The Oil Spill, Videos, Fishing, and Reality

I’ve tried to stay away from talking about the oil spill and its effect on fishing up to now, but a new video from BoatUS and massive amounts of BS coming from all directions force me into confronting reality. So here it is: We’re screwed. From all the shouting we’ve heard about booms, skimmers, and [...]

9th June 2010.
By Lenny Rudow

I’ve tried to stay away from talking about the oil spill and its effect on fishing up to now, but a new video from BoatUS and massive amounts of BS coming from all directions force me into confronting reality. So here it is: We’re screwed. From all the shouting we’ve heard about booms, skimmers, and relief wells, one would think there’s still a prayer of preventing massive environmental damage. But there’s not. Millions of gallons of oil have mixed with the water, and there’s no holding back the ocean – period.

The new video is beyond my understanding. It’s obviously a professional job, well filmed and narrarated. It doesn’t seem terribly biased in any way, and has a few “tips” for boaters (which basically come down to: don’t take your boat where there’s oil, and if it gets oiled, clean it off). There does seem to be an awful lot of branding going on (extended shots with several products and sponsor-type clothing come up over and over again) but this doesn’t seem to be the aim of the video; if it is, it’s on a successfully subliminal level. Watch is and decide for yourself, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ect1KlbtR7c

More importantly, you can go to BoatUS’s site (www.boatus.com/oilspill/) and see live feed from the containment efforts, surface oil maps and slick prediction maps. What this map doesn’t tell you, and what is talked about mostly in passing remarks on network television, is the fact that untold amounts of oil mixed with untold amounts of dispersants is out there, somewhere, doing lord knows what to everything in its path. What we can’t see (dispersants and dispersed oil) is far more insidious then what we can see (surface slicks). It’s “out of sight, out of mind” on steroids.

So, amongst all this doom and gloom, what can we do about this? The heck if I know how to go about accomplishing it, but the solution to this problem – and many others we face as a nation – is simple: get off of oil. Here are a few facts to think about.

1. We put a man on the moon with the computing power of one of today’s iPads. There was no anti-moonshot lobby.

2. We created a nuclear bomb in a few short years. There was no (notable) anti-bomb lobby.

3. We have erased multiple worldwide diseases from the face of the planet. There is no pro-disease lobby.

4. Anyone who says we can’t figure out a way to completely replace oil in a decade or less is full of bull****. There is one hell of a powerful oil lobby. All we need is the will, a big pile of cash for R & D, a concerted effort, and a way to muzzle the oil lobby and its uber-powerful constituents.

OK, now I’ll put my nose back where it belongs and keep my mouth shut… until next time.

oil spill photo clean up

We'll be looking at images like this for a long, long time. Photo courtesy of the USCG Visual Information Gallery.


About the author:

Lenny Rudow

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Lenny Rudow is Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including Boats.com and Yachtworld.com. With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, he has contributed to publications including Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design who has won 28 BWI and OWAA writing awards.
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