Saturday, June 19, 2010

I found this Entry by Kathy Gill at "the moderate voice" and thought she did a great job.  Thus, I am including it as-is with links to the original. 

At a certain point I carry the discussion towards photographs from the Gulf Coast in honor of the time we spent there, the people and all we have to lose.

This Is Not A Spill by KATHY GILL in Politics.  Jun 18th, 2010 

Words Matter. seeks to change the framing used to talk about the BP explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April 2010. Here it is, almost two months later (18 June 2010) and media are still describing this disaster with the word “spill” in both stories and headlines.

This is not a spill.

A spill is what happens when your toddler knocks over a tumbler of milk.
A spill is what happens when you turn over that bucket of soapy water while washing your car. It’s not what happens when you leave the water hose running for days. Or weeks. Or months.
A spill is what happens when a fixed quantity of fluid accidentally escapes its container.
Connotatively, spills are small.

The BP blowout is neither small nor fixed in quantity. Nor is the oil encased in a container, unless you think of the earth as a container. And by that definition, a volcanic eruption could be considered a spill!

There is a more precise noun that describes what is going on almost a mile below the surface of the ocean, 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana: blowout.

A blowout, in the words of the OilGasGlossary, is “an uncontrolled flow of gas, oil, or other well fluids.” To substantiate my claim that we should be using “blowout” not “spill” to describe this disaster, recall that the exploratory well  blowout preventer, “a large valve that can seal off an oil or natural gas well,” failed. Blowout preventer failure = blowout.

This is not a spill.

It is a blowout.

And the sooner that the media begin using the true name to describe this disaster, instead of an innocuous euphemism, the more likely the enormity of the event — and what it means for our seemingly insatiable demand for energy — will permeate our collective conscious.

The author details things we can all do to reduce our consumption of oil in individual life-size increments and large community and national increments. Lets try them all. You can check out her suggestions at:  Ideas to reduce oil consumption

I aim to remind us also of what we are losing in wildlife, natural beauty, and culture. A memorial in photos and writing to the Gulf Coast. An apology to all who live along those shores whose lives have been brought into another screeching chaos of uncertainty.

Words are important, and so are pictures. We all own this.

This is the Atchafalaya swamp in Louisiana, the largest inland swamp and basin in the United States. They are working hard to figure out how to minimize the amount of oil into the area and to do all they can to prevent damage. As Don Shoopman the Senior News Editor at the "Daily Iberian"
My heart would stop if oil flowed into and past Morgan City into the heart of the Spillway.

(June 17, 2010)

To see more pictures of the gulf coast --- follow the link to the gallery.

Gallery in honor of gulf coast residents of all types

We have just started and will share updates and links.


Share your thoughts on ways to inspire action and to reach out to those that live in the Gulf coast states and need to know we stand with them


Gib Parrish said...


Thanks for posting these thoughtful comments and the article by Kathy Gill. In addition to "blowout", "eruption" seems like another apt term for what is happening in the gulf, although eruption may not adequately convey the human-made nature of the event.

Unknown said...

I have to work hard to keep correcting myself from automatically saying "spill" but I am learning. I wish the media would as well.