Over the Top: NOAA Peddles Its “All Clear” Message To Middle Schoolers


You’ll think I’m making this up, but this is, in fact, a real story out of Terrebonne Parish covered by the Houma Courier newspaper. A “science support” person with NOAA is taking the agency’s “all clear” message to students, doing demonstrations in middle schools using a 10-gallon aquarium to stand in for the Gulf of Mexico, Hershey’s cocoa powder to “represent” BP’s oil and Dove dish-washing liquid as the toxic dispersant Corexit.

One of those toy rubber duckies was used to represent oiled birds. Right. Because nothing resembles delicate pelican feathers like industrial rubber.

The NOAA staffer behind this propaganda is identified as Gary Ott. The Houma Courier has this on Ott’s antics: “‘Should you be afraid to eat shrimp?’ Ott asked the library full of eighth graders. Some answered ‘Yes,’ some said ‘No.’ But Ott assured them it was safe, and set out to explain why.”

Making a case about crude oil and Corexit using Hershey’s and Dove? Our tax dollars at work? No wonder they’re hitting the middle schools – high school kids might try to illustrate the scientific bonding properties of feathers upon meeting a petroleum product known as “tar.”

Check out this unbelievable story here: http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20100923/ARTICLES/100929639/1026

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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