Category Archives: Commentary

It was seven years ago yesterday that BP’s Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and triggering an environmental catastrophe that in many ways has continued to this day. It is a moment I will never forget: I was in a small plane flying over the Gulf that next morning, watching the thick black plume of smoke with a mixture of shock and alarm. That soon [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Recovery, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

One theme that I’ve come back to a lot in the last few months is the notion that local jurisdictions — state and even city and county governments — can take the lead in the fight against climate change, even at a time when Washington seems determined to pull back. All across the country, local jurisdictions are taking actions to promote the use of electric cars, though charging stations and [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Important Articles, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The main topic on this blog in the last few years has been the danger posed by society’s addiction to fossil fuels — an addiction we continue to feed with more and more offshore drilling in the Gulf and elsewhere, with fracking that pollutes our environment and causes earthquakes, and with pipelines that leak and taint our sources of pure drinking water. But in politics they have a saying, that [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Restoring wetlands is certainly an expensive proposition. Even with monies available from sources such as the massive settlement that BP reached with Louisiana, the federal government and other Gulf states over the Deepwater Horizon spill, officials struggle to come up with all the funds needed to replenish coastline and bring back to life marshes and bayous that have been destroyed by energy exploration or damaged by pollution or other activities. [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Main, Ocean Life, Politics, Research, Restoration Tagged , , , , ,

Late last year, I told you about the dire situation in the small, mostly black and underprivileged Louisiana community of St. Joseph. For years, residents had complained about the brackish and discolored water that flowed from their tap. But a largely unresponsive City Hall ignored those complaints, as did mostly unaware state and federal regulators. When the city water was finally tested in 2016, officials found shockingly high levels of [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Illnesses, Important Articles, Main, Politics, Regulation, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

The book that triggered the environmental movement in America was Silent Spring, published by Rachel Carson in 1962. The subject of the book was the indiscriminate use of pesticides such as DDT — which was banned by the federal government a few years later, in part a result of the outcry that Carson had raised. The title refers to the fact that flagrant abuse of these chemicals was killing not [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

One of the first stories that I’ve covered since the very beginning of this blog is the threat to Louisiana seafood. It’s certainly an issue that I can relate to, as a New Orleans native who grew up eating the rich harvest from the nearby Gulf of Mexico. And needless to say, it was particularly heartbreaking in the early days to have to report in the early days of the [...]

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Posted in BP Spill, Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Main, Ocean Life, Research, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,

Every month or two, I feel that it’s important to check in on the meltdown-ravaged nuclear reactors at Fukushima. It’s been nearly six years since a near “perfect storm” of bad events — a major earthquake, followed by a tsunami making a direct hit on the four-reactor power plant on the Japanese coast — caused the worst nuclear accident of the 21st Century. That’s a long time, and yet it’s [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Nuclear disaster, Radiation, Response, Restoration, Safety Tagged , , , , , ,

If you live near the Atlantic Ocean — and millions of Americans do, along the most densely populated stretch of the nation — then you know the coastal flooding is always in the background. When a big storm like a Nor’easter barrels its way up the Eastern Seaboard, cities from Miami Beach all the way up to Maine can expect some beach erosion and possibly a couple feet of water [...]

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Posted in Causes, Commentary, Human Interest, Important Articles, Investigations, Main, Ocean Life, Safety Tagged , , , , ,

Things are stirring again with the Dakota Access pipeline. It was late last year, near the end of his term, when then-President Barack Obama handed a victory to activists seeking to block the opening of the $3.8 billion project. This is the pipeline which aims to ship fracked oil from the Bakken field in North Dakota across the U.S. Heartland to refineries and ports on the Gulf Coast — and [...]

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Posted in Commentary, Fracking, Human Interest, Important Articles, Main, Oil Spill Facts, Politics, Safety Tagged , , , , , , ,