SHOOT: If you have a look at the graphic at the bottom of this post [representing US oil production] you'll notice the sharp 'ravines' especially in the period 2001 to the present. Those 'chasms' are the impacts of Hurricane activity on the Gulf. It's not hard to imagine that those chasms are increasing in number and intensity, and in fact, climate experts predict 2010 to be a year of above average hurricane intensity. What does that tell you? Trying to survive on the Gulf Coast, particularly around New Orleans may no longer be a livelihood worth pursueing. Blame climate change. And then blame yourself, as a consumer, a driver of a vehicle that consumes the fuels of the Gulf and pumps it into the atmosphere. But to attempt business-as-usual - well, that is like digging your own grave.
"Katrina dug a hole for us," he said that afternoon, sipping a glass of sweet tea. "We're laying in this grave, trying to get out of this hole, and this spill comes along."
The Gulf Coast's residents are accustomed to keeping an eye on the water, especially around June 1, the start of hurricane season. The past few days have been like watching the arrival of an oily storm. The wounds from Hurricane Katrina are still raw, especially in Hopedale, a fishing village in St. Bernard parish, about an hour's drive south of New Orleans. The parish, as counties are called in Louisiana, was among the hardest hit by Katrina.
Floodwater from the Gulf of Mexico covered the swampy terrain. The recovery has been slow; the population has come back up to 40,655, nearly two-thirds of its pre-Katrina level. New homes are being built on stilts, between 30 and 50 feet above two-lane roads sometimes covered with swamp water. There's a new Wal-Mart, and outposts of the Dollar Store.