Special Report: The BP Gulf Oil Disaster
The dying bottlenose dolphin, gasping for air; the brown pelican, mouth agape and dripping oil; the northern gannet, mummified in tar. These and other images burned into videotape, photographs, and our minds have let America glimpse what happens when we binge on fossil fuel. Alternative energy sources, wind in particular, can get us off this treadmill, though they have their own environmental costs.
The carnage thrust daily into America’s face has also provided Audubon and its allies with the chance to recoup the loss of fish and wildlife and, at the same time, protect the Gulf Coast from flooding and oil pollution. At last we appear close to convincing the federal government to reconnect the Mississippi River with its floodplain and thereby rebuild delta wetlands.
Mixed with the black oil and bile from the Gulf is something we desperately need to extract. After the tears, outrage, accusations, and recriminations, after the should-haves, would-haves, and could-haves (and decades before damage to ecosystems and human lives can be assessed) comes opportunity.—Ted Williams
Meeting the Gulf Coast’s people, places, and wildlife.
Amid the doom and gloom, reason to hope.
How can we get off oil? The answer’s in the offshore breeze.
What does the future hold for the Gulf’s last biological riches?
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