In blogging, as in much else, marrying well can make life a lot easier.
Case in point:
Through marriage to my wife I gained cousinhood with Captain Peter Willcox, who at this point in an adventurous, well-lived life, is master of the Greenpeace ship M.V. Arctic Sunrise.
Which means that because of the family connection, I get Peter’s episodic updates, his Captain’s Blog.
What follows is his latest, from a Gulf of Mexico cruise designed to assess both the damage and decision making about the Deep Horizon disaster that will define the Gulf ecosystem for decades.
First, a work about Peter: He grew up on boats (next door to my wife-to-be, as it happens in a lefty, multi-racial sort of cooperative housing development in Connecticut, right on Long Island Sound. It was the kind of place where children learned how to sail at about the time they started walking and were allowed to skipper on their own from the moment they proved competent enough.
From there, Peter got involved in water-borne environmentalism on the queen of the Hudson River, the sloop Clearwater (one of Pete and Toshi Seeger’s many give-backs to the community), and then he joined up with Greenpeace. There he rose to become captain of the Rainbow Warrior — and was in command when French terrorists spies government-employed-murderous-thugs sunk the ship with two limpet mines, killing one crew member, Fernando Pereira.
In other words, Peter has been there and back again, and has some very hard-won knowledge of what the real world is like — a view barred to those who cannot tear Galt’s glasses from their eyes.
So — what’s in the latest of Peter’s dispatches?
Nothing to make one happy.
Here’s a sample:
Corexit is mostly what BP has used on the spill. There are a few things to know about Corexit. One is that is was banned in U.K. over ten years ago because it is so toxic, as in poisonous to humans and sea life. According to the label on the product, it will irritate the eyes, it is not to be inhaled, and it can cause harm to red blood cells, your kidney and liver. The OSHA data sheet states: component substances have a potential to bioconcentrate, that human health hazard is acute. Nice stuff.
Also, according to EPA data, Corexit ranked far above other dispersants for toxicity, and far below other dispersants in effectiveness in handling Louisiana crude.
Corexit was also used on the Exxon Valdez spill. Now read carefully: Almost all the clean up workers who worked on the Exxon Valdez spill are dead. According to CNN, who made efforts to warn the people of the Gulf about Corexit, the average lifespan of an Exxon Valdez spill worker is 51 years. That’s almost 30 years less than that of the average American. There were 11,000 people involved with the Exxon Valdez spill.
[Update: CNN did not “report” these numbers. Someone being interviewed on a CNN program made these claims. CNN did report that an attorney with access to Exxon summaries of worker health files told the network that 6,722 out of 11,000 records showed health problems.]
The whole thing is below the jump. Don’t read it if you have a short fuse. You will detonate.
One last note: Peter isn’t a journalist and doesn’t claim to be one.
He’s an environmentalist, one with decades of experience with ocean issues. You can judge for yourself how well he gets the story below. FWIW, here’s my take, as a sometime journo:
Peter lays out not just what he knows, but also from whence he gets his data. He distinguishes between that data and interpretation. He makes no secret of his presumptions, his starting point, and he clearly sees players who fill the roles of villain and fool. I’m passing on this report both because it looks to me to be solid (and troubling as hell) and because Peter has given us all the apparatus we need to dig into his claims if we are so minded.
This is, if you were wondering, very different from what much more “credentialled” MSM pundits do. As soon as I have time, I’m going to write up a couple of recent offenders to illustrate the point, but truth is, no one reading this blog needs the crayon sketch.
Read on. Peter’s got some serious sh*t to say.