Like most, I have watched the BP oil leak from afar – feeling a mix of anger at the industry that caused it and fearing that the long term ecological consequences will be far more devastating than the disturbing images we’ve seen on television and in print – those things happening silently beneath the water that may take lifetimes to recover. Tonight as I walked on an Alabama beach I felt something else. I felt complete and utter despair. I saw miles of beautiful white sand turned into a blackened toxic mess. I saw families standing silently by the shoreline staring blankly at the sea. I watched a flotilla of coast guard and shrimp boats trying futilely to capture the black masses before they reached the shore. I breathed the oil into my lungs and felt the sticky mess on my skin. At sunset, the waves turned a coppery purple as they rose and fell.
I don’t know what else to say. I’m exhausted and my hotel shower has a black ring around it that won’t wash off.