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It turns out that last summer's oil problems still haven't been resolved. The Federal government is still issuing deep water drilling permits without requiring any other safety devices than the blowout preventer, which has proven to be ineffective and of poor design, meaning it actually won't do what the plans say it will do. There are already over 33 active deepwater permits in the Gulf, and over 3000 ones for shallower waters... In fact, the GOP has tried to introduce bills that would speed up the permit process, as if nothing ever happened... The group Earthjustice has challenged both the government and the oil permits in court, especially the ones recently given out for Alaska. You know that the proposed Alaskan oil pipeline that Sarah Palin was negotiating when she was governor, only went to Canada. It was never planned to come down to the lower 48.
Anyway, oil is just one of the problems we have in the Gulf of Mexico. Every year, for the last 35 years, we have had a dead spot in the Gulf, thanks to the amount of fertilizer and animal dung that's washed away in the rivers that flow to the Gulf. The nitrogen and phosphorus get deposited around the mouth of the Mississippi River and fuel the growth of plankton. When these short-lived organisms die, they consume oxygen, which kills everything below and make the larger fish swim away.
This year, with the largest rising of the rivers in recent history, it's anticipated that we will have the largest dead spot, too, making the life of a fisherman that much harder... We've known about this for over 35 years and have done nothing to correct or change the way things are done. And with the use of genetically altered corn, we have improved the yield of an acre of land by 80% while reducing nitrogen by 4%..
Speaking of poets, last Friday saw the passing of Gil Scott Heron. A talented man who let that talent be consumed by the fires ravaged from drugs. He wrote one of the few songs that I still can barely listen to without breaking down and crying my eyes out. After 35 years, it still wrecks me...