Tag Archives: BP Oil Spill

Will SCOTUS Preside Over BP Case

We can’t make this stuff up!

Will SCOTUS Justices recuse themselves from BP Oil Disaster Case?

Vanish Pearls

The African American Film Festival Releasing Movement is screening Nailah Jefferson’s critically acclaimed documentary film, Vanishing Pearls at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center on April 28th, 2014.

The film profiles the trials and tribulations of African American fisherman working to rebuild their lives, livelihoods, and communities in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster.

Please stay tuned to ticket information.

When Oil and Corexit Mix

How toxic is the oil dispersant Corexit when mixed with oil?

Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Explosion
Courtesy: US Coast Guard

In the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Catastrophe and the subsequent use of 2 million gallons of the oil dispersant Corexit to disperse an estimated 250-300 million gallons of oil, we find ourselves asking this question almost everyday.

Three and a half years after the largest human-caused environmental disaster in history, remediation and restoration efforts have helped to remove the most obvious signs of the disaster and returned the most affected coastal communities to near pre-spill conditions.

But Gulf Coast residents now face an even more ominous health care crisis, as untold numbers of people – cleanup workers, divers, beach comers, residents, children, etc. – have been made ill from exposure to a mix of oil, methane, Corexit, and from inhaling aerosolized oil fumes from the in-situ oil burns (oil burned in contained areas on the surface of the water).

Since 2010, the Storm Surge team has interviewed scores of people who claim to suffer from acute illnesses ranging from rashes, upper respiratory infections, severe asthma, skin infections, blisters in between their fingers and arms on their legs and their feet, and blood in their urine, to heart palpitations, kidney and liver damage, migraines, memory loss and reduced IQ, after they came into contact with oil and Corexit.

We continue to remain perplexed as to the reasons why the American mainstream media fails to cover this problem.

Last week, 60 Minutes Australia published the following two-part investigative report on the use of Corexit to disperse oil, both here in the United States and in Australia.

Crude Solution – Part 1

Crude Solution – Part 2

Meanwhile, BP is reportedly spending over $5 million a week on a nation-wide marketing, advertising, and public relations campaign to convince people across the country that the Gulf of Mexico is safe to swim in, the seafood is safe to eat, the environment is being restored to pristine order, and how great a company BP is to work for.

How to Survive & Thrive After Sandy

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, we had the great fortune of being introduced to and spending time with Kindra Arensen, a mother, wife to a commercial fisherman, and the so-called Erin Brockovick of Southern Louisiana. 

Thomas Jefferson Community Leadership Award winner for her work advocating on behalf of thousands of commercial fishermen who lost their livelihoods, as well as their health in the aftermath of the BP Oil Spill, Kindra is a straight up rock star, with universally recognized YouTube videos capturing her frank, angry and emotional accounts of her husband and other fishermen getting sick during cleanup.

In 2010, Australian 60 Minutes featured her in a piece on the after effects of the oil spill, suggesting, “This is going to affect the entire world.”  With more  than 300 interviews behind her, she’s still fighting both public and media perception of the disaster.  With a strong eye focused two the media.  “It’s a huge picture, and a picture’s worth 1,000 words.  If it’s not painted correctly, that’s one of the problems I have with the media,” she said.

In addition to the technological disaster caused by BP, Kindra has experienced her fair share of natural disasters, namely Hurricanes Dennis, Gustav, Isaac, Ivan, Katrina, Lili, Rita, and Tropical Storm Lee.  She recently shared some insights on how best to cope in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  

In her own words:

WOW Sandy slammed the east coast, the photos look like what we walked upon 7 years ago after Katrina. Most of the folks that have been hit by this storm may have never dealt with something of this magnitude.

So I will offer the following.

  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. Call or go online & register with FEMA.
  3. Hold on to as much cash as possible.
  4. You may be thinking omg how will I pay my bills, when you have some time call all of the companies that you have loans with and ask that they differ your payments, the last thing you need is collection calls.
  5. Remove all auto pays from your accounts.
  6. Within the first week officials will approve food stamps, registering online makes the process a little faster. I know some will not want to access fs, but right now everything will help.
  7. File claims with your home owners, flood insurance, and car insurance & on anything that has been hit.
  8. Register for email updates with your local government.
  9. Some churches will help with many things. After Katrina a church in Fla provided a home for our family for 6 months, I don’t know what we would have done without the assistance of the churches.
  10. Remember everyone will be under a tremendous amount of stress.
  11. So loved ones may be snappy. This will put a strain on many relationships. Love each other trough the madness, you will be stronger for it.
  12. If you have children, try not to watch storm coverage while they are present.

I wish someone would have told me the above when we were hit by Katrina. This situation will stay with those hit for the rest of their life, but life does go on. I hope this helps some.

Our thoughts & prayers are with you…

Kendra Arnesen

Alabama Residents to be Surveyed on Oil Spill Effects

For two years we’ve been suggesting that Gulf Coast communities organize themselves to the extent they can implement innovative programs to test, track and treat Gulf Coast residents who have been exposed to toxic chemicals and heavy metals in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster.

The negative health impacts from these natural and human-made disasters are becoming well-known as scientists throughout the region are finding exceptionally high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the bloodstreams of Gulf residents; many of which are known to cause cancer, birth defects and genetic disorders over time.

Though not a a complete solution to the problem, residents in Alabama are being asked to participate in a survey designed to to assess the long-term effects of the BP oil spill.

Additionally, we suggest that a partnership between world-renown toxicologists, medical professionals, and Gulf-based grassroots organizations lead an effort to produce a low-cost, easy to administer, rapid-assessment blood analysis tool, as well as create an exposure-tracking database to provide a visual and spatial map of locations reporting the highest levels of contamination.

A project of this scope ought to address the urgent need for a holistic approach to public health that is localized and site-specific to the Gulf Coast.  Strengthening local public healthcare systems must become a priority that involves improving the development and distribution of reliable information on the adverse health effects to environmental toxics, to include working with healthcare professional to develop treatment solutions that may defeat, delay or diminish the long-term effects from exposure.

This sounds like the perfect project for an organization like the Gates Foundation.

Storm Surge & The Next Generation

What is this film about?

Contrary to the title, Storm Surge is a not a disaster movie, but rather a film that celebrates the hope, optimism, and self-determination needed to build disaster resilient communities in advance of catastrophic shifts in ecosystems and the related impacts to our weather and our communities.

From super tornadoes, droughts, floods and fires, to the lingering impacts of hurricanes and the BP oil spill, millions of Americans now find themselves living in the cross hairs of a looming planetary emergency – global climate change.

Storm Surge is a film that’s more than what you see on the screen. It’s a movement, an educational campaign, an attempt to raise the level of climate consciousness with a younger generation.

Targeting middle and high school youth, Storm Surge‘s educational campaign will include study guides, bonus features, in-depth interviews, community discussions, town hall meetings, and a traveling lecture series – featuring Stacy Noland and other leaders working to help communities adapt to climate change and become more disaster resilient.