwater Horizon, working under contract to BP Exploration and Production, is one of the Gulf SERPENT partner sites. Since 2006, the Oceaneering E-MAG ROV on the Horizon has collected countless hours of stunning images of marine life from the depths of the Gulf.
We are gratified to learn that the ROV Team headed by Darren Costello are safe and uninjured. Our thoughts are with the families of the missing and we look forward to news of their safe rescue.”
Other than God, psychics, and dreamers few can see what lies on the bottom of the Gulf. Greenpeace asks “How much is down there?” SERPENT could tell us. But they’re in an awkward position now, aren’t they.
What the prophecies have said:
Native American Book of the Hopi, Elder White Feather’s Prophecy: “This is the Seventh Sign: You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it.”
The Christian Bible has a similar verse found in the Book of Revelation 16:3 “Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man, and every living creature in the sea died.”
Mayan Prophecy: 3. “…man’s inability to live in harmony with nature.” This is us polluting the Earth with manmade substances which run into the seas—from sewage, fertilizers, heat from power plants, and radioactive substances from nuclear power plants, industrial, medical, and scientific waste; and residue from uranium and thorium mining/refining.
The Muslim Koran has a verse which follows both the Book of the Hopi prophecy and the Mayan prophecy as well, “Corruption has spread on land and sea because of what men’s hands have wrought.” (30:42)
Let us speak up, asking for peace. Let us pray and meditate on peace. And let us direct our thought, intentions, and prayers toward our leaders, asking them too, to give peace a chance. Forgiveness is key.
True peace comes through pacifism. Pacifism asks us to lay down arms, join together as one people, no matter the race, tribe, or religion, and face those who would continue fighting. Together we must look to God, because He is our unifying factor. Together, we must focus our minds on God and ask that those who would continue fighting would change their course. We must ask God for a miracle! We must ask God together to avert World War III. In this way, our free will chooses to work with God. When we ask, He replies. God wishes that all would turn to Him.
Liz Colado, essayist and poet, resides in the United States. A poet since childhood, her poems reflect the images and premonitions of her subconscious dreams. The writing of poetry has been her escape to a world apart, a dimension of other, a reality considered. The meaning of poetry has helped center her all of her life. She is also the main character of a life exposed, written by an anonymous author. Read the poetry of Liz Colado and consider the interior of her mind to be the discovery of a personal dream journal on the edge. The author publishes exclusively at Basil & Spice. Visit Liz Colado’s Writer’s Page.