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July 02, 2010



I've been reading with great interest your postings on New Orleans and thinking I've got to head down there before . . . well, before it's gone, all that extraordinarily unique culture. I'm thinking it's time for me to make that trip. Thanks, Paul, for keeping us posted.


Awesome! So glad you wrote this. It puts a human face on the tragedy for people who aren't familiar with Louisiana's culture and econo


Paul, I believe your post on New Orleans in June, is the first post of yours I've read that contains political overtones. I find it incredulous that your first encounter of hearing about the spill came in a taxi ride back to the airport. I'll take your word for it as you were there and I wasn't. I have a friend from the marina, Mark, who I believe you met, who is employed by Trans Ocean and is working on the rig drilling the relief well. He is on a 3 week on, 3 week off cycle and he has many stories from the locals about the spill and the impact on their lives. It's all they talk about. The French Quarter locals
and visitors can't be that out of touch or in denial.

The picture you post doesn't appear to be indigenous to Louisiana. The beach looks soaked with oil and I hope you didn't use it to promote an agenda to rid the world from using oil.

The true story here, as was with Katrina, was the failure of government to do it's assigned task, to protect us tax paying citizens. It starts with the Department of MMS who issues the drilling permits to ensure that Trans Ocean has in place a disaster plan in place in the event of a catastrophic well failure. After the Valdez spill, the government was tasked with formulating a disaster plan that incorporated the use of large special floating booms. These booms were stored in Maine. Odd, don't drill for oil there. And, when the spill occurred, these booms were not transported to the Gulf. In fact the government took 9 days to react, some department heads remaining absent from their desk during this time.

Paul, granted we had a catastrophic oil well failure caused by Trans Ocean 100 miles out at sea, but the true story here is the governments failure to see the urgency of the situation and to act quickly and effectively to contain the spill. If you recall, winds and current were very favorable in the first weeks, which kept the oil at sea. With a quick response of skimmers, oil/water salvaging ships from the Saudis, and the mobilization of local fishing fleets to oil recovery, much of the oil could have been captured and impact to land kept at a minimum. Also, a second plan of action of building berms connecting barrier islands as a wall against the oil reaching the marsh lands, could have been constructed. Instead, during this critical time, the government focused on vilifying BP, threatening law suits, sending lawyers to the area, and creating environment impact commissions. In additions, the Jones Act was not temporarily suspended to allow foreign expertise to help.

Lastly, we don't need to be drilling deep water wells. We have abundent supplies of oil on land and in shallow water. It's due to constrictions placed by the government on where oil can be drilled, that necessitates deep water drilling. Paul, yes it would be wonderful to live in a world free of oil, but until that utopian time comes, we need to live in reality. Oil is the fluid that drives all growing economies. Look around how you live your life, your home, your clothes, your food, how you get around, and determine if you can exist tommorrow if no oil was available. Why all those wonderful trips you are taking to great places like New Orleans, and to visit your best college buddy in Florida, would not be possible.


Nikki, New Orleans has lived with assaults from nature, corruption, and crime. Time will tell whether it can live with the long term effects of "The Spill". I will be going down there again to check for myself.
Thanks for the comment.


Your readers may find this link a sobering report about the use of dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nikki K.

I'm enjoying reading your blog posts and absolutely fascinated with the energy and interest exhibited in your posts. Did I ever tell you that you are the model for how to live post retirement? If not, you are. If so, well, you really are.

Paul aka pt at large

I knew I needed a way to channel creativity, discipline, and sense of connectedness to an audience once I retired from teaching - beginning this blog was just the ticket for me.

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