March 10th, 2011

watch, hawk

Fatal Chemicals in the Gulf of Mexico

This article talks about some of the horrific effects of petrochemicals and dispersants on people living near the Gulf of Mexico.  I have to admit, the effects are hitting faster than I expected.  I anticipated chronic problems taking several years before they really set in.  We'll probably still see that, but we're also seeing some ghastly acute problems.  While some of this is probably due to the sheer volume of oil, I suspect that more is due to the chemical dispersants such as Corexit.  They change the way that petrochemicals behave in the environment, making them more volatile so they carry farther, get into air and rain more easily, and get into flesh more easily ... where they then mangle DNA, gametes, and embryos.

So, at this point, I'd seriously consider charging the people who run BP with homicide, and I think the death penalty is justified.  It is not okay to kill people or destroy their health so you can get rich, not to mention demolishing the environment.  Of course, such a case is unlikely to get to court.  But hey, this is America.  There are many thousands of sick people down there, people watching their spouses and children get sick and die.  And golly gee whiz, a lot of those southern states are mighty fond of guns.  I wonder if someone will decide that since they're dying anyhow, they might as well get some old-fashioned justice before they go.  Those BP executives might want to hide somewhere with real strong gun-control laws ... for, say, the next decade or two.

Gender in Torn World

Torn World has a new nonfiction article up, "Gender Licensing, Before and After the Gender Reforms."  This takes a look at how the Empire, and some of its component cultures, perceive and handle gender identity.  The solution they finally come up with is quirky and based on their penchant for licensing everything.  A number of Torn World stories deal with various gender issues. 

I contributed toward the discussion of these issues and development of this article.  You might also want to reread my entry on the historical personage, Yoilosh, a famous gender activist.  It is further interesting to note that Torn Tongue does not rigidly separate names into masculine and feminine.

If you like this article and want to see more like it, please consider sending me credits or karma through Torn World's crowdfunding options.  Same goes if you like the art; tip the artist. Not a Torn World member, but still want to support the work? I have a permanent PayPal button on my LJ profile page.  To tip the other contributors involved in this article, use the boxes at the bottom of the article page, and make sure you send the right thing to the right person that you want, because there are lots of options there.

The Real Water Quality Experts

I saw this quote on Facebook today, regarding the Gulf of Mexico:

The water quality experts tell us everything is fine. The scientists tell us the fish is safe to eat. I say, God's water quality experts are fish and they are dying on the job.
-- Kaye Kiker
See now, this is the way I feel. It's why I buy bottled water instead of using tap water to cook or drink with. I don't care what other humans say; I do not want to swallow water that, if I poured it into an aquarium, would kill the fish. To me that is an obvious sign that something dangerous is in the water. I understand that waterborne pathogens are Bad Things, but I think toxic chemicals are also Bad Things. I don't want to swallow chlorine or chloramine or fluoride or whatever the hell else has been put into allegedly potable water. I want water that is actually potable by my standards.

I am similarly disinclined to eat out of the Gulf of Mexico in the foreseeable future. I think that Gaia's water quality experts are much more reliable than America's.